I’m super excited to announce the winner of a $100 art gift certificate today! A million thanks to everyone who entered to win, who left comments and encouragement, and who hung in there for the wait. Stay tuned for another big giveaway on Superbowl Sunday on my Facebook fan page. Please join me in warmly congratulating Frankie Cayton, winner of a $100 Dick Blick art gift certificate!
I’m very honored at the overwhelming response to the giveaway, and so many great stories and comments, and suggestions for studio renovations you’ve shared! This week my Facebook fan page hit the 59,000 fan mark, and I’m overjoyed to have flower friends from around the world! This week has been a time for some quiet reflection on the journey (when the pug puppy is sleeping, of course).
Eight years ago, I began painting every day. There are occasionally days that I miss, I may be on a plane, or just resting up, but there is rarely an evening that doesn’t conclude with a wet canvas on its way to the drying rack. I look back over these years now, and realize this daily practice is what made all the difference. When you paint every day, it starts to mean something bigger than technique, and more than skill building. You begin capturing your own voice and style and authentic identity. Additionally, as an impressionistic painter, you remove the strictures of realism and allow your unfiltered style to show. Key to this is the eventual graduation from working from photos, and painting instead from life.
I’d love to say that art success happens in a flash. It goes without saying that if you’ve painted this long, you’ve begun to recognize your shortcomings and are targeting these for improvement.
But the most interesting thing that happens in this type of a dedicated daily art pursuit is the emergence of your design identity. At some point, your work begins to take on emotional narrative that overlies the simple rules of composition. In some instances, this can be something as subtle as the use of predictable and harmonious color combinations – a defining palette. This can also be demonstrated as a recognizable expressiveness in your brush strokes, in your subject matter, and in the choice of patterns of positive and negative space. At this point, you as a daily painter begin to break away from the pack, and build a body of work. Each painting you create is the narrative of not only your style, but your personality, your experiences, your attitude, and your enthusiasm for each subject.
Even if you’ve been painting at least three times a week, you are on a real path to growth. You’ll see significant changes in your work 6 months down the road. Plus you begin to accumulate (ahem!) lots of paintings! A few weeks ago, we had a spontaneous block party with the neighbors, when I put over 100 (exceptionally) old paintings by the trash bin. The hubby and I noticed flashlights dancing around our front yard and we went outside to say hello to folks digging through the piles. It turned into a rather nice meet the neighbors event, and we even discovered another dog sitter just a block away. I also made the acquaintance of a serious professional artist, aged 10, whose Mom was quite sure they didn’t have room for all of the paintings she had selected, but let her take them home anyway. I think that sort of vote of confidence from a Mom can be the impetus for a lifetime as a courageous, successful artist, don’t you?
Stay tuned, because we are now approaching the final days of studio renovation. The faux antique glass doorknobs were installed just yesterday and the THREE new chandeliers are hanging and shining beautifully! If you’re wanting to know which chandeliers we picked, stay tuned, the grand unveiling video and tons of footage is coming your way soon!
PS: There are only 2 seats left for June 4-14, 2018, workshop in Southern France at Le Vieux Couvent . I’m saving a chocolate croissant with your name on it, ma cheri!
PPS: In 2018, big changes are here for monthly online class members of The Joyful Brush, with cool new features and new paintings. Learn more here!