Newest ink-spired painting…

“…to boldly go where no one has gone before….”

complacency sucks

                  Images from "Earthly Delights" watercolor series in progress. least to boldly go where I haven't gone before with my paintings.  

Lately I've been feeling complacent with my art work and complacency sucks.  Being too comfortable isn't a good thing for my creative brain.  It sort of makes me feel lazy and bored causing my inner creative spark to dwindle to a mere flicker.  And with only a flicker, there is little light within to radiate out -- leaving nothing but a dark canvas before my eyes.  (Oh, okay, maybe I'm being a bit to dramatic here, but I think you are getting the point). 

That's when the infamous words from the opening titles of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation beamed into my head.  (For you Trekkies, the original series had the words " boldly go where no man has gone before..."  where ST:TNG had the words " body go where no one has gone before...).  But I digress.

So, how did I break the weighing chain of creative complacency?  I stepped out of my comfort zone.  I boldly went where I have not gone before -- painting with bold watercolors using only red, yellow, and blue colors.  I took an art class with my talented friend Kate who taught us a method of using watercolors that I never tried.  It was inspiring!

No, it may not have been a huge artistic leap for me, but at least I tried something new that reignited my spark and has me excitedly exploring new painting civilizations.

If you are feeling kind of bored, don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something different.  Maybe take a class to learn a different art technique or medium. Maybe pick up a pencil instead of a paint brush.  Sometimes all that it takes is one small step to get that fire lit again.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram to see my latest artwork. 

Peace and Live Creatively!

How Music Can Influence Your Creativity

This morning, I found myself staring at a blank page.  I knew I wanted to draw something, but had no idea what to actually draw.  

Ugh!  The old "staring at a blank page" syndrome. Whether it's creating art or writing words, we've all been there, right?   It can be frustrating.

Here's a quick tip that sometimes helps me out when I hit a creative block.  Turn on some music.

Yes, really.  Just turn on some music.  It can be anything that suits your mood.  It can be anything totally random.  It doesn't matter.

This morning I put my iTunes on to play some random music.  I found myself listening to the "Alice in Wonderland" movie them by Danny Elfman.  Before I knew it, my pen was moving around the page and the lines were starting to take shape.

That's how I ended up with the artwork you see below.  I let the music take my creative brain to a new and wonderful place.

Give it a try sometime and let me know how it works for you.

Peace and Live Creatively!  -Jason

"Sunday Morning Alice" artwork by Jason J Nicholas. Ink. 6" x 10"

"Sunday Morning Alice" artwork by Jason J Nicholas. Ink, crayons and colored pencils. 6" x 10"

Ink-spirational Creativity Tip: Listening to your Inner Creative Ping

Ever create a drawing or painting and have an inner pinging about  what it would like like if you had used a different medium, technique, or style.  This happened to me as I was working on the "Tropical Church Building" art piece.

For me an essential part of the creative process is listen to your inner voice -- your inner creative ping.  It can certainly take you on wondrous journeys.  Creativity is about being playful and curious. Don't deny what your creative gut is telling you.

 What do you have to lose if you don't act on your inner creative ping?

Well, I guess you will never know, unless you give it a try.   🙂

Peace and Live Creatively!

Below are the steps on how I went from starting with a pastel image and ended up with a colored pencil drawing.

"Tropical Church Building"  pre-drawing stage                         Blank watercolor paper, pastels, and ink pen.  

"Tropical Church Building" work in progress.                              Pastels on Watercolor paper. 9"x12"                                           Artwork by Jason J Nicholas

"Tropical Church Building" close up view of pastels.  I love the texture!                                                                                                Pastels on watercolor paper. 9"x12" Artwork by Jason J Nicholas

"Tropical Church Building" work in progress.                                  Ink on trace paper overlaid on the pastel piece.    9"x12"  Artwork by Jason J Nicholas

"Tropical Church Building"  finished.                                               Ink and colored pencil on trace paper. 9"x12"                          Artwork by Jason J Nicholas

Emerson: Anger or Peace?

“For every minute you remain angry, you lose 60 seconds of peace.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson.

I love this quote from Emerson. It emphasizes that we can control our state of emotional being by choosing the types of thoughts we want to think. Of course we all get angry sometimes, but the sooner you can abandon it, the sooner you can be at peace. I for one know that is the state of feeling that I would rather be in.

How do we make that shift from anger to peace once we recognize the need to?

For each of us it is different. For some it may be the thought or relocation to a place in nature you find tranquil.

Maybe it’s thinking about butterflies, feeling the warm sun on your face, or a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

For me it varies from closing my eyes and being in silence to getting the hostile junk out of my system by going into a state of artistic creativity.

Whatever your peace is, know it’s there when you need to access it.

Don’t waste your precious minutes living in the time-sucking beast of anger.

Peace and Live Creatively! -Jason

One way to quickly change your state of mind

Ever feel like your are in total ugh mode? You know, the kind of ugh where even the slightest of things annoys the heck out of you. Yeah. Me too.

When I need to go from pissed to blissed, I break out some art supplies. The supplies don’t have to be anything fancy. A simple be pen and some paper can do the trick. The idea is to change your state of mind without the need for stress eating (well…. at least for me. I can be too quick to grab a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey. Ha).

Put the pen to paper or brush to canvas and just let loose. No rules. No worries. No more ugh mode.

And, oh, yeah, you don’t need to be an artist to try this. Trust me your waistline be thankful. 🙂

Peace and Live Creatively!

“City of Angels I” : Art piece Update

Last time I posted about this art piece, it was a time lapse of the beginning stages. Here is an update on my “City of Angels I” mixed media artwork.

Tonight as I was wrapping up a long work day, I felt this painting calling out to me. It had been a few days since I did anything on it. I know this may sound weird, but there was something drawing me in to pick up a paintbrush and some pastels.

I often say that for me art is about connection — connection on many different levels. But, this artwork is actually reaching out and connecting to me. It’s guiding me to be whimsical and be free to see what the end results will be. It’s really quite fantastic to be whisked of of your feet and into the sky of creativity. A moment to be truly embraced.

Peace and Live Creatively!


Abstract I – Artwork Time lapse Video

It's always mesmerizing for me to watch time lapse videos of art work in progress.  Here is a video of a painting I am currently working on.

 This one is not pre-planned, so I don't know what it will end up being, but I love it that way.  I love just surrendering to the force of creativity.  Stay tuned.  I will be posting updates.  

Would love your feedback.  Be sure to leave your comments below.

Peace and Live Creatively! 

New Artwork Announcement: “Abstract 1”

I am so excited that my new art piece “Abstract 1” is now available in my gallery store as prints, greeting cards, mugs, and other fab items.  What I love about this piece is that it can be oriented in whatever direction suits your fancy.  There is no up or down.  The choice is yours.

Abstract 1 art work by Jason J. Nicholas

One of the fabulous characteristics of abstract art that I find rerefreshing is the freedom of choice. Whatever you want to see or feel in the painting is yours and yours alone.  No right.  No wrong.  It’s your world.

I hope you enjoy this artwork.  I am only at the beginning of my journey exploring this type of creativity and am excited to see what lies ahead. Thank you for exploring this path together.

Peace and Live Creatively!

Bewilderment – new art piece

As I am wrapping up this art piece, the following quote comes to mind:

Sell you cleverness and buy bewilderment.  -Rumi

We are sometimes too quick to think we know everything about everything.  This causes us to go through life with blinders on.  

Instead of pretending to know everything, open up your mind, your heart, your senses to endless possibilities.

Be in a constant state of curiosity.  

Peace and Live Creatively!  -JJN

Neil Diamond and Parkinson’s

Saddened to learn about Neil Diamond's announcement about having Parkinson's and retiring from 50 years of touring. (Wow!!! 50 years!!!!!!) 

Fortunately, Neil will continue to be active in writing and recording. His music holds a special place in my core being and has been pivotal in my life -- and I am not alone in this by any means. Just take a look at below at the message that Katie Diamond tweeted.  

It's a brilliant example of how one man's dream to express his inner soul through the gift of creative musical expression can leave positive impact upon the kindness of humanity. 

Don't be afraid to live your dream. 

Excited to see what Neil's next project yields. 

Peace and Live Creatively!

James Horner – Remembered

For me, movie soundtracks are incredibly powerful pieces of art.  I sometimes find myself sitting in a movie theater focusing on the music more so than the movie.  I listen to movie soundtracks almost daily, feeling their range of emotions, and incorporating their effect into my creative life.

​James Horner's pieces are among those included into my soundtrack listening.  Thank you Mr. Horner for sharing your soulful music with the world.  Rest in peace.

Remember: World Trade Center

"Remember - 911" sketch courtesy of

I worked in Hoboken during the summer of 1993. One afternoon, I took a walk and decided to sketch the NYC skyline -- a forever majestic scene. Buildings and spires piercing the sky above. Simply amazing. Little did I know back when I sketched this image what the future would hold and how the skyline would be changed forever.  Sketching is a great way to capture a moment in time.   - Jason J Nicholas

In Memory of Rick friend/mentor passed away ..... Rick Butts was an inspirationally creative and gifted man whose brilliant mind and compassionate heart will continue on in the lives of those he touched. I'm sure he is already rockin' and Rollin' the afterworld.

Your wisdom will continue our hearts.