It’s a serious business

Making art is a serious business. It is a profession with a lifelong learning curve and personal development. Many people come to class with the idea that creating visual art is easy. Most seem to believe that painting is child’s play.

It can be a hobby

It can be a hobby or something you do to pass the time.  You may have been interested in a career in the arts when you were younger, but life just got in the way.  Perhaps you retired recently and are looking for something to do.  For example, you may be interested in medicine, and you start reading all of the latest journals on the latest scientific developments, but doing this doesn’t make you a doctor.  Everyone knows it takes years to become a doctor. The same can be said about being an artist.

Dealing with your frustration

Students often tell me that they are not serious artists and only come to class to have fun, yet quickly get frustrated when they do not get the desired results. I am always quick to point out the importance of everyone working at home independently. The more homework you do pays dividends both inside and outside the classroom. Practicing what you have learned in class is essential if you desire to acquire more skills. In other words, serious results require a serious attitude about your art.

Developing a daily practice

Daily drawing practice is essential for everyone serious about becoming an artist. Ideally, you should do one hour of drawing from life every day to see improvements in your work. Working and copying from photographs is useless and without merit, whether you are painting or drawing and avoid using them if at all possible. Everyone should work out every painting beforehand in drawing and colour studies. Extensive changes on the finished work are a sign of a lack of thought and poor planning.

What’s involved in making art?

Making art involves the development of hand-eye coordination and requires the development of the mind. I encourage all of you to become students of art history. Most everyone I meet has very little knowledge of art history. A lack of knowledge makes you vulnerable to a great deal of misinformation in any situation. It would be best to learn techniques and study master artists through the examination of their works.

Who exactly are these master artists?

They are artists whose work we can see in museums and galleries worldwide and receive world attention and acclaim. There are books written about them, and they are part of the curriculum in Colleges, Universities, and Art Schools. However, many “local” artists think of themselves as “masters” and promote themselves as such when in reality, they are misleading you because you lack the knowledge of art history or art in general. There is no such thing as an unknown or undiscovered master artist.

Look at art in museums

I encourage everyone to put some time into their studies and research the art that interests them. The first thing to remember is that no one kind of art is superior to another. Realism, for instance, is not king. It is just one way of many to express yourself. What is essential for me is that you decide for yourself through art history and exploration. Anyone serious about making art should take a class in art history

No one is born an artist

No one is born with talent and no one emerges from their mother holding a paintbrush or a pencil, like so many others would have you believe. I work hard at what I do.  I can be found in my studio every day, working on my paintings and drawings.  So give yourself a break.  Just do the work.

Remember, Artists are made not born.

Quote of the day

“My biggest motivation? Just to keep challenging myself. I see life almost like one long University education that I never had – every day I’m learning something new.”

~ Richard Branson ~

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