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Archive for the ‘Tips for Better Painting’ Category

20170103_052651.jpgI made an agreement with myself to get The Studio straightened up on my final couple of days off.  Since the space is small we really have to keep it organized in order to be able to find the things we need to work.  And that is hard to do when there are so many people there creating cool things each week.  But we can do it!  So yesterday I took everything out of storage areas and decided what goes and what stays.  What a mess.  But it’s coming along.  I don’t know about you but I am more creative when my studio space is organized.

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One of the hardest things for most creative people is coming up with and developing ideas for their art or writing.  For others it is condensing the many ideas they have into a manageable series.

Much has been written about how to develop a process to help with this problem.  What I find that works for me is Art Journaling.  For me it involves writing, sketching, and listing among other things.

If you are creative and want to learn more about managing it we have a workshop that is just for you.  Come learn and share and get started managing your creativity.  For more information and to register click here.

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downloadOne thing that artists face who post their images online (and that is just about all working artists these days) is that people will copy their work.  As an instructor I allow my students to copy my work for their own use.  But it is discouraging when I find other teachers in my very own community who have taken my painting and used it to hold a Paint Party.

If you are working as an artist you need to take the time to understand copyright law.  It seems confusing but it’s not at all.   “The moment you create ANYTHING visual—paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures, etc—the only person who is allowed to copy that art is you. If you decide to sell prints of one of your paintings, you can. If anyone else does, without your written permission, you have the right to take them to court and sue for damages.”   This copyright information is from Empty Easel March 18, 2008 where you can learn much more about copyright by clicking here.

But I think it is very simple.  Don’t steal!   If you didn’t create it then ask permission before you paint it if you are going to use it to sell or for profit.

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colors-1colors-2A friend shared with me on Facebook a few days ago a fascinating story about an 1862 artist, Boogert,  almost 300 years ago who made a color mixing manual of almost 800 pages.  It is truly amazing that this was all done by hand.   The article starts like this:

“In 1692 an artist known only as “A. Boogert” sat down to write a book in Dutch about mixing watercolors. Not only would he begin the book with a bit about the use of color in painting, but would go on to explain how to create certain hues and change the tone by adding one, two, or three parts of water. The premise sounds simple enough, but the final product is almost unfathomable in its detail and scope.”  See the entire story by clicking the  link above or here.

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2014-09-10 05 34 1520140909_192713Last night I was invited to speak to a group at The Village at Orchard Ridge.  It’s a beautiful retirement community in Winchester.  I have been teaching art there every other week for a few months and just love the people.

The demonstration was scheduled to help some of the residents see just how easy it can be to start painting.  It was a nice evening with a good turn out and lots of great questions.  I am a firm believer that anyone who wants to learn to  paint can!  The only thing needed is the desire.  Classes are available in Front Royal on Wednesday and Thursday at The Studio.  Check out the calendar here and come join in the fun.

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Sketchbook Supplies Sketchbook page 1The Sketching seminar (Read more here) was a great reminder that I need to slow down and take more notes and look at shapes and colors.  Sometimes I get tied up in the day-to-day of trying to make a living and forget just how  much fun the work of making art can be.

At the seminar we were given a sketch book and watercolor pencils along with a water brush and view finder that we could use to help us narrow down a composition.

Getting into the habit of carrying a sketchbook is something that many artists do in order to record things they see that they may want to paint at a later time.  I think having a camera with you everywhere you go (cell phone) has made the sketchbook a tool that artists have stopped using.  It’s a shame.

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Phyllis Northup (right) explains sketching techniques

Phyllis Northup (right) explains sketching techniques

Betty Gatewood, Park Ranger, explains the schedule

Betty Gatewood, Park Ranger, explains the schedule

Hiking to our Sketch Location

Hiking to our Sketch Location

Participants in Big Meadows

Participants in Big Meadows

Shen Sketch 10

Quick sketches done by seminar participants

Quick sketches done by seminar participants

Big Meadow-Shenandoah National Park

Big Meadow-Shenandoah National Park

The “Celebrating Wilderness Through Art” Seminar that I attended yesterday was delightful!

The group of about 25 met at Byrd Visitor Center (milepost 51) and were warmly welcomed by the staff of Shenandoah National Park as well as by our seminar leaders Betty Gatewood and Phyllis Northup.

We were given an overview of the Wilderness Act which is celebrating its 50th Anniversary.  The seminar was offered as part of that celebration.

The focus of the day was on the “How and Why of Journaling Nature”.  The leaders did an excellent job in such a short time to focus on seeing and sketching as well as recording what we see, feel, hear and smell as we view nature.

We spent time sketching out in the middle of Big Meadows, recording colors and sights.

Hiking to the location to sketch gave us the opportunity to see small bits of nature that we sometime forget to slow down and take in.

Sketching is a wonderful way to slow down and see!

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