Uncommonly Grateful

©2008 Ann Marquis, Golden Pears. Acrylic on canvas.

You’re grateful for your health, your family, and your freedom, but when is the last time you acknowledged a debt of gratitude for the following?

©2008 Ann Marquis, Golden Pears. Acrylic on canvas, 16 x 20 inches.

Be grateful for . . .

Electricity and running water. Think about the artists from the past who made art by candlelight or had to haul buckets of water to clean their brushes.

Your stash of art supplies. You don’t need pricey materials or tools to make art, and a true artist will make art out of anything at hand. Paul Sérusier painted his seminal piece The Talisman (1888) on the cover of a cigar box.

The generosity of other artists. Sure, you’ll encounter some petty artists who think they have big secrets to keep from you. Just ignore that attitude and

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Give a Gift from the Heart

Kenneth Cadwallader, Arrangement of Red and Green. Oil on canvas, 22 x 28 inches. ©The Artist

If you’re too caught up in trying to promote and sell your art, now is a great time to take a break. Invoke the spirit of the season. Slow down, open your heart, and think of others this week.

If you’ve appreciated someone’s friendship, advice, or support, take time to tell him or her. It will cost you nothing but your time (and maybe some change for sending a card in the mail). Here are five ways to give the gift of generosity.

Kenneth Cadwallader, Arrangement of Red and Green. Oil on canvas, 22 x 28 inches. ©The Artist

1. Write a recommendation on LinkedIn.

If you’ve worked directly with people or know their art well, take a few minutes to write glowing recommendations for them on LinkedIn.com. You need to first be connected, but it’s easy after that.

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Your 11-point Task List for Giving Thanks

Everyone is focused on gratitude for this Thanksgiving week. I’m sharing 11 ways to be grateful–not just for this one week, but for a lifetime. If only we could remember these and make them habits.

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Accept My Gratitude

I'm grateful for the full moon and the view.

I’m grateful for the full moon and the view.

If your ears burn from time to time, it’s because I’ve written down my gratitude for you. I’m thankful for your participation in my online community. That’s mostly what I wanted to tell you today. No big actions this week–just gratitude.

I’m grateful . . .

That you read my email even when your inbox is overflowing. For your purchases, no matter how small, through my online store. That you attend my workshops, where I get to meet you in person. For your comments on this blog. That you follow me on Twitter, friend me and become a fan on Facebook, and connect with me on LinkedIn. That you help other artists you might meet in my classes or find on my blog. For your energy, enthusiasm, and gifts to

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Exercise your gratitude muscle

Saying thank you, sincerely and in a meaningful way, should be ingrained in your business practices. In fact, it should be ingrained in your life. Jack Canfield, author of The Success Principles, writes:

“When you are in a state of appreciation and gratitude, you are in a state of abundance. You are appreciating what you do have instead of focusing on and complaining about what you don’t have. Your focus is on what you have received, and you always get more of what you focus on.” (page 357)

From a business point of view, showing gratitude is a key component of nurturing relationships. Building an art business is all about forming strong relationships–with other artists, gallery dealers, curators, collectors, and anyone else who might be part of your community. Take a moment to read last week’s newsletter on nurturing community

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