31 Days of Thanks Day 29
People often think that an artist does what they do and just learn on their own as they go along. Once in a while I'll take a class or buy a new "how to" art book. I've heard Michael say "I don't know why she's taking a class, she could teach it." You always learn something, and just like in the rest of our lives we need to keep improving, changing and learning.
I've talked about Mike Rooney and Ken Auster. Then there is Dan Nelson and Sally Sutton.
Dan is amazing and we've had him teach a couple workshops through Carolina Creations. Painting with two hands, never make an ugly mark, do your darks in transparents, your lights in opaque. Make 75% of your painting dark, 25% light.
I never take everything any one says and incorporate it 100%. Maybe just one thing adds to how I do something.
Last fall I decided I really wanted to get into oils, I've messed around with them, I've done some nice paintings but I don't do it enough to really come up with a style. That being said people say they can tell its my painting even though it's done in a different medium. Maybe style isn't the word, Maybe way of doing one is a better thing to say. Every time I start one its like starting from scratch, I need a road map, do this first, do this second, etc.
So my friend Sally Sutton (who has also done a couple workshops for us in my studio) was teaching an oil painting class at Craven CC last fall. I thought because it would go for several months it might really help me, and it did. A couple things I've incorporated into my way of doing things is to do the underpainting in the opposite of the local color, and use her painting medium.
The class gave me enough confidence to take on a big commission.
I'm doing 1 huge 48 x 60", and 2 smaller 24 x 48" oil paintings for a public building here in our downtown. I'll post photos of it in phases when I'm finished with it.
I'm about 1/2 way done with the giant one and 1/3 done with each of the smaller ones. One thing I've learned already on these is how to paint a huge sky. Rather than just start on the canvas I prepared it by using my medium (or should I say Sally's!), adding a little bit of white and cover the sky area. Then go in with my sky color, wow, what a difference, so much faster and looser. I had a LOT of canvas to cover so this really helped a lot. Plus it helped it dry faster.
So from each artist you learn, from each painting you learn, you learn from hearing people talk about your paintings.
Same with running a gallery. Whenever we go to a show if educational seminars are offered we always go to them, even though we've been in business 24 years we always learn. We always say if we get just one thing out of it it's worth the time and money.
I'm not really much of a teacher, I don't really have the gift for it so this post is a huge thank you to all of the talented people who have been generous with their knowledge, contributing to making my art and Carolina Creations what it is today.