Tag Archives: artist’s life

Painting Avoidance

I’ve been avoiding painting. I’ve been doing lots of responsible adult-ish things instead… like exercising, doing the household bookkeeping, or writing this blog post. No matter how important the task though, if it’s not what you’re supposed to be doing right now, then it’s not being a responsible adult. I’m supposed to be painting. I have a commission on the easel–another one that I can’t show you yet because it’s going to be a surprise gift. I promised it would be done by the end of this month. So, it’s time to squirt some paint on a palette and pick up the brushes.

There are other reasons I haven’t been painting like I should. Relatives needed me for one thing and then another, it was the busy end-of-year at my school job, and we just moved our daughter out of state, so I was TIRED. Now that I’m blissfully unemployed for several weeks, I’ve got an empty nest, and I’ve had a whole day to do nothing and rest, I’m all energetic again, but what I really want to do is clean and organize–especially in my studio. With the daughter moved out, I get her room again for storing all the things that were in my way in the studio. I never get to do spring cleaning until school is out, so I’ve only got a week left while it’s still technically spring. But, it’s time to squirt some paint on a palette and pick up the brushes.

I think this commission I’m working on is going exceptionally well, which may be one reason I haven’t done anything with it for a couple weeks. I’m so happy with what I’ve done that I really don’t want to mess it up. But it needs to be done as soon as possible, so it’s time to be brave, squirt some paint on a palette, and pick up the brushes. HERE GOES…

Words of Gratitude

I don’t want to leave this until it’s one of those long overdue posts. There are some people who deserve my thanks. It’s only been a few months since I began working toward art as a vocation (that is, since I’ve been making serious attempts at getting paid for my art), but I have already received so much priceless help from some phenomenal people – people who I haven’t even met. I want to bring much-deserved attention to their amazing work and acknowledge them for what they’ve done to help me get started.

First, there was Robin Sealark. I found her on Youtube when I was looking for an instructional video on mixing flesh tones. She had a great video on that topic, and so much more. Robin is young and full of energy, witty, charming, and adorable. Her paintings are full of vibrant color and she dares to experiment and reinvent  herself. Watching her videos made me feel like I already had a friend in the business.  I would like to spend the first profits from my own paintings to purchase one of hers.

Next, there was Stefan Baumann. Wow. Just wow. I may have watched all of his lectures on Youtube (there are a lot) and I know I’ve watched at least a dozen of them a second time. I’ve never seen, or rather heard, art classes taught the way he teaches. I am so amazed that instruction this valuable is available for free on Youtube. The gift that he has given to the artists of the world in these videos is enormous. If you are a painter, you need to watch them. Even if you don’t paint in oils, you need to watch them.  Even photographers should watch them.  You won’t agree with everything he says, but you need to watch them.  I’ve added attending one of his workshops at his Mount Shasta ranch to my bucket list.

Finally there is Patrick at  Art Storefronts.  He does their podcasts.  I have determined that I am not quite ready to purchase their software/services to set up an e-commerce website with “Live Preview” (a super-cool feature where you can see what a painting will look like on your own wall).  But they have so much genius advice available in those podcasts on the topic of marketing art.  I’m so thankful that they offer it for free.

Besides the great people I’ve found online, I’ve been encouraged by some great people I’ve met face-to-face:  church friends, friends at my day job (which I’m not quitting any time soon), old friends that I only get to see on social media, and especially my new friends at our local Urban Sketchers group — it was phenomenal to sit down with a group of strangers, talk and laugh like we’d known each other for years, and walk away friends.  I look forward to getting to know you better.  I’m so glad I live in a city where people care about art and artists have the means to find each other.

Most important of all, there’s my family, not one of whom ever told me that I would starve if I tried to make a living as an artist.  Really.  Not one discouraging word from one relative ever.  Not when I was a teenager considering attending an art school instead of a traditional college.  Not now, after I’ve had other jobs for decades and decided to get back into art and make it a profession.  Not even one snarky comment.  How rare is that?!!