I know some of you and some of you I don't! I don't have a lot of time to be on-line anymore, but wish I did. I mostly paint in oils and pastels a little bit. For the last seven months I have been selling on eBay-- but only the stuff I don't want to save. Mostly practice pieces, occasionally some better works. I now have a series of nudes that I am selling limited edition prints of and I have actually sold a few of those, so gradually all my practice is paying off.
When Jackie (latin brush) asked me if I would be interested in doing a demonstration I agreed because I myself, have been helped so much by others here at WC! When I first began painting 5 years ago WC! was one of the few places on the internet that allowed artists to network with fellow artists, get a decent critique and get answers from more experienced artists. I was here almost daily that first year; reading posts, posting artwork, offering my opinion and taking notes.
Iíve come a long way since those first years. I really had no idea how to use a brush; all I knew was how to draw. But I paint at least three times a week now and I have made a commitment to keep learning, because knowledge is POWER!! I donít stick to one kind of subject. Iíll try a landscape once in awhile but I prefer to paint people and still-life subjects. I enjoy life drawing and painting. The single most important thing I've learned is to keep your eye sharp and observe closely. Never assume what something looks like, use your eye as a tool to judge the actual shape and length, whether itís the distance between a tree and a lake or the distance between a nose and a forehead. Be accurate because thatís what makes your subject authentic.
As a self-taught artist, I have an extensive and yesÖ expensive library full of books about art, art methods and materials and art instruction. When I have time, I audit life-drawing classes at a local college and I paint something from life at least once a week, usually more often. I teach oil painting at workshops in our local community center but I have no formal training in teaching either. Some people will relate easily to my way of painting and others will just freak at the lack of planning and the slipshod way I lay in the color. I am a messy painter and I donít glaze. I try to get it all done in one or two days before the paint dries. Richard Schmid is my hero and I hope I can paint 1/10th as well as he does by the time Iím his age.
I would be the first to admit that I do not have a recognizable ďstyleĒ per se. Some of my work is extremely detailed like this drawing:
Other pieces are very loose and colorful. I suppose I am still searching for that elusive something that identifies my work to others immediately. On the other hand, I never copy another personís style, so that when I paint, I am at least painting in my own way and working on developing my own methods. You would never look at my painting and say- oh that looks like a Picasso. You would really never say it resembles a Rembrandt, either. J
Jackie liked the demo I did last fall of a little girl named Adrienne. She said it helped her with her skin tones. She wondered if I would do a painting of an older person. Well, older people are easier and more fun to paint than children. Thatís just my opinion- I like character and lines. Everything I paint now must be marketable, as I now paint full-time and need to earn actual money. I donít have to support myself, (thankfully I have a husband who pays the bills). But I do have to make a car payment and buy groceries with my income, so it has to remain fairly steady.
I decided to paint an Indian chief, because they sell relatively well on eBay and I have done two others. Here is Chief Hollow Horn Bear Ė NOT the demo we will be doing today, but yet another example of the way I paint.
One of the consequences of selling your work is that you are always trying to paint what you think the buyers want. I hit it sometimes and other times I totally miss. My thinking is colored by paintings I have done that have sold for more as opposed to paintings that havenít sold or have not sold for much. A sympathetic subject is important. A solid composition helps. Color seems to influence a lot of peopleís decisions.
In the next post I will post in-progress images and try to explain the way I go about building a painting (form a photograph). It is not the only way to do it and really not the best, but it's one way.