Funko Pop Bob Ross and Deadpool Bob Ross figurines placed in an art studio in front of a large 4 panel painting as inspiration for the artist herself. Which is me. Kathy LaFollett. Kathy LaFollett Murals and Canvas
Deadpool Ross and Bob Ross. Ride or die partners in my art studio.

You are the only one who can say what needs to be said by you.

Kathy LaFollett
2 min readApr 4, 2024

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Elevating your art isn’t your perceived talent. Your talent is righteous and worthy. Don’t compare you against anyone else. Art is a voice you own. It’s meant for you to express yourself as you need, not for creating what others want. What others think of your art is none of your business. What you think of your art is the first line of business. Love yourself first. You are the only one of your kind. Love your voice second. Do these two things, and all intentions fall gracefully into place.

Elevate your art with little details brought to the process. Here’s four habits that add the umami to my personal work.

When working on canvas, I:

  1. Use cheap stretched canvas as a painter’s pallet. The gesso side for the detail work (gesso canvas doesn’t absorb the fluid of your paint giving you time to work details), the back for big messy mixes of analogous color backgrounds (you’ll work faster in the bigger spaces of canvas), dried paint the next day tells you what colors you need to mix next.
  2. When in analogous big swaths I keep the brush water, rather than replace it obsessively. The tinge leaves a hint of color stain and forces my hand to stay within the planned color scheme. I am not afraid of color, and this can lead to chaos. Trust your water to keep you inside the color rails.
  3. I use cake watercolors to mix into titanium white acrylic for a wash of brighter/lighter tints. Hints of light changes and depth. Perspective demands lost details at the horizon line.

Being fearless with your painting requires a fearless confidence in yourself. To love yourself is to love your voice, is to leave you free to create without fear. I learned this truth at an art museum. While watching an installation at the direction of the artist herself.

Her art was diorama rooms on platforms. Painted pure white. These rooms were real. She created with thrift store finds. One element alone was a bright prime or secondary color. Her bright white living room had a bright primary orange dog laying on the couch. The dog’s presence was undeniable. My heart sang for her voice, and I experienced a visceral moment. I’d come for the Masters of the Renaissance but found art so much better. I was nineteen and in awe.

“You can come in.”

I did. Wide-eyed.

“You like? What do you see?”

“I see …you.”

She gave me a hug. She teared up. “I hope I see you in your art soon.” She whispered just before she let go of my shoulders. “You are the only one who can say what needs to be said by you.”

This is the fourth trick.

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