Don’t Fret…Just Start

Each morning when we wake, we put our legs over the side of our bed, plant our feet on the floor, and prepare to take our first steps. We do not worry about having all the skills necessary to navigate into the next room. We simply start. We do not spend time contemplating what might happen… Read More

The Charm Bracelet Approach

Have you ever seen a charm bracelet? Maybe you had one as a kid, as I did. It had miniature representations of all the various things that interested or represented me & my youthful life. Maybe instead –  you had a set of baseball cards representing all your various baseball heroes. The entities that were present… Read More

Joanne Beaule Ruggles

For A New Year, Try Something New

The new year is beginning. It is a perfect time to try something new in your art practice. Are there some new things you would like to explore? If that is too broad of a question, ask yourself what assumptions you are making that might not be true? Could you work in a different way by… Read More

Joanne Beaule Ruggles

Ask Yourself “What If?”

It is easy to get yourself into a semi-crazed state worrying about things that might occur in the future. This kind of worry happens frequently for artists, because so much of what we do is NOT completely under our control. No matter how accomplished your skill level becomes, be assured that some aspects of the creative… Read More

Define Your Goals

Take the time to identify what you would like to accomplish, and you will be halfway toward that goal. I know this because it has worked for me. Getting clarity on my target allows me to focus my efforts and not spin my wheels unnecessarily. My energy and time are not scattered –  but instead they… Read More

Joanne Beaule Ruggles

Your Art Deserves a Title

Yes, it does. Your art deserves a title, and your audience does too. I know that some artists do not agree with me and that is their prerogative. Their argument is that the art should stand alone, the visual image needs no verbal description, the mark wants no interpretation. Fine. But here are some benefits a… Read More

Making Art With the Most of You in It

I drew along with my life drawing students because I believed it was the way to best illustrate my teaching theory to them. It also kept me in touch with my work process. For example, if I started a sketch by determining which leg bore the primary weight of a specific pose, I was reminded to… Read More

Do You “Borrow” the Work of Others?

Have you ever walked in a museum and witnessed artists at their easels painting faithful copies of masterpiece artworks. That practice is part of the classic European tradition of learning art. The assumption is that if the work is a masterpiece, and you faithfully copy it, you will gain knowledge and skill in doing so. A… Read More

Joanne Beaule Ruggles

Resolve to Grow Your Art

“If you always do what you always did, then you will always get what you always got.” Perhaps you have heard this statement before? It is so simple, even a bit silly – yet obviously true and and full of wisdom. Hearing the words might make you wonder why it is so difficult to incorporate change… Read More

Talking About Art

In the university studio art classes I taught, it was my habit to ask each student to submit a ½ to 1 page statement of intent when they turned in their creative solutions to my assignments. On the day of our class critique, each student would stand at the front critique wall next to their project,… Read More