Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's resolutions, I mean resources!

This whole New Year's resolution thing feels like a guilt maximizing, failure-guaranteeing trap that can suck the enthusiasm right outta ya. Or is that just me?

I don't do New Year's resolutions.  It goes without saying that my intention is to gain more art awareness and proficiency in addition to spending more time in the studio.

Toward the "art awareness" goal, I plan to "use the force for good." And by "the force," of course, I mean the internet. There are so many video demos online and information-rich websites available for artists today. Here are a few that I find worth visiting now and then.
scene from Rushmore ©1998 Wes Anderson
  • DrawMixPaint has lots of free content, demos and a Q&A forum. Recently I watched the owner, Mark Carder's, video about value misconceptions where he demonstrates low-light color keying. Using scenes the movie Rushmore, specific color spots were sampled in Photoshop to show how much richer the colors are in low light. (shown in this picture - which I promise will make more sense when you watch the video) 
Scorched Wing © 2013 Kamille Corry, courtesy ARC
  • Art Renewal Center is all about championing realist art and there you will find sheer inspiration and amazement! Check out the Approved  Artists and Living Masters list - not to mention all their award winners. Just incredible work to fall in love with! (Kamille Corry's painting, Scorched Wing, for example!)
  • Making a Mark is the place to go to learn about exhibitions and the art market overall, Katherine Tyrrell's excellent blog is a highly ranked for art info. She writes about competitions, interviews artists and provides business advice as well. Her post about BBC4's program on Artemisia Gentileschi is fascinating. 
  • Daniel Edmondson provides quick, weekly tips with useful reminders about technique as well as discussing specific elements of painting. This one on creating a composition with eye movement is typical.
  • Painting Perceptions is another source for artistic inspiration which I've recently discovered. There are insightful artist interviews, art documentaries, workshop overviews, reviews of art books and more. I will be checking it often!
  • The Painter's Keys is a favorite place to experience the artistic zeitgeist. I've mentioned Robert and Sara Genn's beautifully written newsletter in the past as well as some other resources in this post.
  • Empty Easel is a good place to find tutorials on techniques as well as a wealth of information about using the internet for research or marketing. They send one email weekly announcing the topics to be discussed each day so you can check in as you wish. I'm pleased to say I was a featured artist on Empty Easel via a generous article by staff writer Cassie Rief! 
  • Rehs Contemporary Galleries has a timely and interesting blog featuring commentary on art and the art market and it has a worldly, yet somehow personal, perspective that I enjoy. 
  • And finally, Craftsy. This site started as a resource for craft artisans and now includes quality online fine art classes. Accomplished artists like Tony Curanaj, Kerry Dunn, Edwar Minoff, Brian Neher and Patricia Watwood offer drawing and painting courses with online interaction with the instructor. There are also searchable blogs on painting and drawing, making it easy to find topics of interest.
So, instead of watching morning news announcers chat and giggle while they offer breaking news about baby carrots... or viewing the latest trending cat video, my (self-limited) screen time will focus on art centered blogs and video demos.

And then it's time to paint.

You might like to check out some of these resources now and then. As they say: seek and ye shall find! And I hope in the New Year you find ways to nurture your passion and reach toward your dreams, whatever they may be.

Have a Happy, Healthy & Creative 2016!

“Only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be.” Karen Ravn

Thank you for following my painting journey.

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