Paradise

a Common Yellow-throat surveys his domain, watercolour painting
Common Yellow Throat—watercolour

Part of being an artist is learning how to see the world, to notice things that are often overlooked. It encourages you to slow down, to appreciate… to be with your subject.

The more I spend time studying the subjects I paint the more amazing they seem to me. The natural world has beauty and harmony not often seen in our artificial lives.

I also notice how caught up we get in the troubles and challenges in our lives—in the day to day grind, in the troubles of the world and how we miss that all around us is a paradise of wonders.

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Shaking It Up

I’ve been working a lot in watercolour the past year or so and felt I was getting into a rut. I had done some miniature paintings on the side in acrylic, with these tiny little canvasses I had lying around…
REALLY TINY!

So, I thought I would stretch myself a bit and tackle some larger pieces. The process for acrylic is opposite what it is for watercolour. Instead of painting light to dark, you go from dark to light. It’s a different way of approaching a painting and makes me SEE the subjects in a new way. This has brought me back to my formal training and all of a sudden I’m thinking up new ideas for paintings!

“It’s good as an artist to always remember to see things in a new, weird way.” 
~Tim Burton

Using (or trying) different materials is a great way to infuse new life into your art practice, to see things from a new point of view, and to jump start creativity when you feel blocked.

How to you get out of a rut, or a block?

Watch me paint… and it’s done!

I’m working on a realism piece and have taken snapshots of the process. I’d like to share them with you! This is the finished piece. If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them… enjoy

Shadows

I may add some very minor details yet in the leaves… but it’s done!  Yay!

I hope you enjoyed seeing one of my processes, if you’d like to see more let me know in the comments.

Watch me paint…#11 and 12

I’m working on a realism piece and have taken snapshots of the process. I’d like to share them with you! This is phase 11 & 12. If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to hear them… enjoy
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Working it up with more detail, adjusting colours and shades to give it more dimension, and finishing all the flowers.

I’m glazing the foliage with blue and yellow, depending on their hue.

Finished post tomorrow!!!

If you’ve enjoyed this, like! and share… thanks!

The Myth of Talent

Almost every day I hear things like this: “Wow, I wish I could draw like you, you are so lucky to have been born with talent”, “You have so much talent, I can’t even draw a stick figure”, and “I wish I had your talent”, and many variations of these sentiments.

It’s baloney.

It’s true that I’ve always doodled and sketched and coloured (what kid doesn’t?), and I’ve always looked at the world in wonder, but I did not come out of the womb with a pencil in my hand. Some of my early drawings are downright awful.

Really, truly dreadful. There are mountains of paper somewhere with my failed artworks on them.

What I did do was keep trying, and learning. Drawing, or painting or sculpting, whatever, are skills. They take hard work and persistence and a willingness to fail. Oh yes, fail—horribly. Over and over.

It’s a Lie

There’s a myth, a LIE, that creativity and artistic skill is something one is born with. It’s not true – though I believe some artists have remained silent because it makes the process somewhat mysterious, and therefore maybe more valuable? I think it does the opposite. I think that this myth devalues artists because a lot of people believe that the work we produce takes no effort… sort of like it’s magic or something. Or, that it isn’t ‘work’ at all.

This could not be farther from the truth. The worst effect of this belief is that many people give up on any creative urges they have.

Everyone is Creative

Everyone is creative, it’s a basic human trait. We are resourceful beings, problem solvers, and that is the basis for creativity. Some people are creative with cooking, or running a household, or dancing, music or how they parent, some have the urge to make things. All of these are creative endeavours. Anyone can learn the skills to draw or paint, or sculpt. If they want to—it’s not something you are born with.

I am amazed by how often people put themselves down, or compare themselves to others.

Don’t Buy Into It

Don’t buy into the myth, keep working at it. It’s not magic—it’s the willingness to be awful before you get better. It’s the willingness to learn a new skill. It’s about accepting that your vision is valuable, and how you express yourself is unique. It’s really about being your own best friend, and not your own worst critic.

Have you believed talent is something ‘others’ have or were born with? How has this myth held you back from doing what you want? Have you overcome it, how? Share in the comments…