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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

"December Violets"
Oil on linen - 8x10"

Merry Christmas you fabulous artsy types!

I recently listened to a speech Daniel Graves (founder and president of the Florence Academy of Art) made to his 2014 graduating class, and I was inspired by his questions so wanted to share them with you:

He started by asking, "What does great art do?" and then gave some cool things to reflect on:

"Think of a painting you think is a great work of art and ask yourself "Why?" i.e.:
  • it inspires me
  • it stimulates me
  • it moves me….
Then ask:

How does it accomplish that? What is different about this work of art? Why do I think this is happening?

There is no wrong answer. Here are some possibilities:
  • technique
  • beauty
  • innovation
  • evocative
Finally, here's the most significant question - a great one to reflect on:

Are you applying what you think makes other art great to your own work?

"Paint your own paintings, don’t be swayed. Have the courage to paint the paintings that you are meant to do, that are uniquely yours. Just do it, no excuses." - Daniel Graves

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a fascinating relationship with painting in 2015!


  1. I love your gorgeous painting and the information you shared from Daniel Graves. Though I have a long way to go, I have always strived to create great art. What is your opinion of colorist style landscapes and expressionistic art as it relates to "great art"? Merry Christmas to you too!

    1. Hi Carol, thanks for asking.

      Regardless of the style, I think what makes art great is masterful technical skill, unique creative expression (an artist trusting their particular way of seeing and interpreting the world), artistic sensitivity, boldness and confidence, and the feeling that the artist was in curious exploration throughout the painting process.

  2. Love the wonderful light in this painting! Thanks for sharing Daniel's thoughts and questions. Love your response to Carol's question too!
    Happy New Year!

  3. Beautiful and inspirational message and your painting is amazing. The light on the snow ...evocative.