Artist | Teacher | Coach | Mentor

All Blogs

Weekly Blog on creativity and what it takes to be an artist by David Limrite (artist, teacher, mentor & coach)


Blog 7:29:18 Copyright David Limrite Artist Teacher Coach Mentor Come Up For Air.JPG

Me, in the studio, coming up for air. © 2018 David Limrite

“If anything works for me, I feel it is nothing I have made myself, but something which chance has been able to give me.”
Francis Bacon, Artist

Come Up For Air

I noticed something in a recent workshop that I taught. Most, if not all of the artists taking the class, when assigned a project, appeared to put blinders on and dive into their painting, without ever coming up for air.

It did not seem like these artists were particularly interested in what was happening on the surface of their canvas. They never stepped back to really look at was happening as they painted.

Now, while I loved the enthusiasm and determination of these artists, I was somewhat alarmed at their approach. It was as if they were all hoping that if they worked really hard and really fast, their pictures would somehow magically work and be good.

Does this sound like the way you work?

If it is, I am going to give you the same advice I gave them. Which is to “Come Up For Air” every once in awhile during the process of creating your painting.

My personal approach looks something like this:

I make a few marks and then I survey the scene. I asses the situation. That Is, I step back and look and see what those few marks did to the painting as a whole. And, when I do this, not only am I looking for what is and is not working, I am also looking for possibilities. New avenues, interesting developments, happy accidents and potential directions. Positive stuff. I then choose which of those I want to pursue next and make a few more marks. And, then I stop and take another look. I come up for air.

Working this way gets me into a nice rhythm, it keeps me focused on the positive, it makes me really aware of what is happening on the surface of my painting, it allows me to make better choices, and it contributes to the enjoyment of the process.

Want to experience art making like this?

All you gotta do is “Come Up For Air.






1010 Broad Street San Luis Obispo CA 93401  |  (805) 543-8562 

October 5 - December 2, 2018

I will be an artist-in-residence at the museum for the entire two month run of the show creating 10 new paintings from start to finish. Come watch me work, ask questions and follow my progress. Save the date and stay tuned for more details.

David LimriteComment