New architectural sketch series in the works.

I am working on a new series of ink-washed architectural sketches and an introduction to sketching video course to go along with it.

Be sure to subscribe to my email list in the form at the top of the page to see my newest sketching and updates on my video sketching course.

Peace & Live Creatively!

Work in progress. Ink sketch of Cinderella’s castle.
Work in progress. Ink Sketch of Cinderella’s Castle

Work in progress. Ink Sketch of Cinderella’s Castle

On Why I Create Paintings & Drawings

I never give my artwork a title until the piece is finished. I wait to see what reveals itself on the canvas. I paint from the heart. From emotion. From my core inner being. I paint when I’m in a bad mood. A good mood. A ‘whatever’ mood. I paint to stop time. To freeze a feeling. To savor a moment.

I trust in the process of creation. The process of exploring. The process of doing. I’m inspired by nature. By music. By love. By family. By architecture. By design. By food. By You. By Being.

Each artwork that I create is a piece of me. I create to share a bit of joy. Share a glimmer of hope. Share a smile. A feeling of warmth. Of wisdom. Of wit. A spark to ignite creativity. To change your mood. Your perspective. Your state of being.
Peace and Live Creatively!

Heart of the City

One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.

Tom Wolfe

Cities have their own unique energy and vibe. Whenever I visit NYC, I feel a pulse unlike any other place I have ever been.

OH, The Spirit!

There is no doubt that current events inspire creative expression. This piece was created just over a year ago. Use these times to get in touch with your inner creative spirit – whether it be drawing, painting, music, dance, writing, cooking….the possibilities are endless.

Skill up on Creativity!

Peace and Live Creatively!

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“Nothing makes a man so adventurous as an empty pocket.” 

VICTOR HUGO, THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME

Color, Yes Please.

During this season of change, choose to be the bright vibrant colors that can bring a spark of joy.

Peace & Live Creatively!

Nature always wears the colors of the spirit.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Social Distancing ≠ Self Distancing

Social Distancing doesn’t mean to distance yourself from yourself.

Social distancing can be a time to restablish an inner connection with yourself by using the gift of imagination and creativity that we all have.

Legos can be a great way to tap into your child-like imagination. Today, I am getting ready to rework a Lego design of the Wonka factory that I whipped up a few years ago.

What is something from your youth that you enjoyed creating?

Post your comments below.

Peace and Live Creatively!

Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple.

Willy Wonka

Stressed? Overwhelmed? Join me for Med-ink-tation Time.

Dear Friends:

Looking to clear your mind and get back to a state of zen?

Or maybe you just want to clear your brain to allow for some new inspired creativity.

I want to share with you a practice I have been doing for some time now. I call it "med-ink-tation".

It's a combination of sketching and meditation.

You don't have to be an artist. Anybody can do it. 🙂

Enjoy the video (it's only 6 minutes long).

Be sure to leave any questions and/or comments here or on the youtube video.

If you like the video, please give it a thumbs up on Youtube.

Sending you endless gratitude and positive healthy vibes.

Peace and Live Creatively!

-Jason

Newest ink-spired painting…

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

complacency sucks

                  Images from "Earthly Delights" watercolor series in progress.

Well....at 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 "...to boldly go where no man has gone before..."  where ST:TNG had the words "...to 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!

-Jason

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!