22/05/2024 11:19 PM


Adorn your Feelings

3 Mental Spring Cleaning Tips for Artists — Caryl Fine Art

4 min read


Spring cleaning, Daylight saving time, flowers blooming, longer hours of sunshine—these are all things that come with the arrival of spring. I personally love spring for all of the hope and optimism it brings and I find myself energized to work on my art and my art business with renewed energy. Creatures (including some people!) that have been hibernating during the darker and colder winter months come back, ready to enjoy the new season. 

Spring isn’t the only time of year when we’re inspired to do a cleanup. There are other times of the year when we’re inspired to clean house, such as the “new school year” season in late summer and around New Year’s Day, as we put away our holiday decorations and make resolutions to declutter.

“Spring Cleaning” can take on so many different meanings. In the purely literal sense, it is time to box up the heaviest sweaters, tidy up, wipe down the windows, and freshen up your space. In a figurative sense, “spring cleaning” (no matter what time of year it takes place) is a great opportunity to shake off the cobwebs and hibernating corners of your brain, and refresh yourself mentally for optimum mental health and creativity!


Here are three tips for decluttering your mental space and making room for a new season’s productivity!

  1. Let go of any negative self-talk, especially the phrase “I can’t.” 

You are your only limit! There is nothing you “can’t” do, only things you tell yourself you aren’t able to. Use this season to pick a few things you’ve wanted to try but convinced yourself you aren’t good enough for, and replace “I can’t” with “I will.” There is nothing more satisfying than challenging one of your previously held limitations, and proving that wrong! 

2. Let go of the need to be “right” or “perfect.”

Use the upcoming season as an opportunity to find happiness in your process, your progress, and your journey! Don’t worry about being correct or living up to an unreasonable standard of perfection. It is not only okay to be wrong sometimes, but it is GOOD! Allow yourself the grace to make mistakes, to learn along your path, and to enjoy the journey and not just the outcome. 

3. Let go of laziness and commit to spending a few additional moments productively every day. 

We spend so much time on our phones, on Facebook, and checking our emails. What if we shifted twenty of those minutes spent on social media towards something else that makes us feel productive, happy, and motivated? Trade 20 minutes of Instagram time for 20 minutes of something that exercises your brain in a different way and leaves you smiling at the end. 

What can you do in 20 minutes? Here are some suggestions:

A) Prepare multiple wood boards at once with a gesso coating in preparation to create a painting series. This helps you avoid wasting time gessoing a board just before you start painting. Having multiple substrates ready to go makes so much sense, so you remain focused on your painting series.

B) Prepare a wet palette. Set yourself up with a layer of paper towels in the bottom of a tray and place a sheet of palette paper or tracing paper over it to keep your acrylic paint colors moist. Using a limited number of originating colors and creating a color scheme by mixing these colors together will allow you to be fully prepared to paint without the interruption of mixing paints or worrying about them drying out while you are in the flow!

C) Get outdoors for a 20-minute walk and take pictures with your mobile device of the simple things you find in nature that inspire you. Log these into your journal or upload these photos into your Google Drive for future painting inspiration.

I often go outdoors and focus my attention to the sky for 10-15 minutes. The beautiful fluffy clouds or the sight of a storm approaching serves as a tremendous source of inspiration for many of my “atmospheric”  style paintings.

What time of year finds you feeling energetic and ready to clean out your home and your mind? What’s your favorite mental clean-up tip or trick? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.


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