How do you get inspired to do your artwork? I mean, is there a routine you go through? Do you have to clean your desk or work table? Maybe you get your proper tools out and all in order, or maybe you meditate or do some sort of physical exercise first? I like to pull out… Read More

Are You On Autopilot?

Too often artists produce marks that are not particularly expressive. There is a sameness about them. Perhaps the artist has been thinking of something else and just moving along without really being connected to what they are drawing or painting. Perhaps the artist is fond of a particular tool and uses it to make the same… 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

Careful is Easy, Reckless is Difficult

I know, I know…you think I have really lost it, don’t you? How could I possibly make such a statement? Because after almost 50 years of a career as a professional artist, I have found it to be true. If you wind yourself up tightly, use a small enough brush or a sharp enough pencil, keep… Read More

Convert Failure into Fuel

Every artist WILL experience failure. It makes no difference how long you have worked at your craft. Yes, research has shown that 10,000 hours of practice will likely provide you with expertise in virtually any field. What that abundance of practice WILL NOT guarantee you – is the ability to avoid failure. Failure is simply inherent… Read More

Starting is Difficult, But Starting is Important

Whether you are a writer, a painter, a choreographer, or any other creative…starting any work is difficult. My art students often told me they experienced their greatest fear when facing a blank sheet of paper, or an untouched canvas. At that moment the pristine surface was full of possibilities…so they worried about what way was the… Read More

Do Not Hide All the Fierce Marks That Start Your Journey.

There are times you really set yourself up for a creative workout. This WILD environment of paint and modernist collage shapes did not appear to be receptive to the addition of a figure. It was the scale of the collage pieces that encouraged me to place a large cropped pose on this sheet. I worked for… Read More

In Her Dreams (rough draft)

Beyond the First Draft

If you are faithful in your art practice, it is likely you will produce lots of drawings and/or paintings. When completed in a limited time frame, it is probable many will be sketches or first drafts of ideas you could develop more fully in the future. Sketches and rough drafts can be spontaneous, fresh, and uncensored…. Read More

Joanne Beaule Ruggles

Acting Brave, Finding Courage

There is something in each of us that wishes to be brave. We can observe the way someone walks or talks, and pretty quickly assess whether they live courageously or cautiously. Courage is a magnetic property and we are drawn to it when we see it evidenced in others. Are you aware that courage (or the… Read More

Joanne Beaule Ruggles

Running with Sticks

It is quite often the accidental mark, the thing you were not intending to do, that is far more wonderful than the thing you were trying to do. For this reason, I have built chance and serendipity into my creative process. What does this have to do with sticks? Years ago, I was exploring various tools… Read More