May 22nd, 2020
As an artist and a private art teacher, I have been asked many times "why is drawing an important foundation to develop?" or students get frustrated when their paintings do not materialize as they envisioned it. Often it is due to the lack of being able to draw.
Learning and practicing the basic foundations such as value, tone and composition of drawing is very important to developing your skills as a well-rounded artist.
Yes, it is true that each experienced artist has very different ways of teaching the drawing basics, however we all get the same finished drawing in the end.
I find that it is very important to always learn from other artist, no matter how accomplished you are or how new you are to the world of creating art. Learning from different artist helps in processing the same technique but in a different ways, and some people have very different learning and processing capacities. Widening your range of teachers and instructors only adds to your own experience in making art a pleasurable experience.
In today's world it is so much easier with technology. You are able to see so many artists teaching techniques on YouTube, online private lessons, and traveling has made it easier to attend workshop and shows.
The following YouTube video by Mark Fehlman on "Design Strategies for powerful paintings" is excellent.
He really rakes the time to explain the different composition techniques, and I like the uncomplicated manner that he uses. He also takes the time to explain tones and value and the important role it plays in a good painting.
Being a self-taught artist, this is just one example on how I have been improving my artistic skill over the last 20 plus years. I received the basic drawing skill during High School and my teacher at the time was a practicing artist. And he really took the extra time to focus on our drawing skills. However, I continued to practice regularly what I have learned and watched and learned from other artist.
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!!
May 2nd, 2020
I have struggled for 20 years to understand what my place in the art world is and what voice I have.
I always thought that my art had to be about some cause in the world, some deep-seated, inner turmoil. I thought I had to develop a style that looks like another artist style. An impressionist, surrealist, realist - which one am I to follow and master? All of these styles seem to creep into my work in some way. Even when I had a brick and mortar store, and successfully thaught art.
However, about three years ago things changed. I had a career as an Interior Designer, loved the job, but was not happy. Art became a hobby and my studio stood empty for days on end. That's when I realized I had to really take the time to think about where I want to go and what I want to do.
I realized I wanted to be a full-time artist. I want to be in my studio for hours on end and create. I want to share my knowledge with students. I want to show my work to the world. I want to do good with my work.
I WANTED TO:
Create art that makes me happy and other happy. I wanted capture the beauty of the world. I will only create for certain causes if commissioned to do so and, even then, I will have to feel passion for that cause. I realized I want to learn from other artists and apply what I learned. I finally understood that there are no rules that cannot be broken. I could take conventional ways of doing things and find a different way to do them.
I DID NOT WANT TO:
Create my style to be like another artist. I did not want to focus on the negative in life but only show the positive. Avoid learning more about the business of selling art.
Once I re-focused myself and figured all the above out, I felt like a different person; however, it was still a long haul.
All of those art books on how to become an artist were taken of the shelve, dusted off, and read. I watched all sorts of YouTube videos on other artists and their styles, and I was hooked on PleinAir painting. The studio was revamped and loaded with positive energy.
First obstacle, no gallery wanted to represent me. I really struggled. I send loads of applications out. Some came back with long waiting lists other did not answer. In the meantime, I kept on painting and improving. Four hours on a daily basis in my studio and I painted and explored and I loved it!
One day, my daughter came home from work - she is a victim advocate at the local YWCA (Young Women's Christian Association) and we talked. After a long conversation, I realized that I want to do something to help. The only way I can do that is through my art.
I approached the YWCA and offered to do several paintings (inserted above Title: United we stand number 11 of 11). They loved the idea and they loved the work I did. This was a huge confidence booster for me. I realized I don't have to do things the conventional way, I don't have to have a gallery showing my work. I can do this myself.
I started thinking about doing my own one-nigh exhibition, what the purpose of this exhibition would be and who I would want to attend this exhibition. What would the ultimate goal be? Then I started working on paintings, drawings, venues, invitations. Everything was lined up, then COVID-19 hit us (obstacle #2). The exhibition was cancelled. Luckily the venue worked with me and I was able to move it out to August 2020. Hopefully I can have it then. By then, I will have a whole new collection to show, which is a fun thought.
Initially this did bring me down a bit, but in the end, I realized that there is a reason for things to happen. Who knows, I might only really find out when it happens.
The most important thing is that I realized I need a change. I finally made peace with the fact that I might not be completely be like any other artist, but I am different in my own way. I have built enough confidence to realize that I don't have to do things the conventional way.