Escape from Studio Lockdown

The best way to make a dramatic leap as an artist is to stop working. After Hilary Harkness' show at Mary Boone Gallery in 2011, she laid down her brushes for a full month and went to southern India. Personal transformation aside, she will never evaluate art the same way again.  Here are some ideas for ways to push your practice forward from the subcontinent.

Jingle truckers, that’s who. Mumbai is swarming with hand-painted vehicles! From three-wheeled tuk-tuks to commercial trucks no opportunity for adornment is lost. The paint-jobs are so elegant that most look like they were done by professionals specializing in custom work.

Surprisingly, each one is painted by its owner, so naturally many of the designs contain personal religious significance.  Nothing is over-worked, each one is unique, and there is no sign that any driver suffered from a lack of ideas.

What can you make effortlessly that is meaningful to you, without being half-assed or obscure?


Did you miss Hilary's 2011 posts "Notes from Studio Lockdown?  Read what she had to say in the fall of 2010 while she prepared for her 2011 show at Mary Boone Gallery in New York City.


  1. An artist that I admired, Rudolf Baranik, once told me that a mature artist knows when not to paint. You can learn a lot about yourself as an artist just by picking your head up and taking a look at the world. Some of the most amazing things around are not trying to be art, they are just trying to be amazing.

  2. Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop to look around once in a while, you could miss it.