Avoid the Myth of Perfection

Avoid the Myth of Perfection

Don’t wait for the perfect moment. Find beauty where you are.

Have you ever had an idea, and things just didn’t work out the way you planned?

Well, that happened to me this past Friday when I drove out to the Savannah Wildlife Refuge right outside of Savannah to paint.

I ran into a few problems right away!

Got Questions?

Leave any questions you have in the comments below.

Whenever you’re ready, here are three ways I can help you…

1. Join my free FB group, ART+WORK+LIVING.
This is THE community to connect with other artists who are starting and growing their own painting careers.

2. Join Catch the Light, my online painting course for landscape painters.
You’ll learn how to use color to capture the effects of light and shadow, no matter the time of day, season, or weather.

3. Get on the waitlist for my signature online course, The Painter’s Language: Composition, Color, & Light, for painters at any level who want a deep dive into creating strong, successful paintings.

How to Get a Painting Style: Your Style Is Your Story

How to Get a Painting Style: Your Style Is Your Story

We’ve been talking about STYLE over in my Facebook group, ART+WORK+LIVING, for the last few days.

Two of the questions I get asked at every single workshop or course I teach are “How do I get a style”, and “Do I have to have a style?”

The two questions may sound really different, but they have the same answer. And that’s what I’m going to cover in today’s video.

Don’t let “getting a style” slow you down.

Style develops over time with consistent painting. If you paint consistently, you can’t NOT have a style.

Paint what’s around you, what you know. What you love and are passionate about and style will happen. In exactly the same way that your handwriting developed a style over time.

Want to join the conversation over in the free ART+WORK+LIVING Facebook group?

Here’s the link:

How to Catch the Light vs Chasing It

How to Catch the Light vs Chasing It

Are you a painter who finds yourself chasing after the fleeting light in the landscape? In this episode, I’m going to explain the difference between chasing the light when you’re painting from life, and catching the light.

Color is the secret sauce in painting. The thing that creates firm, space, and light.

Did you miss last week’s webinar on painting light and shadow? You can catch the replay recording right here.

Watch when it fits your schedule! 

The recording will be available through Nov. 8th.

The ART+WORK+LIVING Community Membership Holiday Sales & Promotions Challenge

The ART+WORK+LIVING Community Membership Holiday Sales & Promotions Challenge

The holidays are almost upon us!

This is the perfect time of year to take the first steps or next steps in creating a holiday sales promotion. (Note: I’m talking about holiday sales, not discounting your work.) Sooooooo…this month’s focus in the ART+WORK+LIVING Membership is a Holiday Sales & Promotions Challenge. 

Haven’t sold anything yet? Not to worry. Now’s one of the best times of year to get started. AND We’re going to keep this challenge simple and doable.

Your holiday promotion could be a special group of paintings, a calendar, a reproduction or poster, or notecards.

No website? Again, no worries. You can complete the challenge with just an Instagram account or a Facebook business page, even with just a box of envelopes and book of stamps! No fancy tech here.

This Holiday Sales & Promotions Challenge will last through Black Friday so that we have plenty of time to prepare without getting stressed out. It is not meant to overwhelm you or add more to your to-do list. The idea is to make creating a holiday promotion easy to get started with!

About the Challenge

Every Tuesday I’m posting that week’s worth of challenge “action items”.

Each action item includes clear and easy-to-complete tasks to help make your promotion successful. Since we’re starting with plenty of time, each week’s tasks should only take an hour or two.

I’m encouraging you to post updates throughout the challenge and keep the rest of us posted on your progress since accountability is one of the best ways to make sure something gets done.

What’s Your First Step Now?
Join us over in the ART+WORK+LIVING Community Membership and dive on into The Holiday Sales & Promotions Challenge. Then share your holiday sales goal in the membership!

I am super excited about this month’s challenge, and I want you to be too! Sharing your goal and cheering each other on is a great way to get excited, and motivated.

Holiday Sales & Promotions Challenge Trainings

“Brainstorm Your Holiday Promotion” is the first training (live) on October 9th (yes, we’ll have several) and will help you look at the options for marketing art and art products during the holiday season. We’ll walk through the steps to decide on your holiday offer, come up with goals for the project, and the audience you want to reach. Here’s the replay recording and Week #1 Action Items.

In our second training video, “Plan Your Holiday Offer For Success”, available on October 16th, we’ll make a simple marketing plan with dates laid out on a calendar. You can promote your holiday campaign via email, blogs, or social media – or even all of the above. Be creative!

On October 30th we’ll dive into “Writing Your Emails or Social Media Posts for Your Holiday Promotion”. We’ll create all of the posts/emails to use to promote your sale using templates to get ourselves started.

“Create Beautiful Sales Graphics” on November 5th will show you exactly how to make gorgeous images for your holiday promotion using my favorite free software. With pre-formatted templates this step is going to be super easy.

On November 13th “Launch Your Holiday Promotion!” will cover the final checklist for your holiday promotion and three FREE ways you can really turn the volume up.

Are you ready to get started? Join us in the ART+WORK+LIVING Community Membership and let’s get started!

How to Set Yourself Up for Success in Daily Painting

If you ever loved coloring with crayons, then you have a VERY powerful creative force available to you. The question is, are you using it? I’m going to tell you what it is and how to leverage it in this episode.

We’re kicking off the The ART+WORK+LIVING 5 Day Painting Challenge on Monday, September 17th, and I’m really looking forward to it! The Challenge is a great way to become more productive, loosen up, and get into the flow of painting.

If you haven’t signed up yet, just click here to get your Challenge Guide and register for the email prompts.

How to Mix Whites for Clouds

How to Mix Whites for Clouds

Fall Storm Bands

“Fall Storm Bands”, 4 x 6″, oils, © Mary Bentz Gilkerson


I’ve been answering a question a day on social media this week and the question that I picked today was “How to mix whites for clouds?”

It’s such a great question and one that all of us think we know the answer to right away cause clouds are white, right!?!

Not so fast there! Clouds are actually almost never pure white. They’re almost always catching a little light or in a slight shadow. So you have to mix several light ALMOST whites to capture more of what we actually see instead of what we think we see.

In the video below, I walk you through some of my favorite tube whites, and then show you how to mix those warm and cool whites.