I like to add inspiring quotes to my monthly art newsletters. I’ve been a collector of sayings and quotes for quite a while. I’ve filled up a bunch of empty books. (You can read about my empty books here>)

My search for a great quote led me to one by Antoine de Saint-Exupery from one of my favorite books, “The Little Prince.”

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret; it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This got me thinking about the Secret of Life. Or rather,  what are the principles I live by? And this led me to thinking about what is the Secret to Life as an artist.

At that point, about a million questions ran through my mind. How did I get here? Where am I going? What principles have I adhered to? What do I stand for, stand by, or stand with regarding my art?

So I decided I’d do a series of blog posts about this and I’ll call it the Secret to Life as an Artist series.

My birthday is coming up next month and birthdays tend to nudge me into looking at my past and looking ahead to where I want to be and this always brings up questions.

One finds after living 53 years that some things work and some things don’t. So this series will be about those things that have worked for me, a little about what hasn’t and I’ll tie it into my creative journey as an artist.

So, back to the saying, what is essential is invisible to the eye.

For me, that would be intuition. To me, painting from intuition leads to a more soulful painting. I like to think I tap into my intuition when I paint.

And this is how I do it.  When I first start a painting, I just put paint down randomly. I don’t think too hard about it. I have fun with it and play with color and pattern.

how to start a painting

I use some textured cloth to stamp into it. I start layering cool colors onto warm colors.

My other essential item is Trust. Trust in the process. Trust that this swirling mixture of color is going to turn into a finished painting!

It takes a tremendous amount of Faith as it goes through the changing chaos of line and color, texture and pattern!

changes in a painting


Faith that images will appear and lead me down a path. This particular painting is a commission piece and it began to turn into a tropical garden.

tropical garden painting in process


So the principles I follow are intuition, trust in the process and have faith that things will work out exactly the way they are meant to work out.

Rumi's Tropical Garden painting


And so they do.

tropical garden painting

Rumi’s Tropical Garden, 12″x12″, acrylic on paper, sold

What are some of your essential items?