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Artist?...how do you get there???

Gotta say, for years I quietly longed to paint like "an artist". Whatever that means, right? For me, it meant picking up a brush, going to the canvas and painting a portrait that when finished was something I could frame and proudly hang on a wall. And for years it didn't happen. I am not formally trained so I convinced myself it was because I had no training. I didn't know what I needed to know about drawing the human face or anatomy of the head and torso so I was convinced that was my problem. I didn't study the color wheel and the lack of color harmony and unity in my work was sadly apparent, so I blamed poor results on that. I didn't work in an artist journal. Yep, it was probably that. And the list goes on. Yet, I took workshops and read a jillion pages about art and watched Youtube art videos till my eyes hurt. Along the way, without my paying serious attention, I acquired enough learning to complete a workshop by replicating the image that was presented in the class, but I yearned to be able to do my own thing from scratch. My attempts were dismal...at first. Then I went to a summer class in the region where I live and the artist/teacher said, "if you can't draw, you won't ever be able to paint"; "a great painting is the result of a great drawing". I worked on my drawings and how I translated them to canvas. For me, the difference was remarkable. The freedom it gave me at the easel transformed my work. People began to invite me to local art shows and my work sold! I always hesitate to call myself an artist but when others refer to me like that I am gratified. Somehow, I arrived at the place I longed to discover. Since then I have applied that same yearning to other aspects of the artistic process...underpainting and color harmony. (This sounds like an art course suddenly...but no, it isn't. It's creative practice.) I also dabble in different mediums to explore how the same drawing works up...it's so revealing.  Bottom line...the road to being an artist, for me...began with drawing. It took time, it took a commitment, but the results are worth it. Here's wishing that your art journey is a rich personal adventure to discovering that being an artist isn't only in your soul. It's in your hands.

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Comments

  • Thank you for sharing ... excellent insight!  Blessings to you

  • I agree that the drawing is so important.  I struggle drawing a face over a painted background and I struggle painting a background if I do the face first.  Both methods have their pros and cons and I paint both ways depending on my mood.  Looking back 2-3 years ago I can see where I've made progress.  I too am self taught.  If I take an interest in something I like to study it before I attempt to paint it.  And the internet is full of free tutorials, some good and some not so good.  I try to journal and at times I feel like the work in the journal is so more me than anything on canvas.  I think being an artist is something you become over time.  You take your dream and work at making it come true. I'm still working on it.  I don't plan on ever giving up.   

    • HI Connie! Ahh, struggles with drawings...I too still struggle with some features. Hands, noses, sometimes capturing the right angle of the jawline. It is great that you journal. I have tried so many times to do that but for whatever reason I fall off the wagon on that. I do like to work my drawings out on paper and play with revisions until I am ready to go to canvas. But again...every artist works differently and that difference is what often creates the uniqueness that attracts us to the finished work. I resonate with your sentiments....working at our dream is what grows us as artists. So great to hear your thoughts. ...hope to see more of you In the workshop.
  • 'If at first you don't succeed try, try again' - this has been my experience, and don't take yourself too seriously. Laugh at your disasters, learn from them and move on. Having always been able to draw, for as long as i can remember, it comes naturally to me. I find it easy and flowing. In contrast, when i decided to teach myself to paint i found it very difficult. It is very different and i had a lot of flops before i came to be able to achieve anything. It's still an ongoing process although i feel i have made progress now and am confident to be able to produce the end result i envision. I think it is easier to make a visual impact with a drawing, it kind of stands alone, where as a painting needs to be part of a composition, and colour pallet as well as putting paint down successfully. You have to learn about the paint and how it reacts etc. and of course colour mixing......! I personally always draw my subject first, mostly on paper, then transfer it to the canvas or board. I do think it is beneficial to have the drawing ability, and learning about anatomy and proportion has been really useful for me.  I am trying out drawing directly onto the support at the moment, after taking Jane's classes, which is something new for me. This has it's positives and negatives, and is part of the learning process. I am also discovering that you can't paint like someone else, you have to do it your own way. It's a happy journey with lots of reward and i feel compelled to carry on along the road. Congratulations on your success and achievment :)

    • Hi Sandra, It is so true...to be able to laugh at your disasters. It does help to put less than intended results in perspective. Like you, I make my drawings on paper to work out the composition. I tend to enjoy that part of the process. For many, going straight to canvas is their comfort zone. And surely it doesn't matter which road one takes. There is so much to explore and discover regardless of how accomplished or not a person is. I am always heartened to see others on their way to discovering the artistry within themselves. Workshops like Jane's open up and encourage that possibility so I truly enjoy being here. It is a bonus to be able to chat with others like you who share their experiences and point of view. Thank you! ...hope to see you in class.
      • Thanks Sharyn, it was good to exchange. 

  • Hi Elaine....it really is interesting and inspiring when we find our thoughts resonated through the voice of others. I wish you wonderful discoveries and results with your art. Thanks for your comment!
  • It often surprises me when. I read the thoughts of others on the creative journey....and see the same thoughts as I have
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