View Full Version : I am going to take a class.
05-28-2003, 12:36 AM
I have avoided watercolor for a reason for a long time.
The one and only friend I have that is an artist is a watercolorist. Oddly we are both in the same day job. From our first meeting she picked my brain. She has taken classes from all my favorites. Diane Massey, Mary DeLoyht-Arendt, Lewis Barrett Lehrman, Maxine Johnston, Arne Westerman and.... bow down.... Charles Ried.
So, lucky slob, she has run the school dry.
She also has a real problem (... I am venting here so just listen because you will have my whole motivation if I leap in feet first, in spite of a few other media I am in the middle of......) SHE is having a hard time getting pieces for shows. She always puts NFS on any she enters and has been really bummed if she doesn't get in.
She SELLS EVERYTHING! And I am not talking ebay. She has a very weathy clientelle who are constantly amazed that this wonderful service worker is so talented they buy it the second she shows them.
Still, she picks my brains.
I have entered easily 10 shows last year, and been rejected from over half. BUT GOT IN FOUR. I have wall to wall paintings staked up and am trying to be a professional, finding a gallery or two, making a real repution, trying to establish myself nationally so I present well. You know kids, I was out of the art loop for over 15 YEARS... I have to catch up. She whines when she gets one rejection and when she gets in is SURE she will take a national show.... That is out of two entries.
And still she picks my brains.
For a while she would email me pieces and say "what is wrong with this?" It drove me mad. WHO CARES? You are gonna sell it anyway!!!
... I am composing myself......
So I told her. Mostly I told her she didn't do her homework. That thumbnails should LOOK much like the finished piece, not just exercise...but the saver of my ego would be "But I don't do watercolors" so I could not get involved.
She is trying to get into the National society......again with only 3 pieces in her house to try to enter... but she is trying not to take them in to work because she KNOWS someone will buy them
...where is that grrrr icon.....????
I advised her a year or so ago to make sure the picture inside the frame equalled out to more than half the sale price, for gossake!
So she did....
I loaned her my graphics editing program so I could use her better computer before I upgraded and showed her how to print cards, and she now has a cottage industry....
I FINALLY got fed up last year and did a few watercolors and was really enjoying it until I got good and realized I WAS GOING TO COMPETE WITH HER.
Maybe only in my head... I really didn't want to do that. It was a bad thing...
After that, I gave her the trick to laying out from a photo exactly using the computer, and FINALLY showed her how to overcome her lack of compositional instinct by taking good photos, drawing them up, and then PAINTING THE WHOLE THING UPSIDE DOWN.
So she got really good.
I won a prize at the school LAST year of a $150 scholarship. It is a carrot. None of the classes from the pros are under $400. The locals are $250 and I was going to have to take a week off work and spring for the extra. LUCKILY summer has a few 4 weekers.
She told me she was going to take an anatomy class. She said the instructor was a good teacher, that was on faculty of the college and the community college. So she signed up with another friend. I must tell you I have been avoiding a lot of contact because I get hoarse answering questions, most of which, she just enthusiastically agrees with and rarely has anything to input, disagree with or add....
I got the schedule and the demo picture was very NOT excellent. I told her (mocking? supportive?... no telling which..) she was a better portraitist than this girl. Then went on to read that ONE class was open in a part of my summer schedule that matched. Watercolor. Ted Nuttal. Local boy, nice work. Four sessions, $125. BINGO.
So the next day she says she agrees and wants to jump ship and take the SAME class instead.
So I will be doing watercolor if I live.
05-28-2003, 12:46 AM
Okay - the way I see it is that you and a friend who happens to be an excellent watercolor artist are taking the same class. You will both learn a lot from the teacher. You will also learn from observing her works in progress, and maybe she will learn some composition skills from you. A win/win situation. Enjoy the class and don't think of it as a competition. Oh, and if she asks too many questions, just pretend that you are so absorbed in your painting that you haven't heard her.
05-28-2003, 12:52 AM
05-28-2003, 01:42 AM
Have you ever said, "I dunno, what do YOU think?" when she asks a question? (I know, I know, it's hard when you really DO know!!) . All's I know is that if I hadn't started saying that to my daughter in middle school, I'd have graduated from high school twice, once for me and once for her.
Michelle hit the nail on the head.
Can't wait to see your homework.
05-28-2003, 03:43 AM
First of all, DJ, good for you taking a class! You're very talented in other mediums, as soon as you get to grips with it I know you'll do great with watercolour too.
I don't have any artistic friends, so I don't know how I'd feel in your situation. It sounds like she is using you like we all use WC, but that is alot for one person to cope with!!! Tell her to join us and then we can take the strain :D
Maybe you could gently point out that she obviously doesn't need help from you if she sells work so easily :D
(who has dozens of paintings waiting for new homes!)
05-28-2003, 03:46 AM
Wow, jealousy is a green-eyed monster. Either your "friend" is incredibly sweet and naive, you are one hell of a false friend, or I have misunderstood the situation completely. :D I found it difficult to follow your thread, but [and I am yelling at you]:
TED NUTTALL IS NOT A NATIVE ARIZONIAN--HE IS NOT A LOCAL "BOY", BUT YES, HE LIVES IN PHOENIX. TED NUTTUALL IS A FORMER OWNER OF A GRAPHICS ART COMPANY WHO, WHILE TAKING A CLASS FROM CHARLES REID AT SCOTTSDALE SCHOOL WAS TOLD BY REID "YOU SHOULD BE TEACHING THIS CLASS". REID WENT TO THE ADMINS AND NUTTALL WAS HIRED TO TEACH. NUTTALL IS AN EXCELLENT, QUALITY TEACHER AND IF YOU GET IN HIS CLASS AND AT ONLY $125 YOU ARE ONE LUCKY SOB. NUTTALL, AFTER BEING HIRED BY ART SCHOOL, RE-EVALUATED AND SOLD HIS BUSINESS CONCENTRATING ON HIS FIGURAL WORK. NUTTALL IS NOT A PORTRAITIST--HE IS A FIGURE PAINTER. NUTTALL HAS ONLY BEGUN. HE TEACHES SEVERAL TIMES A YEAR IN MONTANA, ART LEAGUES ACROSS THE NATION ARE HEARING OF HIM AND HE IS GAINING IN REPUTATION. HE IS A JURIED MEMBER OF MANY LEAGUES, INCLUDING ARIZONA NATIONAL SOCIETY. NUTTALL IS A WONDERFUL INSTRUCTOR. HE GIVES THE BEST DEMO I HAVE EVER SEEN/HEARD, BUT, HE IS NOT A PORTRAITIST--SO IF YOU ARE EXPECTING ANY TYPE OF TRADITIONAL WORK, YOU WILL NOT GET IT FROM NUTTALL.
OK, I'm done yelling. :D Just trying to snap you out of it. Perhaps you are just in a snit tonight. I know, some peeps just have all the luck, ain't it the truth! And they seem to do nothing to garner it. Perhaps your friend just has the "natural talent" I hear about. At any rate, take the Nuttall, he gives a wonderful class. Try to arrange a way to not be by your friend, though, so you can enjoy the class. I think you must be really tactful with her so I am sure you will come up w/a way to say "why not sit on opposite sides of the room, then, we can compare what we learned."
I went to some life drawing classes with a friend. We would sit together and she is so damn dramatic, slamming her pencil around, energetic look at me egg shapes, slamming back her chain to see "perspective", posing the model, ad nausaum. I had diminishing returns in the class due to this behavior bugged hell out of me. Now, I don't take classes w/her. She bugs me even from across the room.
BTW: If you want a more traditional portrait/figurist, sign up for Carol Orr. But I hope you take the Nuttall, truly, he gives a fabulous class and is so nice I want to slap him. Yes, I own a piece of his work, and love him madly. Good luck.
 You should know, Nuttall sells. His 1/4 sheets begin at $900.
What a great vent! Hang in there!
05-28-2003, 06:13 AM
Dont you just have the greatest fun dj. If you ever come to NZ maybe you and one of the local volcano's can have a competition.LOL. Definately pick a spot away from her and compare later on what you learnt.
I went to a local pastel class the other weekend and later on when talking to another friend I was told that according to another friend who was at the class, I didnt have a very successful weekend at all. Funny , I thought I learnt heaps and even questioned the tutor about follow ups, even oil tutorials as well . Theres no pleasing some people.
We all know your good at what you do ( in fact some of us are actually jealous LOL.) Keep at it girl.
Billyg. :D :evil: :angel:
05-28-2003, 06:33 AM
Do you feel better now??????
05-28-2003, 07:11 AM
Wish I had your problems !!
05-28-2003, 08:04 AM
DJ... this person is your *friend*... why? With all the envy and resentment in this one-sided relationship, I don't understand why you are *friends*... hmmm... She is feeding off you and you are letting her do it!!!! There's a lot of negatativity within YOU that could be affecting your work... just a thought...
Take the course. Focus your energy on enjoying and learning from your instructor...
05-28-2003, 08:06 AM
Sounds like a trying situation. One thing is for sure though, she obviously values your opinion.
I think the advice you received from dspinks to say "I dunno, what do you think" might help her to start thinking about her work more, and not rely so much on you. That's good advice.
As for all the sales she makes, we aren't suppose to paint the same, and what she happens to be painting now sells better. That doesn't mean she's a better artist.
Best wishes, djstar!
05-28-2003, 08:14 AM
Dj, you have GREAT talent in watercolor, pastel, oils you name it. And now I understand better why you seemed to avoid watercolor for so long. I hope you enjoy your sessions and you will show us some of your work.
I've enjoyed seeing your work in other mediums for a long time. You are very talented and I'm envious of your ability and your opportunities. I used to live in Mesa, and I enjoyed the Scottsdale Arisist School while I was there. I miss it now. You will do as well in watercolor as you have everything else. Smile! Life is good!
05-28-2003, 09:49 AM
My two cents...Tell her how you feel rather than keeping it pent up inside. You can do it assertively without attacking her ("It makes me feel x when you do y.") If she's really your friend, she'll understand and try to behave differently; if she's not, maybe she'll stop bothering you. Either way, it's out in the open and off your chest and you haven't perpetuated the problem by playing "games". Maybe she always comes to you because she envies your abilities and feels inferior and doesn't believe she has much to offer you. Maybe she's just insensitive and doesn't realize how her actions affect you. You would know better than I what might motivate her.
Sorry for butting in, you can get up off the couch now, our session is over.
05-28-2003, 12:25 PM
Ouch! my monitor just melted :D
Nice to see you back, dj, hope to se you posting here soon. I know you feel you've been made a "patsy" (hope that means what it means in the UK :D), you seem to be the type of person who is always ready to help. You'll just have to say, sorry I'm too busy to take this on at the moment.
05-28-2003, 01:20 PM
Aw, dj, don't be shy. Tell us what you REALLY think!
Seriously, it sounds like you're getting some great advice here. I'd just add, as my two cents worth, that you might ask yourself why you continue to have a relationship that sounds so one sided?? No one can take advantage of us unless we give them permission.....
Waiting to see your homework!
05-28-2003, 01:20 PM
Gisele. YOU hit it right on the head.
Honestly I am like butter spread toooooo thin.
Wanna know what REALLY is the crux???? With all this good advice she does not hessitate to ask for, not ONCE has she ever introduced me to any of her eager patrons so that I may profit from my wisdom.
THAT is a hard thing to ask.
I burst into tears just typing that.
I am guarding my wisdom because after months of us talking about going out and getting business and talking and talking, one afternoon between clients I went out and sold some cards to a bookstore. When I told her, she went out the next morning to the same store and did the same thing. Every ounce of wind fell out of my sails. I felt like the explorer hatcheting my way through the snow and the wilderness only to have her following me in her ski-doo. Since then I have guarded myself.
I am a wiggly little shell with a wormy small.ego here. But I am getting old and I am tired of feeling like an uphill struggle.
The only time I feel good is working in art.
Yeah. I run into him at the framer. I have admired his work on the walls of the studio for the whole experience.
LOCAL means not an out of town hotshot. LOCAL means affordable. YES it is a bargain. YES I am happy to be going. NOT HAPPY to be in it with the main reason I have not been doing it all along.
Ted and I will get along famously.
I am not in it for the portrait... I am ok on portrait:
I want to learn how to use water and brushes. It has been 25 years since I took any instruction. I think my colors are still confined and I have only one direction in my head. I like his stuff and was thrilled to see the hole in my schedule.
AND that comment about the figure teacher.... THAT is touchy.
The whole school knows me. One of the other instructors, in a confab was asked if he could recommend any instructors and he said me. I have been asked a LOT where I teach. I would love to but that wormy little ego wants to have a curriculum and I have not taken classes in so long I don't really know what they expect.
The powers that be went blank.... then said... "Open studio Debra?????" and dismissed it with no further discussion.
I am spying.
I am a really good at figure and have a great anatomy background and would LOVE to slide into that niche. But I don't know how to hone what I know into bite sized pieces of info.
Maybe I should just do a "Pump Deb's Brain" four session summer shorty and see if all of those potential students would show up?
It all boils down to hating my day job and not getting any momentuum on being a productive contributing member of the art world.
GOOD point is that she challenges me. I take small joys in at least never stopping and pushing myself harder to stay ahead... AND HERE IS THE ONLY PLACE I GET TO WHINE!!!!
05-28-2003, 01:27 PM
Ok, now I see you homework!!
WOW. WHAT ARE YOU WHINING ABOUT?? GET IN THERE AND PAINT, GIRL!!! (shaking you so that your head nods vigorously)
05-28-2003, 01:43 PM
DJ....an absolutely STUNNING portrait....OMG girl, you're overflowing with talent.
One thing I've learned in life...the minute "money" comes into the picture it either makes or breaks a situation. Tell her that, from now on, your "time" is worth something as her CONSULTANT. If she asks for advice, give it to her....and when the painting sells, you get a fair share....name your percentage. If this ends the friendship, there was never any friendship to begin with.
I can remember a time when people lived on the simplicity of the "Golden Rule". Not anymore. It's "WIIFM"...(what's in it for me). You have two choices. Allow people to walk all over you or learn to speak up for yourself. Oh sure, they'll be all offended probably and think you're scum...but hey, who needs friends like that? Sounds like a very self centered, self serving individual you're dealing with....but it is a sign of the times *sigh*. You go take that class and look after #1 for a change. Learn to single out those who are genuine and deserving of your friendship and those who are just in for their own personal gain...at your expense. Good luck!!
Again, your portrait just blows me away!! Not to mention he's an absolute "hunk" :D :cat:
05-28-2003, 01:57 PM
DJ, Ah, no, you don't need any classes; and, the figurist is touchy w/me too.
Yes, you should be teaching; I could use an instructor. I copied your post to spend more time assimilating its parts, I excel at marketing plans but not sure about what you are stating. Am sure about one thing, though. As you report on this "friend", clearly she is not your friend. Sounds like one of those which I label "passive-aggressive"--sweetly gets what she wants from everyone leaving carnage behind. Ease out of this relationship quickly. I would be amazed that her work is better than yours, given this [img] in the thread, she is better at closing the sale is all. Closing the sale is an art in itself and many successful artists do not have that skill [don't tell, but imo Ted doesn't have it, but has many, many followers who do]. We need to get together to brain storm getting you out of that day job enviornment [the friend], which is draining your creativity and preventing you from concentrating on your own path.
I am happy you did not react in anger to my post which was just meant to jolly you out of what I thought was a spur of the moment rant, I see now it is much deeper. I don't think you need to take the Nuttall. Hell, if I had to sit next to her, I'd forgo the schlorship and spend that time just painting by myself--ain't worth the anxiety.
05-28-2003, 02:00 PM
Debra Debra Debra
I did not read the whole rant....but I agree that you should be teaching.......pastel portraiture AT LEAST
Tell Milt and all those Scottsdale Art folks I said so!
*hands on massive hips*
When I come down this winter I want to sit next to you and LEARN!
PS.....examining that "friendship" sounds like a good idea
05-28-2003, 02:02 PM
I like the portrait you showed! I have always liked your work and maybe you might not tell your "friend" everything. Some people are like that. "They pick your brain and then take home the prize. I once worked with a young man many years ago. He wanted the management position up for grabs. He picked my brain and another lady's for info. Next thing we know is he took our work home, redid it in his writing and turned it in and got the credit, pat on the shoulder and promotion.
Is "backstabber" too harsh a word? Why not do something and don't say a word to her and then brag big time.
I agree with everyone else. Don't sit near her in the class. Shrug and say I dunno often.
And never feel defeated because she sales. I personally feel that successful sales don't mean better art. It might just be she knows people with lots of money to throw her way. I wouldn't expect your friend to suggest to her clients that they buy from you unless they are looking for something in a style she can't produce.
And that's my two cents.
05-28-2003, 02:40 PM
What? You mean you're not teaching?! I've always thought that you were.... Of course nobody is forcing you into anything. But if the idea appeals to you.... *....taking my magic wand to turn anger into audacity...*
Go for it!
05-28-2003, 08:32 PM
First I enjoyed reading your thoughts/dilemma. Any person that could evoke such grief and anxiety is not worth having in your life. Life is too short! Ditch her - at this point she is the only one that is benefitting from the relationship so what have you got to lose?
05-28-2003, 09:07 PM
I am blown away by the portrait you posted. Beautiful, please post more.
05-29-2003, 03:47 AM
Debra, Always loved the Simon Portrait!!!
As far as taking the workshop with this woman, You might have to be blunt and tell her you are there to work and not socialize or she is going to sit next to you and yak through the whole lecture and demo and be very distracting while you are doing your work. You might even discuss with her that you are going to sit elsewhere.....or you can just arrive early.set up your stuff and leave till the starting time. With any luck she will have a seat in the back! (I'm talking from the voice of experience)
05-29-2003, 05:08 AM
....or you could give her some really BAD advice--"too many darks", "eewww, purple???", "YOU don't have to worry about composition!". Then she'll quit asking.....
What?? Who said that???
05-29-2003, 05:50 AM
Oh, Kate, that little voice is devious (but delightful). LOL!
This person IS NOT YOUR FRIEND!!!! You may have known her for quite a while, but her actions are not those of a boon companion.
People can only walk over us if we allow them to. Start taking steps to ease this person out of your life. When she calls to get together, have something you are doing and just "can't get away from right now." After a bit of that time after time, she'll begin to get the idea.
Definitely sit as far away from her in the class as you can manage. Tell her you can get together and compare notes after class, then let her do all the talking and just feed back whatever she says (keep your ideas to yourself and implement them without telling her about it).
She definitely sounds like a blood-sucking leech of a personality, a taker against your giver. Stop being a giver for a change.
Your portrait certainly shows you have plenty of talent so you have nothing to worry about on that front. Stop comparing yourself to her, you sound like you might be your own worst critic.
I look forward to seeing your watercolors, I know they are going to be great.
05-29-2003, 11:25 AM
Now we have to stop picking on her.
I honestly believe she is clueless. I have mentioned, well overtly said how I feel on more than one occasion, very lightly and gently and seen her honestly confused.
Here is what I percieve. I have been genuinely supportive and honest and councelled with the goal of honest enrichment and had nothing but her best interests as my purpose, but I conclude that she believes .... that Ihad nothing but her best interests as my goal. Like how your mom might feel?.. I think her empathy button is disengaged. She doesn't actually hurt me one iota with each of her successes but I think she has it mixed up with maternal interest, where each advance is the parent's own reward?!?!? I know she just does not get that I am struggling too. I know she thinks I have it made and she is comfortable with generous people who have plenty to spare. I really just don't think she sees how there are times when that generousity starts emptying the coffers. Lets be serious, if I got in each show I entered and sold all my work and was earning money, YOU BET I would share my tricks with her. But for all the work I do getting the trickle of success (and I have learned this is the way to madness...) I would hope she might try helping me with what she does best or at least stop complaining about the steps she missed on the way to the goal.
It is not the success I really can't stand. She is good.
It is when she only can talk about the lack. Never see the bounty that makes me bummed. Sometimes in relationships the tone of a converstation that early on was about understanding together becomes sort of redundant and sounds like harping... you know, how sometimes it gets with MEN!!! (except those that work in watercolor.) THAT is it. When we both crawl forward in the same muck we are compatriates, but here I am with my machete and she is distracting me by asking me to bring her a gin and tonic. ( I live in Phoenix, that works better than the snow mobile allusion today ;) )
No, class will be just fine. She will ask a lot of questions, I hope, since he is getting paid for that sort of thing and I will sit and do good work and ask my own. If we both talk to him, we will be fine. If we start cross talking I will suggest she ask him and mostly I will see how this workshop thing is done then draw up a lesson plan to present to the school.
It will not be that much stress doing it. It will be a crummy rest of the week dreading it. We have dropped off contact rather calmly and gently and easily, as she doesn't do open studio anymore so that is my only social time. IF we could not talk art we would be fine, but that is the only reason I became friends with her was TO talk art!!!!
Ah well, off to the fingertip mines...
Thanks all. I always have fun in this forum. I just can't read that fast!
05-29-2003, 12:40 PM
Hi Debra and I don't need to wish you good luck as everything you do is great! I am sure you will do the same with watercolor after all how hard can it be??
PS have fun and good luck!!
05-29-2003, 01:33 PM
You do beautiful work! I agree I think this friend is clueless however ..... we teach people how to treat us. Start asking her for tips on swooning clients :evil: Also you don't have to share ***Everything*** with her.
I know you're happy about what you do and where you go so just share it with us from now on. That way she can't tag behind or copy cat you. You're a smart cookie , you already know what to do :)
You live near all those retired folks , isn't there anywhere you can go to teach seniors?
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