7 Benefits Of Painty Clothes That Only Artists Will Understand

By Nicole Tinkham


There may be a handful of artists who stay nice and tidy while working on a project but the majority of artists we talk to mention getting paint, glitter, and ink everywhere. It doesn’t matter what kind of art it is, getting messy while creating seems to be the common theme. Another thing we’ve heard through the artists on our Facebook page is a new fashion statement known as “painty clothes”. These are a combination of clothes you paint in, clothes that you paint on, and clothes that accidentally have paint on them (even nice dressy clothes.. whoops! 😉 ). We think the painty clothes trend can really catch on. Read on for 7 benefits of painty clothes that only artists will understand.

1.    They’re colorful

Look at the average person’s closet and you’ll most likely see many black and gray pants, even tops. And when there is a bit of color it doesn’t really pop a whole lot. Artists are a bit different though. Sometimes you’ll see painted clothes on purpose with beautiful designs and other times you’ll see random paint splatters. No matter what, it’s sure to be colorful and fun.

2.    They put others in a better mood

How can you not look at an artist with fun paint all over their clothes and not smile? You’re being totally unique and it just puts people in a better mood!

3.    They’re comfy

Most artists work in nice comfy clothes, the way everyone should dress more often (in our opinion anyway).

4.    They’re always changing

The exact t-shirt you wore last week may not be the same this week. The more you wear painty clothes and the more you create in them, the more and more different they will become. Who else can say that about their wardrobe??

5.    You don’t have to be perfect

Keeping up with the fashion trends and all the rules (who says you can’t wear white during a certain time of the year??) is just too much work. However, when you have your painty clothes on, you don’t have to worry. They go with everything (in our opinion) and you can mix and match them.

6.    You’re free to be you!

Forget name brands and what’s currently popular. In your painty clothes, you are unlike every single person out there and that’s a good thing. Life would be boring if we all acted and dressed the same.

7.    They eliminate clean up

Have you ever tried to get paint out of your nice top? It’s not an easy task. Luckily if your goal is to create some new painty clothes, you can totally eliminate this step. This means less hassle and more time to get back to work on your project.

If you weren’t sure about wearing your painty clothes out in public before, we hope that this blog has changed your mind! Be fun, be creative, be funky, be yourself. No one else has style quite like an artist and it’s time to share your painty clothes with the world. Be proud of what you do and who you are. Stop hiding under plain clothing that anyone can buy at the store. Mix it up and add some color. We are always so inspired by our artist friends and we thank you for lifting us up and making us smile every day.

5 Helpful Tips On Dealing With Social Anxiety As An Artist

By Nicole Tinkham

First off, we love how honest you are over on our Facebook page! The more our artist friends open up to us about their struggles, the better we can try to help them. For example, we didn’t realize that social anxiety was a common struggle among our friends. So many of you have been through such tragic events in life and we definitely understand where this anxiety comes from. We think it’s fantastic that you use your artwork to cope with the many stressors of life but we wanted to give you a few more helpful tips on dealing with social anxiety in particular. Read on to learn what we’ve discovered about it!

1.    Realize that you aren’t alone

Sometimes the worst thing you can do is assume you’re the only one with a problem as if there’s something seriously wrong with you. Do you realize how many people actually struggle with social anxiety? WAY more than you probably think! You are not alone in this. There is nothing wrong or weird about you. We know many people (not just artists) who also struggle with this. The good news is there are many ways to help you deal with social anxiety.

2.    Change your mindset

How many times do you prepare for a social event and think to yourself, “They’re going to think I’m stupid” or “I’m going to humiliate myself”? Guess what? The more you tell yourself these things, the more likely they are to happen!

What you need to start doing is challenge those thoughts. Do you know for sure that people will think you’re stupid? Of course not! It’s just a lie that you keep telling yourself. It’s your mind trying to predict a future of negative events. But we all know that it is possible for something good to happen too, right? Now it’s time to turn that negative mindset into a positive one by saying, “Everyone will love me”.

We get it. It’s tough to change that negative voice that keeps repeating those thoughts in your head. The more we pay attention to it though, the louder it gets until we can’t think of anything else except that upcoming event or whatever else is stressing you out. With time, you’ll get better at this. Pay attention to your thoughts and change them when you get those nervous, negative, butterflies in the stomach feeling.

3.    Focus on your breathing

Breathing plays a HUGE roll in your anxiety. One thing you may notice right away when an anxiety attack is coming on is a quicken in your breathing. From there, the situation escalates when you notice other symptoms like dizziness and tension in the muscles. Now not only are you self conscious about people “thinking you’re stupid” as you’ve told yourself, but also that everyone will notice your social anxiety and judge you for it. Have you even been through these things??

What you can do to control your breathing is to really focus on it. Take a big inhale and exhale while you notice how your chest and stomach rises and falls with each breath. This is a huge part of meditation so practicing it can also help you in stressful situations.

4.    Just do it

If you’re worried about networking as an artist or putting yourself in any form of social interaction, one thing to help you get over your fears is to just do it. You will never improve if you don’t put yourself in uncomfortable situations. The more you do it, the better you will get at it. But you have to take that first step and make it happen. We often find that it’s never as bad as we make it out to be.

5.    Get additional help

Honestly, we aren’t experts here. We just understand what you’re going through and are trying to help the best we can. But if this list of 5 tips on dealing with anxiety as an artist doesn’t do anything for you, it may be time to consult with a professional. You can read self-help books (How to Stop Worrying and Start Living is one of our favorites) or you can go to therapy sessions.

You are pretty amazing, you know that? It’s not easy being an artist, coming up with new creative ideas, and handling negative feedback among a million other things. But here you are doing it! You have overcome so much and we know you can get past this social anxiety too. Keep your head up, speak love to yourself and keep yourself surrounded by other uplifting people who support you ❤

Tell us, how do you deal with social anxiety? We know it’s not always an easy thing to talk about but we truly believe you could help so many people by sharing your story!

17 Ways Real Artists Choose Paint Color That May Surprise You

By Nicole Tinkham


You’re inspired and ready to create! You have all your supplies in front of you and a blank canvas on your easel. But something is stopping you. You look down at your paint and have no clue where to start when it comes to color choices. This one decision could make or break your artwork! What if you choose the wrong color?? Calm down, we’ve all been there. In fact, we’ve asked our artist friends over on Facebook how they choose paint colors to give you some ideas. You may be surprised but not one answer involves a color wheel! Here’s what they had to say.
How do you choose paint colors for your project?

1. “From my photo reference and then ramp it up a notch or two!” -Diane

2. “The colors are in the vision before I begin to paint- it’s a matter of transferring the vision onto the canvas how it appeared in my mind.” -Kriss

3. “I have a set of colors I use mainly. I have tried to use different colors, but always wind up going back to the ones I like.” -Kelly

4. “I usually see the general color in my head and make a scheme for it. I love mixing and making new colors.” – Caitie

5. “I look at the canvas and see the colors. Often if I start out with an idea of what I want I find it it needs to change to what I see it just flows out onto the canvas.” – Lorna

6. “I have a set palette for portraits and then whatever is needed for flowers and landscapes.” -Rita

7. “I let it speak to me and then the team usually comes after that.” -Heidi

8. “I don’t choose them. They choose me.” -Cindy

9. “By what my feeling is for the day.” -Doreen

10. “I use my feelings to pick my colors.” – Estela

11. “Depend how my mood is the time to make my creation!” – Beatriz

12. “With emotion.” – Sharon

13. “Intuitively” – Saddhasura

14. “Ohhhh this one is pretty.” -Heather

15. “That’s what gets me working on a piece.” -Kathy

16. “Nature.” -Patricia

17. “The project itself.” – Cayce

As you can see, every artist works so differently. There’s never a right or wrong way of working so be open to the possibilities and just be yourself. You’ll eventually get into your groove and choosing paint colors for your project will start coming naturally to you.

We want to know! Is hearing from real artists like this helpful for you? Leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.

11 Items That Make For Perfect Still Life Paintings And Drawings

By Nicole Tinkham

If you’re feeling less than enthusiastic about your next still life project or it’s just taking you forever to get started on it, you have got to make a change! Any project that you set out to do should be exciting and fun. You should be kept up at night just so anxious to get started working on it. If you’re doing the same still life paintings and drawings over and over again, it can be so easy to push off the project and never really give it your all when you do decide to work on it. To make your artwork more exciting, we asked artists over on our Facebook page what types of objects they love to use in a still life project to give you a few new ideas. Of course you aren’t limited to these 11 objects but it’s a great place to start if you’ve never worked with them before. Oh and we have some bonus tips at the end that you’ll want to take a look at too 🙂  Let’s get started!

1.    Old fashion cans of tomatoes

2.    Fresh veggies from the garden with bright colors

3.    Tea cups and teapot

4.    Pears

5.    Candles for light source

6.    Feathers

7.    Crystal

8.    Spoons

9.    Fruit

10.    Flowers in old containers, vase, or basket

11.    Rocks

Additional tips:

•    Choose items with various heights and texture

•    Look for items with color and reflections

•    Always work with objects you can get excited about

•    Play around with positioning and lighting

•    Take a few photos of different angles first to get the perfect composition

•    Just get started – it doesn’t have to be perfect!

•    Pick objects that are new and different to you

Still life paintings and drawings don’t have to be boring! Find unique items that are colorful and different. Let them speak to you and give the artwork meaning. Play around with different objects. Find the most random item possible and include that! Just get started and have fun with it.

Tell us, what objects do YOU like using for your still life projects?

How To Get Motivated – 37 Answers From REAL Artists

By Nicole Tinkham


We have written many blogs on motivation in your artwork and life in general because it’s one of the main things that are holding people back from achieving their goals. These blogs are filled with incredible tips but we’ve found that the best advice comes straight from an artist’s mouth. So we posed the question “What gets you motivated to start a new art project?” on our Facebook page and the various tips we received is just out of this world. Save this post because you really can learn so much from these artists of all different skill levels. Read on for what these 37 real artists (just like you!) have to say about what motivates them.

1.    “I meditate or go for a run early in the morning. Kick starts my imagination!” – Dominique

2.    “Looking at all unfinished works, stacked against the wall doesn’t help. Seeing one on my easel with paints ready, brushes clean and favorite music helps! Oh and a thermos full of sweetened, cream coffee…” -Barbara

3.    “Gonna sit in front of the linen and take a brush and see what happens….just easy…” -Anja

4.    “I pray, and just dive right into a project. :)” -Tia

5.    “ I have to create it completely, step by step, in my head so I need the quiet time to do that, then when I face the white canvass I’m ready.” -Wendy

6.    “I close my eyes and access the many worlds in my artist head and pick one to do.” -Cindy

7.    “Whenever I need to express myself or when I’m working on an assignment” -Linda

8.    “Music and looking at other art work or landscape photos.” -Kelly

9.    “Touch. Music- it’s hard to pin down.” -Jamie

10.    “Hope that it will sell.” -Rita

11.    “I have to have a clean house. (ok….somewhat clean!!) this way my mind isn’t thinking about what needs to be done. Then I just start fiddling around until I start something!!” -CJ

12.     “Research, research and more research. I get intimidated when I don’t know what I’m doing, research helps me deal with that initial fear. Then sketching, lots of sketching, this gets me used to the idea that I can do it. And gives me a chance to experiment with my ideas, what works, what doesn’t. It’s good to make the mistakes before moving onto the final media that I’m going to work with.” -Krysia

13.    “I crochet blankets for me to start my project I think about who I am making a blanket for and why. Then I spend at least an hour or more looking at designs I try to find it even make my own design if I can’t find what I want. Once I actually start the work I have things settled. I made one for one of my son’s he was living quite a distance away I made him a new one and he said that when he got it that he could feel my love all over him” -Barbara

14.    “Oh, they are swarming in my head 🙂 just have to find time for the next one. It has to be time when I can relax and don’t think about anything else. Sometimes I can’t wait to come home from work to finish a painting, sometimes I start sewing something right after I get up, to get in a better mood and start a day with something pleasant.” -Vera

15.    “New art supplies laid out nicely… and then the storm hits and we have a hot mess! But a beautiful project arises from it all. It’s quite a process! LOL!” -Estela

16.    “Clear my mind, set aside everything else, put on music and then let the art flow out onto the canvas, paper etc. Hours fly by before I know it.” -Lorna

17.    “Well of late I have been concentrating on mythical creatures that I have loved sense childhood. Mainly dragons and fairies. I have no idea whatsoever why I have not been drawing these for all of these years……If I owned the house that I live in I would love to do a mural of them…..” – Andrea

18.    “Anything inspires me. Mostly I respond to color or interesting color combinations. I also draw heavily on my Hispanic heritage- I love bright colors and Mexican and Catholic Imagery. They work so well together!” -Lisa

19.    “I get some crazy idea…lol…then l search thru hundreds of images online…then l do some sketching… I’ve got an idea I’m still rolling around in my brain.. mixed media.. Some drawing… Last night l watched a program on PBS that had a lot of castles, so l focused on the designs, layouts and perspectives…;-)” -Jan

20.    “I just start something. I get a bunch of ideas while I’m in the process of drawing, painting or carving. So I just start..” -Deborah

21.    “As a child, I played the piano when in a bad mood….now I paint when in a bad mood….both very calming and productive!” -Linda

22.    “Caffeine and a rough bit of a sketch on the back of a cigarette packet/ beer mat.. then more caffeine and dive in..” -Chris

23.    “I see something & then my imagination takes off. I love it when I wing it, lol.” -Kathy

24.    “I put a blank canvas on the easel for a day or so , I can’t stand seeing a blank canvas” -Diane

25.    “It magically happens when I get unmotivated to do a less fun project.” -Sam

26.    “visual stimulant – usually a photograph, an emotion, a natural setting rather than a structured work” -Diane

27.    “Music♡♡♡♡” -Karren

28.    “Turn on the music” -Anamarie

29.    “A new idea always helps to start off” -Sayanti

30.    “Look at my empty bank account” – Saddhasura

31.    “Looking for inspiration” –Gina

32.    “You don’t “get” motivated, either you are, or, you aren’t….if you have to psych yourself up…..you should probably wait…..how I feel anyway…” –Kurt

33.    “The need to be creative until I get it done. Oh the joy of an accomplishment feels so good. Wish I could get this excited about chores.” –Jnett

34.    “When there is nothing on my easel to work on.” –Larry

35.    “It just happens, for some reason. I try to pretend like I have a process, but I’ll wake up one day and it’s like a switch flipped and I have to make a thing happen. I’ll start assembling what I need, as if someone told me that the project has a deadline. My wife and I have been together over 35 years and she’s still trying to figure that part of me out. She’ll walk in and go, “What’s going on?” in that, “Are we about to lose a room of the house for several months?” kind of way. I’m pretty sure it’s like when Roy Neary started building the Devil’s Tower topographic in his house.” –Robert

36.    “Seeing the first half of the payment is good enough motivation for me to start something. Personal projects just need an “ah-ha” moment and some paper.” –Sarah

37.    “See a great art show like the traveling’ American Watercolor show.” -Bernadette

Whew, we are pumped up just by reading these! Keep in mind that every artist is different so going for a morning run may not do it for you. Maybe you’re more of a music person. Or maybe a little caffeine will do the trick. Try a few things out and see what gets you in the creative mood. Once you find out what that thing is, let us know in the comments below so we can add it to the list!

How To Get The Best Deals On Art Supplies

By Nicole Tinkham


Art supplies can be pricey. Let us rephrase that. Quality art supplies can be pricey but they make all the difference in your artwork. You really do get what you pay for. We heard you out about the struggles of affording the supplies needed for your numerous projects which is why we put together this blog to help you get the absolute best deals on art supplies possible. Read on for the inside scoop of the best day of week, time of month, and times of the year that you can make the most out of an art shopping spree.

Best day of the week

We’re going to let you in on a little secret. Our art department is filled with quality art supplies on sale every single day. Seriously, just about every single item is marked down on a daily basis. So when it comes to the best day of the week to buy art supplies, can we just keep it simple and say every day??

Best time in the month

Once a month (usually mid-month) Keeton’s hosts a Super Saturday Sale. This event includes select items with a huge markdown plus a 40% off coupon that you can use toward any single item not already on sale. Most of the time, the items on sale relate to the free demo also featured on the sale day. We bring in a talented artist for a few hours to provide free tips and tricks that anyone can use in their artwork. These sales are more like events that you won’t want to miss.

Best time in the year

The BIGGEST sale of the year that we have here at Keeton’s is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. It’s similar to our monthly Super Saturday sales but is a much bigger sale. This is when you can get the best deals on art kits which make perfect gifts for the holidays as well as our most popular items (like Arches watercolor paper).

Throughout the year, we’ll also have quick 2 day sales for various holidays so watch your email for updates on those!

In addition to the sales hosted here in our Bradenton location, we also like to show up at popular events such as the Florida Watercolor Society Annual tradeshow. We bring a ton of our favorite supplies with us and offer them at great prices. Check our event calendar to see upcoming events and sign up for the Nook emails to receive updates right to your inbox.

We love working with artists, getting them the supplies they want at a good price. That’s why we always offer discount prices and special sales throughout the year. We don’t want a lack of supplies to hold you back from your next masterpiece! If you’re one of our non-local fans, just give us a call at 941-747-2995 and we will do our best to get you what you need.

6 Easy Steps To Enjoying The Stress In Your Life

By Nicole Tinkham


We write many blogs on ways to rid stress from your life so you may have read this title, thinking what gives?? We often view stress as a negative thing in our lives and it certainly can be. It sucks the time right out of our day, turns our hair gray, and prevents us from living the care-free life we want to live. However, if you switch your mindset just a little (we’ll show you how), you can actually begin enjoying the stress in your life. Read on for 6 easy steps for making stress your friend.

1.    Focus on what’s going right

We all experience different feelings when going through the stages of stress, but one thing that we all have in common is that it effects us, whether we admit it or not. In most cases, we experience sweaty palms and a racing heart. Use this stress signal to switch your way of thinking! When stress tries to take over, instead of focusing on all that is going wrong, channel your thoughts to think about all that is going right in your life. A simple re-direct of your thought patterns can actually change the way you think about the stress you may be facing.

2.    Use it to propel you forward

Sometimes being too comfortable where you’re at is a bad thing. You may not want to make the necessary changes for a better life because you’re just content. When stress pops up, you can use it to make a change because you decided you aren’t comfortable in the situation you’re currently in, and want something different!

3.    Embrace the feeling

We are often trained to feel a certain way in different circumstances. When we’re stressed, we automatically assume it’s a bad thing. But what if we could embrace that feeling and know that it’s good to feel that way every once in awhile? Of course you don’t want to be in a constant state of stress but from time to time it can be beneficial. Next time you’re stressed out, remember that it does not have to have a negative effect on you!

4.    Accept the challenge

Sometimes stress is brought on by a new challenge in life. Get your competitive spirit on and give it all you got! See what you’re really made of and all the incredible things you can accomplish when you aren’t scared to face the obstacles that get thrown your way. Remember, change can be a good thing!

5.    Be more productive

Stress gives you a boost of energy. Use it to your advantage! Get focused and be productive. Stress also puts pressure on you to reach your goals which can be very motivating.

6.    Get really good at future situations

The more you handle stressful situations, the better you’ll be at getting through future situations that come up. It’s all prep for whatever is coming up next.

While we just talked about the 6 easy steps for enjoying the stress in your life, it’s important for us to mention the negative side effects of stress as well. Even though there are benefits of stress such as increased energy, focus and motivation, too much stress can have a negative impact on your health. Be careful! You know you need to chill out and relax when you start getting headaches, body aches, and are sick more often. When you do reach this point, do these 7 simple ways to a peaceful mind