David Bowie, 1997 quote; he offered the timeless wisdom to younger artists; Never play to the gallery…. Never work for other people in what you do. Always remember that the reason that you initially started working was that there was something inside yourself that you felt that if you could manifest in some way, you […]
—Of course I’ve always loved Monet, Van Gogh, John Singer Sargent, etc., but also a living, working artist, Richard Schmid, is a favorite of mine. I asked the library to purchase his book, Alla Prima II, as it is very expensive. After a year I gave up and decided to give myself a birthday gift (paperback edition) and am so happy I did. The subtitle is, “Everything I know About Painting—and More,” and it is!
He paints landscapes, portraits, still lifes, and more. And he is a very enjoyable read.
When he gets to the part where he describes his materials he also shows the color charts he made. He mixed every color on his palette with every other color plus added 4 tints of white. Well, if it’s good for Richard it’d probably be good for me to do.
I wish I had just used my standard 12 colors instead of the additional 12 colors that I have picked up along the way—colors that I try when I see an artist whose art I like and it’s one of their favorite colors.
I bought every pad of canvas paper at the store and had to go back for more. It takes 4 pages for each color. Measure it off, label, tape it off, paint, take off the tape, hang to dry, repeat. Sometimes tedious; sometimes meditative.
They are BEAUTIFUL! And sometimes when I mix two colors…I gasp at the color it becomes…who knew?
Color mixing has been a weakness of mine and NOW I can look up a shade of green I want and know exactly what to mix to get what I want from my paints. Well worth the effort.
Originally posted on Art of Quotation: “There is silver blue, sky blue and thunder blue. Every colour holds within it a soul, which makes me happy or repels me, and which acts as a stimulus. To a person who has no art in him, colours are colours, tones tones…and that is all. All their consequences…
—Carol Marine, one of the founders of the Daily Paintworks website, set forth the challenge to “Copy and Learn”. Carol stated, “I believe that we can learn a lot through copying the work of those we admire. You can look at something all day long, and enjoy it, sure, but when you actually try to reproduce it, stroke by stroke, you finally grasp just HOW they did it. You find yourself asking questions like: what kind of brush did they use to make that mark?; and, what did they do first, next, etc.? It forces it you to step out of your own box and experiment in ways you would have never thought of. Your challenge this month then is to copy a painting by an artist you admire.”
I love Monet and have a small painting of his cut out of a magazine hanging in my studio so I thought I’d give it a go. I had never copied a masterpiece before.
Copying masterpieces is actually a legitimate business as long as it is labeled as a copy. Otherwise it is a forgery. If you can’t afford a $30 million Monet but want more than a print, there are artists who will paint a copy for you at anywhere from a few hundred dollars to many thousand dollars, as long as the image is now reached copyright free status.
I found this to be a hard but very enjoyable challenge. I had just watched a movie about the Impressionists and painting “Impression, Sunrise” seemed apropos.
—Artists have relied on commissions for income throughout the history of art. It’s a sale before you’ve done the painting. What could be better? Well…
Hopefully the client has chosen you because they like your art style. But still they have the final say on how the painting comes out. And if it’s a portrait the pressure is great, even if it is a pet portrait. They know the person or pet intimately and you don’t.
Ideally you get paid half upfront so if they don’t like it in the end at least you get paid for materials and some of your time. And showing the client a sketch before painting can be helpful.
I was painting a pet portrait with added sunflowers for my neighbor for her daughter and the fact that she is a friend made it a bit more scary because I wanted to do a really good job. When I emailed them a photo she said there was something wrong with the eyes. My heart sank.
This was not a technical term I could deal with. But she sent me another photo and I could see a difference. She had said he looked angry and I could see in this new photo the eyes were softer.
The joy of oil paint (which stays wet forever in my house) is that it is easily changeable. I worked on it some more and in the end, mother and daughter had tears of delight and sadness (at the loss of Chauncey).
Here is Chauncey.
I haven’t done these online art challenges. I’ve seen quite a few of them over the years and frankly I shake my head when I see people have posted something they’ve scribbled off stating they were too tired and that’s all they could manage.
Really I should give them credit. THEY were at least trying to do it where I was not. They just lost steam and well, were hanging on.
I am in a group now where a challenge was issued to paint, draw, or sketch everyday for 30 days. We do not have to complete a painting, just work on it.
Generally I do paint every day, but there are times I take a day off, when life gets in the way, or if I need to take care of studio business or marketing. So this IS a stretch because not only do we have to paint or draw, but we have to take a photo and post it to our Facebook group each day. And when I finish a piece, the next day I have to think, “what am I going to do today?”
I am enjoying the challenge—even when I end up posting late at night. The group is very encouraging and I’m certainly getting a lot done. Here is a piece I finished on day 21, “Garlic $1″, oil, 6×8”.
Starting out with that first box of 8 crayons was quite fun but oh! when I got my first box of 64 I was ecstatic! And then there was more!
So when I hear of artists using a limited palette I ask, why?
Anders Zorn used yellow ochre, ivory black, vermilion and titanium white. That’s it! And he produced brilliant masterpieces.
Many artists choose a palette that includes warm and cool primaries, red, blue, and yellow, plus white. Scott Christensen uses just red, blue and yellow with some grays as values to modify color and tone. Carol Marine adds burnt umber to her primaries. Kathleen Dunphy includes Naples Yellow Deep and a gray.
A limited palette has many advantages. If you are a Plein air painter (painting outdoors) you have less to carry. Also when you mix all your colors from these limited colors you should be able to create harmony in your work.
On the flip side there are artists such as Karin Jurik who love, love, love color and with maybe 80 colors in her studio, puts out probably 45 or more on her palette—a pizza pan. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAIs1S_zAMI) Having so many to choose from can make you lazy. But Karin mixes every paint she uses.
As I read about artists whose work I admire I like to buy a color or two that they mention as their favorite or a color they find highly useful. So although I basically work with a split primary palette (warm and cool) plus white, I have collected indeed my box of 64 and more!
Here is my latest piece, “On the Road Again”, 10×20” oil on canvas.
So where are the charities for the starving artists? This is the season for giving after all. Maybe they wouldn’t mind getting clothes with a little paint on them.
I have a rule: I only have so many hangers so if I buy new clothes, something has to go. I open the door to my closet and all the hangers start shaking a bit. It was time to find clothes I don’t wear.
I am a painter so everything I own has paint on it. Even if I am dressed to go out or in my PJs I can’t resist going into my studio to look at my work in progress. Somehow the simple act of walking into my studio equals getting paint on myself somewhere.
Cadmium lemon yellow: no matter where I put it I stick my hand in it. I have moved it several times—still I stick some part of me in it. One time I didn’t notice I had it all over my hand and I stuck my hand in the pocket of my sweatshirt. THEN I put my hand on the chair, next to my leg and got paint on my jeans as well. And somehow it got all the way up to my elbow. My record is 3 seconds of being in the studio before getting paint on me.
So I have a lot of painting clothes. But I need to find a charity that will accept some nice clothes that are a just a little creative.
My sleeve with Cadmium lemon yellow.
Single by the Doors, 1967
And Finding My Bliss
In my previous blogs I’ve talked about my struggles this year with my art. And while I’ve always found painting to be a stress reliever I do go through the typical stages most artists go through in the creation of the painting: beginning confidence; why do I think I can paint?; I’m a genius; I’ve just ruined it; okay, I’m happy now.
Recently I’ve experienced something new. A kind of zen or bliss while I’m painting. Even if it’s just a practice piece as when our portrait group meets twice a month to paint from a model.
Maybe I’ve finally released the need for creating the “Masterpiece”. Musicians practice much more than they perform. Singers, actors, athletes, all spend a lot of time practicing. Artist often have a mindset that each piece they create should be a masterpiece, or at least salable. Maybe it’s because practice piles up in the corner :-).
So letting go of the “product” has put me in a new state of mind and I have found my bliss!
Available on Daily Paintworks: https://www.dailypaintworks.com/artists/andrea-jeris-5884/artwork
Originally posted on Art of Quotation: “A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood” Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, composer ?