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A New Change in Direction

by M.Theresa Brown

A new change of direction at Art Career Experts!  (one of those intelligent discourses from Theresa)

Recently I realized that there were not enough hours in the day!  Well actually, that is not a new thought. Working with the challenges of creating one's art for a living ...hmmmm, let's see, that would be: creating it, tweaking it, delivering it, meeting clients, emails, phone calls, matting, framing, shipping, paying bills, buying groceries, feeding dogs, ponies, goats, vet trips, running several art related businesses and their websites and blogs and newsletters, enjoy family and friends......huh, what, it's almost Christmas?  Flash to me running around in a little circle figuring out which door to go through....:-) But hey, that IS the real artist's life right? :-) 

Which of course brings me to the main point of this conversation! If I wanted to keep a timely number of ACE articles out there for our many world wide readers to enjoy, then I needed help to add additional voices to our ACE newsletters! YOUR voice! Not only does that mean more newsletters for you to delight in (lol) but seriously, new stories from artists just like you, struggling to find their place in this crazy world. Stories of moments or events, people or places that inspire, help, and somehow  define your artistic life. 

So with that being said,  after I put out a call on our yahoo group, The Artists Paycheck, one of our members, Marina Petro, replied with a reminder of what she had on her website. She includes a bit of a discussion that she and I had earlier this year which had her re-thinking her artistic direction. Let me hasten to add that it is often hard to see the forest for the trees....the abilty to change directions is within reach of every artist. It does not matter WHAT initiates your change or desire to change-circumstances, money, frustration, a new product, new location, divorse, marriage, happiness....the point is, a new direction can be as simple as  looking around you and seeing what your clients want!  And that can be as simple as taking years of skill, techniques, talent and hard work and switching or adding subject matter! Here is Marina's story:

Equine Portraits with an intuitive touch…by Marina Petro

Just about the last thing I thought I'd be painting were horses!
But then again, the last thing I thought I'd be doing as a profession is intuitive/psychic consulting. Thirty five years ago when a psychic reader told me I would discover a highly developed psychic/intuitive ability and offer consultations professionally, I suggested she was out of her mind! I couldn't even conceive of it! She was correct though. I've been working as an intuitive consultant now for the past thirty-three years with a clientele all over the world...who would have thought???

Back in February of this year, M.Theresa Brown, an artist from North Carolina, founder of Art Career Experts and one who's opinion I hold in high regard, suggested I paint horses when she discovered I live in Saratoga Springs, NY. It was a 'duh' experience for me. She challenged me to think 'out of the box' and to jump 'out of the box' and I took the challenge. Initially, it was overwhelming and intimidating, because I already paint in four different styles, covering a wide range of subject matter. To add one more thing to the equation was almost too much for me to handle....and horses are really difficult to paint. However, it truly felt like she was a messenger and I took the challenge.

So here I am again, extending the boundaries of my artwork to express and embrace the spirit of my first love, horses, with oil paint on canvas. As a child, I grew up in Astoria, NY. The only horses I got to ride were carousel horses when the carnival arrived and set up on the empty lot down the street.

I labored, with great resistance, with the first and second paintings. I would stand by my studio door just looking at the tiny progress I made with the first feeble attempts and walk away…day after day after day. After I completed the first two paintings, my resistance minimized a bit, primarily because the first painting sold almost immediately and the response from people who saw them was astounding. I'd never received the amount of encouraging feedback on anything I'd ever painted before. The consistent comment has been 'You capture their spirit.' 'It's what you were born to paint.' and 'I've never seen paintings of horses like these anywhere.'

I've decided to offer commissioned Equine Portraits, with a special intuitive touch….The horses are painted true to life, and the backgrounds are painted with what I feel intuitively corresponds to the horses' spirit and how they want to be represented.

I encourage you, no matter what your profession or current interest, to stay open and take action on new creative ideas that are presented to you. Fight your resistance and insecurities and just begin...and continue...and persist. I believe that the purpose of life is to discover and express all of the gifts that are contained within us. It is the way of unfolding evolution and life.

See Marina's work and visit her site at


So,  to our Working Artists everywhere: If you have a story to share that is positive, upbeat, funny, encouraging or inspirational, send it to us to see if we can include it in our newsletters!  Our desire and focus has always been to give you REAL information on selling and marketing your art. No theory, no vague generalities, nothing that we have not tried ourselves! So that would be what we would want from you! SO many new opportunities are NOT planned. They often come by accident, brainstorming, an "AH HA" moment...but when they come, they change how we, as artists, see our careers!
Until next time!