Restrictions: A Key to Artful Living


The above painting was made last Friday at the Ciener Botanical Gardensher in my town. I decided to place a restriction on myself and only use oil pastel and watercolor. It can be a lot of fun imposing a limit on your creative utensils. It works like a guide or a path marked out for you, narrowing the scope of what you have to work with, so you can really focus on making the most of what you have right then.

I’m rediscovering that this is also true for living an Artful Life in general. So many times, I find myself bewailing all the restrictions in my life that keep me from being as creative as I’d like to be. Maybe you have things that feel restrictive too, like a job, or family, or domestic shoulds, or volunteer work, or health issues. So many things, both which I have chosen in life and things which I have not, can feel stifling and confining to our creative dreams. There are times we just don’t feel like we’re moving forward in any way creatively due to these constraints.

What we lack is a way of viewing these restrictions as guidelines.  Like I said in the first paragraph, we need to see each restriction as “a guide or a path marked out for you, narrowing the scope of what you have to work with, so you can really focus on making the most of what you have right then.” A fellow online-artist posted this youtube of Phil Hansen who did just that: embraced what was limiting him and in so doing, found a wealth of creativity he never knew he was capable of. Be sure to watch this amazing video…you’ll love it!

My hope for us all today is to Live Artfully by embracing the places we feel constrained, and then be the artists we are guided to be!

May we Seize the Day our Limitations!! 🙂 -Phil Hansen

0 thoughts on “Restrictions: A Key to Artful Living

  1. everydayartgallery says:

    Oh the many shakes I have! Love this twist in perspective. It’s one of the very things I most appreciate in your approach to living an artful life. Like many teachers…you’ll likely never know (on earth) the tremendous impact you have on others.

    Cheers & blessings, Teresa

    Sent from my iPad

  2. Ann says:

    Thanks for the link – that video is excellent! I can see the same attitude extending beyond just making art and into every aspect of our lives, with an intent towards “making the most of what we have” right now. I love your vibrant and cheerful painting! We do need to capture those blooms before winter visits 🙂

  3. Timaree says:

    Great video! I like your picture a lot. It is so bright and cheerful bet better, you have captured the feel of lots and lots of flowers. Now hopefully I can figure out how to capture the link myself to share with my granddaughter who is taking her first art class which happens to be a college class.

  4. Steve Anderson says:

    Just happened on to your site from Everyday Matters and I must say, your photo of yourself holding your Red Door painting is the best pick-me-up I’ve had in a while. You’re obviously very happy and are a model for the rest of us to try and emulate in terms of a smile-a-day!! And… I love your happy artwork.

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