Art Adds Sizzle to Any Decor

  • by Aleta Pippin
  • February 9th, 2017
Reaching the High Note #2 by Santa Fe artist, Aleta Pippin

Reaching the High Note #2 by Aleta Pippin. Collection of Judith and Alan Manzler.

(By Aleta Pippin, first published in 2002) You’ve just looked around your home and realize there’s something missing, something that has the power to make your décor pop. We’re talking about art. The right pieces will literally move your décor from “okay” to fantastic. So, how do you begin? Where do you look for the “right” pieces? And just exactly what are the “right” pieces anyway?

If you’re like many people, purchasing art can prove a bit overwhelming. Here are some tips to guide you, as you search out that perfect piece(s) of art, the one that will give your home that “drop dead” gorgeous look.

First, there are a few myths that need to be debunked.

Myth 1: Art should match your sofa.

Carried by the Wind by Santa Fe artist, Aleta Pippin

Carried by the Wind – Santa Fe artist, Aleta Pippin.

Great art looks good anywhere. It doesn’t have to match your sofa. Of course if you’re getting ready to purchase a piece to be placed in a certain area, you may want to consider the color and find a piece that enhances it. However, don’t make your purchasing decision based solely on such strict criteria. Remember, if you do purchase an original piece of art, it will stay with you long after the sofa has changed, the walls have been repainted, and you’ve even relocated two or three times.

Myth 2: Original art is a good investment.

It seems to be a common line in many galleries, to tell potential buyers that purchasing an original piece from an up and coming artist is a great investment. They’ll tell you that the artist’s prices have risen steadily over the years or that the artist is just on the brink of making it big. All of that may be true. However, unless you know people who are interested in purchasing art, you will not be able to resell your investment piece and make a profit. The only people who really make a killing in the art market are those who purchased Picasso 50 years ago.

The best reason to purchase an original piece is because you love it. I have several original pieces from other artists in my home, which were purchased because I loved them. (And yes, they are up and coming artists whose prices have risen steadily over time.)

To say that you should love a piece is not an understatement. Art should evoke an emotional response. That response may be from the color, composition, or even something intangible like reminding you of a poignant happening in your life.

Myth 3: My child could have painted that abstract piece.

Color Fall by Santa Fe artist, Aleta Pippin

Color Fall by Aleta Pippin, abstract painter

Yes, children paint wonderful pieces, but to suggest that a child can consistently produce some of the beautiful abstract work that is in the market is dismissing artists’ creativity too quickly. Actually, most abstract artists learn to draw and to paint representational work before they evolved to abstract work. All good art conforms to guidelines of line, shape, form, atmosphere, design, and rhythm. Each artist finds their voice, much the same as a writer, and that voice may express in paint, sculpture, stained glass and on and on. And in each of those categories, there is a myriad of expressions limited only by the artist’s imagination.

You’re Ready To Purchase

Before you go shopping, stop and consider a couple of things – Do you want to purchase an original piece of art or a retail piece and how much money are you willing to spend?

Originals vs. Reproductions

There is one thing that drives many artists crazy…reproductions made to look like originals. There are plenty out there. They’re those “paintings” you find in department stores, flea markets, even retail outlets in the malls. Of course, these paintings are fairly inexpensive in the $75-$400 price range. Just don’t mistake them for original pieces. A good rule of thumb is that you should be able to see the “hand of the artist” in an original piece.

Giclees have been extremely popular. A giclee is a computerized reproduction of an original piece that is usually “printed” on canvas. Some artists, or their employees, paint into this reproduction, giving it the texture and look of an original piece. Usually these pieces are numbered in the lower corner, like any reproduction, so there’s no question in the buyer’s mind.

Giclees are good buys if you’d like to have a piece that looks like an original, at a lower cost. It’s also a way of collecting the work of an artist you like, but an original is out of your chosen price range. (Not all artists agree with mass production and will not produce giclees.)

However, nothing matches the beauty of an original piece of art. If you’ve decided to go that route and have designated the amount of money you’re willing to invest, you can probably find a piece. It may take a little doing but it will be worth it. Visit the Internet. Check out the local galleries. Talk to friends who have artwork you admire.

Momentum by Aleta Pippin

Aleta Pippin’s Momentum (right) hanging with a Rick Stevens painting in a Houston collector’s home.

What to look for in art?

Are you looking for a certain color, a certain pattern or even a certain size? If you’re purchasing an original, you should love it. If you’re purchasing art purely to finish the décor in your home, then you’ll want to find pieces that enhance the décor. There are several retail outlets that sell reproductions and prints, many already framed – Target, Hobby Lobby, just to name a few.

Why not spend a day looking at the various options. Check out local galleries, as well as the retail outlets. You may decide to purchase an original after you see all of the wonderful art that is available. And don’t forget the outdoor Art Festivals; these are a wonderful way to connect with an artist and to purchase an original piece.

If you choose to purchase an original, do a background check. Ask about the artist’s career, sales history, and make an intuitive assessment of the integrity of the person trying to sell the piece to you. Personally, I think original work truly adds to the quality of any environment.

Have fun with this. Take your time. The right piece will show itself. And it’s worth finding it, because art will add sizzle to your décor.

Back to the Future: The Art of Exploration

  • by Aleta Pippin
  • September 23rd, 2015

Painter and Pippin Contemporary founder Aleta Pippin Portfolio has followed an artistic journey of continuous exploration

Aleta Pippin in her Santa Fe studio

Aleta Pippin in her studio

through various media, styles, and color palettes. From luminescent oil paintings to acrylic abstract landscapes, from poured paintings to LED lit panels, Pippin’s constant experimentation keeps her work fresh and exciting to viewers and collectors. For this show however, Pippin is revisiting her original passion for creating vibrant, abstract oil paintings, and plans to bring that energy and emotional resonance into her future artistic endeavors.

Back to the Future: The Art of Exploration opens September 23rd at Pippin Contemporary with an artist

reception on Friday, September 25th from 5-7pm. Vivid blues, glowing yellows, and joyful pinks fill the gallery with light and evoke a feeling of happiness from the viewer. Some paintings take on a more spiritual and thought-provoking theme, while others, such as Caribbean Play, are simply about Pippin’s use of color and the emotions each tone can trigger.


Aleta Pippin's show at Pippin Contemporary, Santa Fe, NM

Caribbean Play (left) and Magical Mystery Tour by Aleta Pippin at Pippin Contemporary

Bloom Where You're Planted by Aleta Pippin, Abstract Painter

Bloom Where You’re Planted by Aleta Pippin, oil/panel, 16x16x2.5″

“The reason I continue to pursue color and light in my work is because I believe it has a positive impact on people,” explains Pippin. “My goal is to create art that when people look at it, it joyfully inspires them.”

Pieces like Reaching Deeper, Garden’s Gate, and Bloom Where You’re Planted still burst with color, but the titles allow for a deeper perspective. According to Pippin, these paintings are about connecting with your inner self and looking past the obvious.

Bloom Where You’re Planted is all about being present where you are in life,” explains Pippin. “People are always saying, when I do this or when I get that – then I’ll be happy. But all those things are outside of ourselves. All of us can make the best of where we are at any given moment.”     

Garden’s Gate takes on a similar theme of looking beneath the obvious. It was inspired by the story of The Secret Garden, a book Pippin loved as a child and continues to read often as an adult.

Garden's Gate by Santa Fe abstract painter, Aleta Pippin

Garden’s Gate by Aleta Pippin, oil/canvas, 40x40x2.5″

Once Again by Santa Fe abstract painter, Aleta Pippin

Once Again, oil/panel, 16x16x2.5″

“I think the first time I read The Secret Garden may have been in the fourth grade. I loved it then. On the surface, it’s a “feel-good” story. However after reading it several times as an adult, I’ve discovered many nuggets that can be applied to real life challenges.”

Pippin is constantly making new discoveries through her art that lead to exciting career opportunities as well as deeper self-exploration. With painting as her third career, the journey is never ending as new passions are pursued. Once Again is a small panel bursting with energy that speaks to this theme.

“You always have new opportunities to show yourself. For me, being an artist is a life journey as well as an interior journey.”

History Is Written by the Collector

  • by Aleta Pippin
  • May 5th, 2015

Peggy Guggenheim and Jackson Pollock in front of Mural, 1943, first floor entrance hall, 155 East 61st Street, New York, c. 1946 (Photo: George Karger © 2013 Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

“The collector is an artist in his own way, by the way he puts things together. You can read a person’s soul from their collection.”
-Ayers Tarantino, Art and Antiques

(Article by Kelly Skeen, Marketing – Pippin Contemporary) Why collect? Collecting art is more than just buying pretty objects. As an art collector, you are an arts supporter, a part of art history, and are able to tell a story through unique acquisitions that reflect your tastes, ideas, and experiences. Whether you follow a single artist’s career, a specific genre, or have an eclectic range of work, art collecting is not something seasoned buyers of the art world take lightly. The pieces you acquire reflect your personality and distinguish your style. Collecting art becomes more than a hobby of buying beautiful things – it becomes a treasure hunt, a philosophical pursuit, an unyielding passion.

“I collect these objects to learn from them. In some moment these things are going to teach me something. For me, this is like a library. These are my books.”
-Joes Bedia in ARTNews

As an art collector, not only are you culturally fulfilling your own world, you are making a difference in the life of an artist by becoming an instrumental part of their career. Throughout history, collectors have shaped the art world in subtle and overt ways. Modern art collector Peggy Guggenheim was influential in the career of early American expressionists Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Robert Motherwell as the first to publicly exhibit their work in her gallery. Gertrude Stein’s early support of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse through passionate acquisition and advocacy led them to become household names and arguably the most famous artists of the 20th century. Van Gogh, with no one to appreciate his swirling brushstrokes and vivid color, lived a life unknown; it wasn’t until the last year of his life and after his death that his work received the fame it deserved after finding it’s way into public and private collections.

“You can either buy clothes, or buy pictures.”
Gertrude Stein

Today, collecting art is seen by some as a luxury, others as a necessity. During times of economic downturn, the art market saw an all-time low, however, 2014 topped the charts as the highest year in history for art sales (read the article here). This is in part due to new trends in the art world such as fairs, as well as Internet sales through sites such as Artsy and Artnet, that are broadening public engagement and attracting younger buyers. The top three art markets in the country remain as New York, Los Angeles, and our home city of Santa Fe. With 200 galleries in two square miles, Santa Fe is the most concentrated market – and the most historic. At over 400 years old, Canyon Road boasts over 100 galleries in its half-mile stretch. At Pippin Contemporary, we welcome tourists, art collectors, and art enthusiasts at the base of this iconic street.

“Santa Fe’s unique art scene can be compared to the cultural experience of an art fair, but with year-round accessibility. The density of diverse and high quality art in Santa Fe is unlike any other in the country, maybe even the world.”
-Aleta Pippin, Gallery Owner

Collectors continue to be highly influential in the always-changing art world. In Santa Fe, you as the collector keep galleries in business and contribute to the family-like feel of our close-knit art community. You give artists the opportunity to thrive through a creative career as they share their inner emotions and expressions through their work, and in turn create a portal where you see your own spiritual sentiments reflected.

“We collectors know that art communicates with us on different levels. Language and culture are no barriers.”
-Barbara Trapp, Art and Antiques

Having a Down Day? Try This.

  • by Aleta Pippin
  • March 28th, 2015

Most afternoons find me hard at work (or not) at my studio. Those days when I’m in flow and working without a concern for the outcome of my painting are the best. And usually, the paintings turn out better than I anticipate. All of you know that doesn’t happen consistently, in your work or in your life.

Lately I’ve taken to listening to and its many offerings. It’s an opportunity to educate oneself. In my case I’ve used it to learn about other artists, past and present, the abstract movement, and the business of art. There are so many uplifting stories to be discovered as one video leads to another of the same or similar topic.

Recently I came across Vishen Lakhiani, liked the title of his talk, so listened. I preface this by saying I have been enjoying and learning from Esther Hicks, Jerry Hicks (deceased) and Abraham since 1991. Abraham’s message spoke to me on so many levels, it was the culmination of my spiritual progress and answered so many questions – and continues today.

Vishen’s message contained the same spirit. I enjoyed listening and discovered more talks from a conference called Awesomeness Fest. One of the speakers, Sean Stephenson, has been particularly entertaining. He is physically challenged, but doesn’t seem to have let that get in the way of becoming someone who moves an audience, asking them to discover more about themselves and to commit more of themselves.

So – back to the title of this blog – “Having a Down Day? Try This”. Here’s a video Sean Stephenson did in 2010. I promise you will enjoy it and it will uplift your spirits.

We know there’s a lot of introspection going on in one’s studio and I’ve found the videos to be excellent in my ongoing drive to grow artistically and personally.

P.S. Joseph Campbell said, “Follow your bliss.” Abraham shows you where you left your compass.

Gerhard Richter’s Painting “Abstraktes Bild” Sells for Record $46.3M

  • by Aleta Pippin
  • February 16th, 2015

How Richter Influenced Me

Gerhard Richter’s painting Abstraktes Bild sold for $46.3 million, at the February 10, 2015 Sotheby’s Auction, well above the estimate of $21.4 – $30.57 million, marking a benchmark for any living European artist. Here’s a picture of this amazing 10 foot tall painting. If you were standing in front of it, you’d be inspired to walk into it’s 3-dimensional feeling and examine the beautiful color in detail.

Gerhard Richter's Abstraktes Bild

This amazingly beautiful painting by Gerhard Richter set a new record for the sale of his work at auction, selling for $46.3 million at Sotheby’s on February 10, 2015.

I’ve been following Richter’s work for the last nine or more years and when the documentary, Gerhard Richter Painting by Corinna Belz came to Santa Fe, I was eager to see it. (It’s now available on if you’re interested. Belz has access to Richter’s studio in the spring and summer of 2009 while he works on a series of large abstract paintings.)

After seeing the documentary, I immediately had four large “squeegees” constructed. (If you watch the documentary, you’ll see that the term squeegee isn’t at all what he uses, nor does the word truly reflect the difficulty working in this manner.) Excitedly, I began to use these new tools only to discover how much paint was required. In the documentary Richter scoops paint out of large buckets. Since he uses high quality oil, each painting probably has several thousand dollars of paint applied and scrapped off. After painting a couple small paintings, I decided the process was truly his and not one that I would incorporate into mine; a subject for another blog post someday.

Here are two of my paintings done using a similar process to Richter’s.


What's This Journey About by Aleta Pippin

What’s This Journey About Anyway?! by Aleta Pippin 20×54 inches. Collection – Alan and Judith Manzler


Dancing through the Seasons by Aleta Pippin

Tribute to Gerhard Richter…Dancing through the Seasons by Aleta Pippin, oil, 48×40 inches, available at Pippin Contemporary – Collection Jennifer Hawthorne

As you can see – I was still very much enjoying those primary colors!

What I like about Richter’s process is the setting up of serendipitous events. That’s what I love about painting. Through these events the artist has the ability to be lead to more, what some call “happy accidents.” When I first started painting, I tried to control everything, usually over-thinking what I was doing and probably not enjoying the process. Painting is a mystery in many ways, particularly abstract painting. You’re essentially creating or looking for a world that exists a little outside of you, just on the periphery of your consciousness. Then through the process of painting, it appears.

In an earlier interview of Richter at the Atelier Dusseldorf in 1968, shown in Belz’s documentary, he commented –

“You can only express in words what words are capable of expressing, what language can communicate. Painting has nothing to do with that. That includes the typical questions ‘what were you thinking of?’ You can’t think of anything; painting is another form of thinking. What interests me in general, and this also applies to painting, are things I don’t understand. It’s like that with every picture; I don’t like the ones I understand.”

I’d recently heard a similar comment from another amazing artist, Brian Rutenberg, who said he’s not thinking when he’s applying the paint, it’s the assessment before and after. He also commented on the mystery of oil paint and that he would be learning about it all of his life. This comment excited me as he’s been painting over 30 years and still feels that he has more to learn.

These concepts are important and ideas I grapple with in my studio considering my own work. What I came away with watching the documentary for the 3rd time is that artists are very similar. So to all of us artists, we’re not alone when we feel like a painting is shit while it’s being painted, yet once completed, we’re awed by it and wonder how it could be so beautiful; realizing that during the process we accessed an unspoken consciousness beyond our ability to grasp.

The Journey Begins…Becoming an Abstract Painter

  • by Aleta Pippin
  • January 30th, 2015

It’s January 2015 and seems like a good time to look back at the journey of becoming an abstract painter. 

Being a painter is my third career and not one that I planned. When my husband and I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1991 from Houston away from my business (sold in 2008), I experienced a gap in my daily routine. In Houston, I basically lived out of my Daytimer, now I was in a new home, no friends, and no routine – adrift.

Then an announcement for a painting class with Roberta Harris, who had also moved to Santa Fe from Houston, dropped into my world. That was the beginning.

The idea of painting took me back to the early 70s when my mother gave me a painting kit for Christmas. The paintings I did were colorful but it didn’t inspire me to keep going. As a child, I drew all of the time and that carried through high school. However, my family didn’t go to galleries or museums, so my cultural background was limited. The idea of becoming an artist was foreign.

Pastel by Aleta Pippin painted in 1994

Pastel painted during a workshop with Harley Brown at the Scottsdale Artist School in 1994.

After the class with Roberta, I attended other classes with local artists, ultimately coming to a crossroads where I felt the need to paint in a more abstracted style, but didn’t have a clue how to get started. That’s when Alex Shundi, an artist with a BFA and MFA from Yale, came into my life. He was attempting to start a Masters program in Santa Fe. And did I mention that he’s Italian?

I signed up for a six week class and on the first day, brought my bucolic paintings to him laying them out on a table. I was nervous and intimidated watching him and wondering what he was thinking as he sat looking at the paintings. Finally, he turned and looked up at me and in his Italian accent asked, “Why are you painting these?” My response – “I want to paint but don’t know what.”

My Journey Began – I’d been painting portraiture mostly, so Alex showed me how to begin abstracting the forms. The paintings eventually evolved to surreal plant-like forms, portals into other worlds, etc. I continued painting for three years, exploring the forms until another opportunity came into my life. I took a four year hiatus from painting.

Sky City by Aleta Pippin painted in 1995

Sky City by Aleta Pippin, painted in 1995, inspired by Alex Shundi, mentor.

In 2000, I began painting again wanting to improve technique and to find my voice. In 2004, I was accepted into the Santa Fe Society of Artists, participating in their outdoor art shows from the end of April to mid-October in downtown Santa Fe. This venue was wonderful, providing an opportunity to receive valuable feedback from viewers – whether the work I was doing was marketable. (Yes, I also love to sell my paintings.)

Butterfly Wings painted by Aleta Pippin

Butterfly Wings painted in 2004 during my flow painting series.

That’s where I met Barbara Meikle (Barbara Meikle Fine Art), an outstanding impressionist painter. In 2006 we opened our gallery, Pippin Meikle Fine Art on Delgado just off Canyon Road. In 2011, I opened Pippin Contemporary at the foot of Canyon Road, committed to showing abstract work by just a few outstanding artists. That vision materialized during the last year.

I’m looking forward to 2015 and the continual fine-tuning of my paintings.

Yours in art,

P.S. During all of this time I’ve been experimenting with various media including LED lighting. In 2015 I returned to painting in oils and re-discovered my passion for the process of painting.

Carried by the Wind by Aleta Pippin

Carried by the Wind – Aleta Pippin. Recently completed this oil, 60×36 inches (collection Karen Lytle).

When I first began my painting journey, poems would pop in and I’d quickly capture them. This one has special meaning for me.

The eyes that see the inner me; I’m searching to clear that vision.
Following the path, my paintbrush leads the way into the recesses of my soul
to that deeper place of being; finding my infinity and expressing my essence.
Touching others – I lay my feelings on the canvas.
I am true to my own being. It is through this truth that I learn to live.

Spontaneous Discoveries in Color – a Peek Inside Pippin’s Studio

  • by Aleta Pippin
  • December 15th, 2014

(by Kelly Skeen) When walking around the bright and airy studio where Aleta Pippin creates her lively abstract paintings, she often stops mid-sentence to notice a spot of vibrant red, subtle blue or energetic yellow on one of her canvases.

“I just love the color in that piece,” she suddenly interjects.

Aleta Pippin's studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico

My studio in Santa Fe, NM

It’s not hard to detect that Pippin is a colorist; she’s quick to tell you how much she loves color and this fascination is easily apparent in her work. While her artistic process is spontaneous and her work created without premeditation, she does notice continuous changes in her style, technique, and, of course, use of color. She thrives on artistic experimentation, which keeps her work fresh and exciting to collectors and to her as a creator. However, she also periodically spends time re-evaluating where she’s been and how her career is artistically progressing, while also still maintaining a consistent style that is true to her body of work.

Aleta Pippin's studio in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Pippin’s studio, another view. Notice the painting on the easel.


Energy Abounds by Santa Fe abstract artist, Aleta Pippin

This is the finished piece – Energy Abounds, oil, 48×48″.

“This time of year, I start to assess what I’m doing and why I’m doing it,” explains Pippin. “I ask myself if I’m going in a direction I want to continue.”

In the past several years, Pippin has been subconsciously directed towards a “softer” color palette as she calls it, shifting away from the saturated primary colors that typically permeated her canvases. While she still uses bold red, yellow and blue hues, she has started mixing softer, muted colors on the canvas that give her work a more complex feel.

Circle of Life by Aleta Pippin

Circle of Life by Aleta Pippin

“Besides being experimental, what I offer is color,” says Pippin. “That’s always the feedback I get from collectors and people who view my work – that they love the color. So that’s where I am right now, I’m working in more color blends than staying with primaries.”

Since Pippin allows her present emotions to dictate her paint, she can’t pinpoint the exact moment when shifts in her work began to happen. She guessed the color palette altered when she started working on smaller panels in acrylic, but can’t assign the beginning of the transition to any single piece or moment of revelation.

“I’ve created anywhere from 850 to 900 (from 2004 through 2014) paintings at this point in time,” says Pippin. “When and why do they start changing? It’s interesting even to me.”

Inspiring ideas, subconscious artistic decisions, and quick movements of color on canvas – it all happens in Pippin’s sacred studio space. The Santa Fe artist creates an energy with her work that she can feel while she paints, the same energy that her collectors take with them when they buy one of her paintings.

“I can always feel a shift when I come into the studio. I don’t know what it is, but there are positive things happening here and it feels good.”

P.S. – “A great artist… must be shaken by the naked truths that will not be comforted. This divine discontent, this disequilibrium, this state of inner tension is the source of artistic energy.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Aleta Pippin

  • by Aleta Pippin
  • June 8th, 2014

“My paintings are an emotional expression of my life journey.”

“You’re painting the canvas called Your Life. How do you want it to look?”

“Joy spreads. Pass it on.”

“You see with your heart.”

“One person’s vision, well imagined, has the power to change the world.”

“Eat only love, the food of champions.”

“Change your thinking, change your but.”

“Clarity and focus – the winner’s edge.”

“Our perceptions are our boxes. Breakthrough thinking bursts our perceptions and, thus, our boxes.”

“Take the inner voyage to your answers, change, and infinite possibilities.”

“Your power lies within.”

“Until you know who you are; how can you know what you can become.”

“Yes, I’ve made bad decisions. What did I learn? That you don’t know it’s a bad decision until after you’ve made it. Lighten up!!”

“I am a finite expression of the infinite creator and, as such, I have the same powers. Therefore, I am able to create to the extent of my belief in that greatness or power.”

“Most of us create by first observing what’s around us, sifting through the data, and choosing the best option, or pushing against what we’ve observed and don’t want in our lives. When we create using the universe as our partner, we choose what we want, we visualize it until that vision feels as real as what we’re living, then we open ourselves to receive the manifestation.”

“Your thoughts and feelings attract your manifestation. What you are currently manifesting is a direct measure of your thoughts and feelings.”

“You can fly!! Don’t let stuff hold you down!”

“Have you noticed we keep making more laws and the only people who break them are the ones who are going to do it anyway. The legal system cannot protect us from our own fear and prejudice.”

“Think outside the box. Live outside the box. Do you know what your box looks like? Otherwise…how can you think outside the box…Or live outside the box?”

“The Universe is unlimited abundance; each of us is a funnel receiving that abundance but we usually have the hole clogged with negative thinking.”

“Your intuition…don’t leave home without it.”

“Dreams are made of stardust. They require a little bit more help to accomplish than we can muster on our own.”

“Your perceptions create your reality. And, your perceptions have nothing to do with ‘reality’.”

“Create your life…not just a business.”

“Imagination causes you to offer a vibration. Observation causes you to offer a vibration. Both provide a manifestation.”

“When you purposefully flow your energy, you are creating your life. You are a visionary, not a reactionary.”

“You have greatness inside of you. But how will you ever know until you spend some time there?”

“People, places, and events come into our lives through a well-orchestrated dance.”

“Challenges force us to question our paradigm. We grow when we’re challenged, so why are we so resistant to being challenged?”

“Resistance is like having your foot caught in the spokes of a bicycle wheel. Not only does it slow you down, but it also HURTS!”

“Your fiercest competitor is your self image.”

“When you don’t go after your dream, you don’t have to face the possibility that you will never achieve it.”

“Choice – your greatest power.”

“If you’re not failing once in awhile, you’re not doing anything.”

“Focused means becoming the focal point through which the creative energy flows.”


Finding Your Voice by Robert Genn

  • by Aleta Pippin
  • October 19th, 2010
Robert Genn, May 15, 1936 - May 27, 2014 The Painters Keys

Robert Genn, May 15, 1936 – May 27, 2014
The Painters Keys

The following is from Robert Genn’s (with his permission) bi-weekly newsletter titled “The Painters Keys”. The following newsletter was triggered by an artist request about Robert’s thoughts for artists finding their “voice.” I related to this and thought you would also. (Since posting this blog, Robert died on May 27, 2014. His Painters Keys is still available, new posts written by his artist daughter, Sara. Check out the website and sign up for the free newsletter. The Painter’s Keys. You will also read Robert’s every other post, filled with knowledge, insight and amazing clarity. Thank you for sharing your insights, Robert; you will be missed!)

by Robert Genn, The Painters Keys
Finding your Voice, Posted July 23, 2010

Recently, Judith Meeks of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, wrote, “I’ll soon be chairing a panel discussion called “Finding Your Voice.’ In your understanding, how do we translate our life experiences into our paintings and express who we really are? We may have good work habits, but how do we become clear about what we want to say? And how much can be done with a conscious plan?”

Thanks, Judith. This is one of those sticky head-scratchers that can cause the loss of sleep. First off, and contrary to what I’ve said before, plans can actually derail the voice-finding process. Further, you have to know what you mean by “voice.” Voice in style is different than voice in cause. Ideally, style develops over time. Cause is based on attitude and issue. With growth and development, causes change. A predetermined voice shackles creativity. To find your very own voice, I think you need to have a few things going for you.

You need to make stuff. Artists who put in regular working hours find their voice. Work itself generates clarity and direction. It’s like invention – one thing leads to another. One must only lurk for voice. Unfortunately along the way, most drop the ball. Like the dilettante inventor of the soft drink “6-Up,” they just don’t stick around long enough.

You need hunger. It can be the hunger for knowledge or for self-knowledge. It can be the desire to find an antidote for some injustice or human miscalculation. Perhaps you meed some inexplicable, deep-seated compulsion to keep moving forward.

You need curiosity. Wondering how things will turn out is more powerful than having a pretty good idea beforehand. Wondering if you can do it gives you reason to try. Curiosity is the main juice of “ego-force” that keeps you keeping on.

You need joy. You need to feel joy in yourself and you need to feel you’re giving it to others. As Winston Churchill said, “You may do as you like, but you also have to like what you do.” A disliked job is soon abandoned.

I’m writing you from a remote anchorage off Grenville Channel on the West Coast of British Columbia. I’m thinking human nature is a mighty puzzle. Every time I go onto one of these islands looking for something to paint, I ask myself the old “What’s my voice?” question. One thing for sure, if I go ashore knowing what my voice is, it will be a weak squawk when I get to the spot.

PS: “Why this hunger to write–I always ask myself–if not the longing to discover what I believe? The pen divines my thoughts.” (David Conover in “One Man’s Island.”)

Esoterica: “What’s my voice?” has to be asked by each individual artist. Committee-free, the artist needs to develop her voice as if on an island. To be a voice is to be a different voice, set apart, unique. How to find it? Go to your island, put in long hours, fall in love with process–your voice will come out of your work.

Trying To Do Too Much

  • by Aleta Pippin
  • October 18th, 2009

Have you felt like you just have so much to do that you end up doing nothing – AND feeling guilty about it? Well, that’s how I’ve felt about my website, blog and newsletter. It dawned on me that there wasn’t any reason to do a newsletter and a blog, so I removed the newsletter page from my website. That was a relief!

Regarding the blog – that’s something that I decided to do, so why beat myself up if I only add comments once-in-awhile? Afterall, my main focus is being in my studio and creating art. Writing on my blog is secondary.

Speaking of creating artwork – my opening last August (2009) at Pippin Meikle Fine Art went well. I sold seven paintings, which I consider to be wonderful. Here are some of the new pieces that were immediately snatched up:

Dance with Me by Aleta Pippin

Dance with Me by Aleta Pippin


In the Company of Angels by abstract artist, Aleta Pippin

In the Company of Angels by Aleta Pippin


Everyone's Gone to the Moon by Aleta Pippin

Everyone’s Gone to the Moon

It must have been a “red” evening!

P.S. – If you’re feeling overloaded, stop and prioritize what needs to be accomplished. We do a lot of things we think have to be done, but in reality many of them are distractions, making us feel busy and productive while distracting us from the important tasks.