Permission To Play

I think every artist, whether just starting out or a seasoned pro, struggles with the urge to make every effort something they can be proud of, hang on a wall, or possibly sell. Its hard to spend limited time and effort and not have expectations.

However I have yet to meet an artist who if asked why they became an artist their response would be “to get rich”. Most of us explore our art because we have something inside that we need to express. Art, in its many forms, is fun. Creating things that elicit a response, within us or others, brings satisfaction. It’s easy to lose sight of this when confronted with limited time to pursue art. The creative process needs to be fun, and I’ve met many artists who found the most success with the work they did for themselves. Stuff that they didn’t think would appeal to others conveyed greater emotion and lead to greater success, in sales or commissions, than the stuff created for that purpose.

So its good to remember to give ourselves permission to have fun. Paint something new, try a new technique, and remove all expectations that the result will be worthy of anything more than painting over. Better yet, enter into it expecting to not be happy with the result. The goal is to play.

Last night I wanted to try doing a sky like I had seen done by a painter I admire by the name of Jan Blencowe. Her youtube video got me excited to try a scumbled sky, with more color and less definition than I am used to. So I grabbed an old canvas that I had experimented with painting clouds, and started painting over it. I decided to just do the top and see how it went. Continue reading “Permission To Play”

Getting Started

I thought one of my first posts should be about how I got started, or re-started, painting. And what that experience has been like.

If you read my “about” page you’ll get a good summary of how I painted for a while in high school, and held an interest in art for the next 30 years without painting much at all. In the last couple of years however I started painting again. And the experience has been both rewarding and challenging.

The challenging part comes from a variety of sources. First being learning to paint in acrylics.

I chose acrylics over oils, which is what I painted with in high school, primarily because my first painting had to be done, and dried, quickly in order to be ready on time as a surprise gift for my wife. However I may have chosen acrylics over oils anyway because I like the idea of them drying quickly, and not having to use turpentine and other solvents.  I was not ready for the difference fast drying time would make for things like blending and reworking the painting. I like the idea of being able to paint over mistakes, but sometimes I think it would be easier if I could scrape off and blend my mistakes instead of having to paint over them. And not having the extra time to work the paint can be quite the challenge.

Challenge number 2. While I took some lessons in high school I either did not learn much or forgot everything. So I had to learn all over again. How does one go about learning to paint without finding a teacher or class, and spending lots of dollars and time wasted between lessons? You Tube of course. That and the internet in general. But a quick search on You Tube and all of a sudden there were all these free resources to get me started! Yay!

Of course free is what you pay for it. There is a lot out there and one artist disagrees with another about what is right and how to go about painting. So you have to sort of be careful and look at a lot of material to see what might be of value and what won’t. And, and this is a big “and” you need to be careful that you are not just copying what others a doing and not learning your own way of painting.

Continue reading “Getting Started”

Welcome to the Creative Waters Art Blog!

I have set up this blog and website to accomplish the following goals:

  • Keep a Journal of my journey to become a better artist
  • Share my experiences with others and give back to the community
  • Share my work in order to solicit feedback
  • Make paintings available for sale

I hope to follow in the footsteps of some artists I admire who have not been afraid to put their learning process and artistic process out there for everyone to follow and learn from. For me the journey to becoming an artist involves a lot of mistakes and trail and error. If I can help other beginning or struggling artists learn from or avoid the mistakes I make, then all the better.

One of my inspirations for sharing is Brandon Schaefer who you can find online and on YouTube. He may be the  biggest reason I managed not to get stuck and frustrated when I began painting again. His encouragement to keep pushing through even when my work felt (to me) like crap and his devotion to sharing his journey and knowledge with others is inspirational.

I have many inspirational artists to share with you and will soon start a series of posts about some of them and why I find them inspirational. Continue reading “Welcome to the Creative Waters Art Blog!”