This morning I went to another Austin Palette Club meeting to do a little teaching. I set up a few items on a table and talked them through starting a painting.
We reviewed principles such as working dark to light, thin to thick, and seeing big masses and shapes of color to block in the start. Many are watercolorists though and my dark thin start is a totally opposite approach.
I really appreciate the fact that they wanted to host me again. I hope I inspired them to try oils.
Lately I feel like a gypsy. I have a bag packed and am in and out of the car traveling with paints all over. Next stop Denver for the American Impressionist Society show.
I've been thinking that I wanted to take a big trip somewhere next year... maybe Italy, maybe Cuba. I thought a painting trip like that would be amazing... and it would. But I also feel bad when I consider that I'd be having these great experiences and seeing these wonderful places but doing so alone and missing my family.
I guess when it comes down to it, I am a family woman first. There isn't an ideal solution though. If an artist travels with family then the chances are someone is bored while waiting for the artist to work or the artist is frustrated about not getting to work.
I think that where I am in my work right now though means that I do not need to travel. My focus is more on the figure and a close up setting and I can have models in at home, can photograph around Austin, paint the cafes, and if I want to get a little historical culture I can go down to the missions in San Antonio or investigate a dude ranch.
My dream one day is to have an RV and drive all over the country painting. That will be my retirement plan. ;-)
Today I had the opportunity to demonstrate my working methods for the Austin Palette Club. Many thanks y'all!
I talked about why I do quick starts and showed them how I develop a painting from a photo. I did the 30 minute start and then we took a short break before I resumed work for another half hour or so.
The second half of work was much slower. Once I have the initial block in done, I approach it more thoughtfully as I begin to modify the shapes and edges. I still haven't finished this but it's close.
Again, the idea of the quick start is to respond passionately and intuitively to my subject. I cover the canvas and block in shapes and establish value patterns working from big to small shapes keeping color and strokes loose. Once it's all in, I step back and evaluate. I slow down and work on varying my shapes. I enjoy both parts of the process immensely.
Starting fast keeps me from getting to tight and from treating each start as precious. And some of the looseness remains at the finish.
I recorded video on my phone during the demo - now I just have to learn how to convert it or edit it on my windows stuff. Stay tuned!
Best Practices (so far)
There are so many ideas out there. And so many artists. And so many people wanting to help artists. I could spend hours and hours researching, reading, learning, and trying implement all the mountains of ideas and styles into my work. What I've found is that too much information just causes me confusion and angst.
I need to focus on strategies that will work for my business and what will help me accomplish what I want. The first step is to figure out what I want!
Also, looking at other artists paintings (and their accomplishments) too much can make me feel small. Not that I begrudge their success, but c'mon, I'm human. It can make me feel inferior and that can lead to creative melt downs. The internet, magazines and books can be a great resource, but I recommend only going to look when you need to see how to solve a problem in your own work. Or to look at work that is totally different from what you do to get inspired. Or look at art in museums. Looking at artists who are similar will only lead to mediocrity. I am continually striving to express myself and stand out. And sometimes, working in "isolation" is the best way to get there.
* seeing too much art can stifle your own creative voice
* create a business model you can implement and focus on it
* have a system of organization and clean up after yourself
* use supplies on hand (keep track of inventory) and spend less
* unplug from social media and web surfing in the studio
I've been invited to join a group of talented artists of all media to exhibit at the Fine Art Gallery of Hill Country Bible Church Austin. The theme is "Gratitude" of which I have plenty (and yet easily forget!)
I am grateful for the invitation to be a guest at this special show, but it sure was hard to make my work fit into a theme. Any theme. I guess I do not often think in those terms. There are recurring themes - as motifs - in my work. But are there messages? It was nice to think about things from this other perspective.
Opening Reception September 26, 2014, 7 - 9 pm
An evening of Art, music, refreshments & meet the artists! September 26, 7-9 pm
FREE, Open to the public, come as you are! Families welcome! | Original Miniature Art Giveaways! | Live Jazz by "Just For You"
Location: 'Open Doors' Fine Art Gallery of Hill Country Bible Church Austin Worship Center Balcony (Building A, off Little Elm) 12124 RR 620 N September 26, 2014 - January 11, 2015
A Painter's Journal
Chasing the light. Capturing life. Rendering it in paint.
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