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View Full Version : Cleaning out the attic - and a note to newbies!


DAK723
06-27-2009, 03:51 PM
Hi Everyone!

A funny thing happened when I was cleaning out the attic the other day....

But first I want to welcome all the newbies that have been joining us here in the pastel forum. It seems like there have been a lot of newcomers lately, both newcomers to art and newcomers to pastel who have been working in other mediums, but have given pastels a try for the first time! A word of warning - you may be hooked for life! :wave:

It wasn't that long ago that I first stumbled upon WetCanvas, so I still remember how intimidating it can be to post that first painting for all the world to see!! But if you have made that first step, or if you are still contemplating it - please, don't be intimidated.

And yes, it can be intimidating! It certainly was for me. After all, there are some artists here with fantastic ability (and believe me, I certainly don't put myself in that category), as well as art book authors, artists with their own DVDs and workshops, artists with national and international recognition - and, of course, artists of all levels of experience and ability! (That's my category!) And yet, here at WetCanvas we are all equals! We can all learn from one another, help one another, encourage one another! We really are one big community - one big family! It may take a little while until you really feel comfortable, but it will happen!!

And you know what, we were all newbies once! So please, don't feel intimidated! More on intimidation, later...

Anyway, back to the attic cleanup. I have always thought that my first pastels were done at college, where I used pastels in my figure drawing classes. These earliest efforts, some no more than sketches, lost forever with the sands of time...

But not so! I found two pastels in the attic that were in a pile of art that I did in high school. These are almost certainly my first pastels! I post them, not for any historic value, but for the benefit of the newbies, to reduce the intimidation factor!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jun-2009/82335-1st-pastel1-small.JPG

Now, you may be thinking -well, that's not so bad! The colors, the composition are pretty good. Well, this is clearly a copy from an old master painting (I don't recognize it, however), so the colors and composition are certainly not mine! That reflection at the bottom of the vase is probably mine however, as it makes no sense where that white shape is coming from!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jun-2009/82335-1st-pastel2-small.JPG

This one is also clearly a copy of a real painting. The background leaves a bit to be desired - and I'm not sure what those thin, spidery lines are on her upper arm - they might be folds in her clothing!

OK, I know some of you are thinking, "These are better than Don's current work!" Well, I hope not! But I am somewhat surprised at my use of very dark values - something I can definitely improve on today!!

I found a few more items that will probably interest no one, but I will post them anyway! :lol:

Perhaps my first acrylic painting. Those that have following my portrait classroom will probably get a good laugh out of this one!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jun-2009/82335-1st-acrylic-1small.JPG

Gosh, he looks like he is wearing heavy eye makeup!

My first oil! OK, I was only about 10 years old for this one!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jun-2009/82335-1st-oil-1small.JPG

Now, one more word about intimidation. Imagine yourself at not quite 14 years old. You are painfully shy, you talk to almost no one, you are afraid of school. You are a good kid - definitely not a troublemaker - so you have never been to the school principal's office. After all, kids get sent to the principal's office only when they have committed outrageous crimes! And the principal himself is a huge, powerful man who can snap kids in two with his bare hands (or so it seems)!

Now imagine your art teacher grabbing your arm at the beginning of class and telling you, "Today you are going to do a portrait of the principal!" Using a black marker, of all things - and no eraser!! Now, that was intimidating!

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/27-Jun-2009/82335-mr-tkachsmall.JPG

But I survived!!

Hope you have enjoyed this little trip down memory lane. If anyone else has some memories or artwork to share, please feel free to join in!

Don

Dougwas
06-27-2009, 05:25 PM
Thanks for sharing, Don. It is so true. I remember hitting that send button the first time. And the second time. Don't remember the third time. It gets easier and easier. Everybody in the WC pastel forum are friendly people. Helpful too. And if you don't post your work, how can they help you?

So to all you lurkers, (I was one for a while) come join in the fun of learning this great medium we all share. No one will bite you. I promise.:D

Thanks again, Don.

Doug

Scottyarthur
06-27-2009, 09:38 PM
This is great Don, thanks. I am sure that at some point or another we all have had that moment, I know I did and sometimes still do. but everyone here is really very nice and extremlly helpful. I had been painting in Oils before I found pastels and joined into this forum, everyone was very supportive, I owe many thanks to alot of great artist here as I ventured into pastels.

Donna T
06-27-2009, 10:34 PM
I'm so glad you found all of that wonderful artwork in your attic, Don! I like the surfer dude you painted at 10 - what a great start to your artistic journey! I have some artwork I did in college that I just can't part with. It's not good, it just reminds me of those days.

It was really hard for me to put my first pastel on WC. I'm so glad I did because I have learned so much since then and met so many nice people from all over the world!

Donna

CM Neidhofer
06-27-2009, 11:20 PM
Here is my very first pastel, done about 10 years ago in the first class I ever took. It's a real stinker!! :p Makes me wonder why I ever thought I could do ANYTHING with pastels!! lol But I kept at it. Still not the greatest, but better than this!! Finding WetCanvas was the next best thing to taking classes. So all you newbies and lurkers (I lurked for months here before I got up the nerve to post anything) don't be afraid to post your work, ask questions and ask for advice/help. We all do it all the time cuz we're all still learning, no matter how long we've been getting dusty! :wave:

Christine

K Taylor-Green
06-28-2009, 02:12 AM
Well Don, you have certainly put everything very happily into perspective!:lol: I wish I had some of my beginning work to show!

Lynne Vokatis
06-28-2009, 10:07 AM
Don! how wonderfull,thanks for sharing.a really great thread too. im sure if im still a newbie....i only joined in december lol.I like WC,people are so nice and its a great sharing and learning place......now ive got to go see whats in the attic. maybe my mom has some of my old work.....
:lol: omg! I loooove the principal!!!you can see you were talented already.
:wink2: i like the surfer dude too.

saramathewson
06-28-2009, 11:34 AM
Thanks for posting these Don. I have yet to post any of my paintings. Mainly because I am computer illiterate and can't figure out how to do it. My hubby is busy but he is the one who will have to help me with that. I better get to it as some of them are going to be framed and I want to do it before that happens. Partly I am scared of putting myself out there for all to see. I am fairly new to pastels and feel very new to wc. I guess it has been about a year since I started posting comments here although I joined back in 2004 I think. I forgot all about that and found it again last year and still haven't posted any art work. I may be the slowest one to do so on here. I hope I can get it figured out because I know I will learn a lot more by getting my work critiqued. Thanks again for a trip down memory lane!

Sara

pastelist
06-28-2009, 01:47 PM
Don,

Wow, your posting reflects my feelings exactly. When I joined Wetcavas I had the same feelings. I have been pastel painting nearly 30 years. I remember my first works as well and I have a totally different style. I would like to become more involved in Wetcanvas. How do you become a guide? I have written several times to the powers that be in Wetcanvas. When I began my art there was no Wetcanvas, where artists could meet and chat and reflect on their masterpieces. There was no Art Project System. I really love that area. You can create a project for others or complete a fellow artist's project. I absolutely love Wetcanvas! Please let me know how I can become more involved.

Terry
06-28-2009, 01:52 PM
Don,
You have more fortitude than I did.
Many years ago my folks brought me my art school works that, they had saved
for a long time. I went thru them and pulled out just a few to save for myself.
The rest we into the fireplace so I would never have to see just how poorly
I had done back there in the '60'.
"Vanity, Vanity', I think that is written down somewhere....
We all start off somewhere on this journey. I have seen my work progress, and sometimes regress, BUT it is a journey, The journey that I love.

GET STARTED and enjoy the trip.

Terry Ludwig

DAK723
06-28-2009, 02:08 PM
Thanks for posting these Don. I have yet to post any of my paintings. Mainly because I am computer illiterate and can't figure out how to do it. My hubby is busy but he is the one who will have to help me with that. I better get to it as some of them are going to be framed and I want to do it before that happens. Partly I am scared of putting myself out there for all to see. I am fairly new to pastels and feel very new to wc. I guess it has been about a year since I started posting comments here although I joined back in 2004 I think. I forgot all about that and found it again last year and still haven't posted any art work. I may be the slowest one to do so on here. I hope I can get it figured out because I know I will learn a lot more by getting my work critiqued. Thanks again for a trip down memory lane!

Sara
Sara, There is no pressure to post a painting! We have members who have been here far longer and have never posted a painting!

But, if you decide to...here's a link to the WC "how to upload" article:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/forums/showthread.php?t=297697

To save you some reading time, here is a very brief summary:

If you start a new thread or reply to a thread in the advanced form, you get a screen that looks something like this. The indicated icon is the one to click to insert an image. A box will pop up that directs you to find the image on your computer and then upload.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-Jun-2009/82335-image_insert_graphic.jpg

Don

DAK723
06-28-2009, 02:10 PM
Don,

Wow, your posting reflects my feelings exactly. When I joined Wetcavas I had the same feelings. I have been pastel painting nearly 30 years. I remember my first works as well and I have a totally different style. I would like to become more involved in Wetcanvas. How do you become a guide? I have written several times to the powers that be in Wetcanvas. When I began my art there was no Wetcanvas, where artists could meet and chat and reflect on their masterpieces. There was no Art Project System. I really love that area. You can create a project for others or complete a fellow artist's project. I absolutely love Wetcanvas! Please let me know how I can become more involved.
Just posting and commenting and encouraging other artists is real, meaningful involvement! I was going to suggest volunteering for our monthly pastel strokes here in the pastel forum, but I see that you already did! Great!!:clap:

Don

DAK723
06-28-2009, 02:13 PM
Thanks to everybody else who has commented! I see that many of us share the same feelings about posting and about WetCanvas!

Don