—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.
—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.
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 postedsomething 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”.
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.
I’ve read about artists experiencing creative block, where they didn’t know what to paint or what to do with their art next. In December I thought maybe that’s what I was going through. But really I had all sorts of ideas that I wanted to paint I just didn’t want to paint them. I was having more of an ambition block.
I had two solo shows last year, my first solo shows, which are a lot of work. Then there was a plethora of holiday shows to prepare, enter, deliver, and track.
December would’ve been a nice time to be on a tropical island relaxing in the sand, sun, and turquoise waters. Instead I chose holiday shopping and gatherings with family and friends.
I’ve read about how artists handle their creative blocks but I just didn’t WANT to paint. So I continued to look at art, read about art, I watched some instructional videos from artists whose art I admire, and just absorbed some good vibes.
Now in the New Year I am processing all that and working out what I learned, and I must say, I’m doing as much wiping out as I am painting!
Like anything it’s hard to break old habits. I find myself saying, “That’s not what I want”, and so I wipe it out and have another go at it. And I’ve gone back to standing instead of sitting while I paint so I can back up more often to look at my painting. That helps a great deal. Then I put in on my shelf in the living room so I can glance at it the rest of the day for further contemplation.
So here is “Nature Trail”, 8×6″ oil on panel, which I have painted, wiped out, and repainted each area several times. It’s a process. And I think I’m done.
Originally posted on Art of Quotation: ? “Studio Ghosts: When you’re in the studio painting, there are a lot of people in there with you – your teachers, friends, painters from history, critics… and one by one if you’re really painting, they walk out. And if you’re really painting YOU walk out.” Philip Guston, painter
Every time I take a class I want to know everything NOW! Just open my head and pour it in. I am always frustrated in the beginning because in any class there are always various skill levels of people signed up and there is a certain amount of basics to get through.
My eCourse is no different. I want to paint. But there is setting up the studio, setting up the palette, loading up the brush, cleaning the brush, yada, yada, yada… all good information, and I want to PAINT. And I learned a lot in spite of myself.
I’ve always known certain pigments didn’t cover as well as others and this was annoying. These are the transparents, and now I know how to use them to my advantage. As a thin underpainting they provide a rich glow of bright color, which work with the next layer of thicker opaque color to provide depth and richness.
The second week we painted! After switching to acrylics for the past 3 years I remembered why I like painting in oils. Thick and buttery, there is nothing like it. And it’s pretty easy to wipe out and paint over if I don’t like what I’ve done (which I did several times).
So I’m getting the hang of this loose brushstroke thing, at least while I’m watching Dreama do it. We’ll have to see if I can do it on my own with my own painting. But I’ve still got 4 weeks to go.
Here is my cupcake painting from week 2 #DreamLovePaint.
Trying to change the way you paint is no easy feat. I always wondered why artists taught workshops and created DVDs (other than the money and the sharing part). Weren’t they worried about creating a bunch of other artist who all paint exactly like them? Why were they giving away all their secrets?
But as I took workshops and watched DVDs I realized I was still using my hand to create the brushstrokes, I still had my own color sense, I still had my own vision of what I wanted to create. In other words, I still paint the way I paint. Not that I didn’t learn anything. I always learn something. It just gets filtered through my own sensibilities. I learn something every time I just paint next to another artist, so hopefully I am getting better.
In order to make a larger leap I have signed up to take a 6-week eCourse with an artist whose art and techniques I admire, Dreama Tolle Perry (http://dreamatolleperry.com). A completely different (bright and colorful) color palette than I am used to, and quite loose brushwork—which I have been trying to implement on my own for about a year and a half with only limited success.
It should be fun. A perfect occupation for the gray and snowy winter ahead of me here in Michigan.