Here's a little video preview of my online art course, "Painting Elegant Peonies". This course will teach you to paint a Peony painting from start to finish, something fun to learn and do in a weekend. Available on February 24th! Please leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the video!
You can download the supplies list below. Once the course launches, you'll be able to access it by clicking HERE, along with my other online art courses.
When I decided to create the course, "All About Abstracts", I wanted to help artists not just to make pretty art, but to work past the behaviors and habits that might be holding them back from finding their own creative voices and making their best art.
In my years of teaching, I've noticed 3 ways artists tend to get in their own way when it comes to advancing their art.
1. They copy other artist's art. Not only is this stealing, but it shows insecurity and lack of belief in oneself as an artist. ALL artists have a beauty inside of them which needs to be nurtured in a safe way in order to be revealed. This course is designed as a safe place of exploration and discovery to set you on the right path to discovering your unique gifts as an artist. You'll never be tempted to copy another person's art once you develop your own unique style.
2. They rely too much on intuition and not enough on knowledge. "Intuitive art" is a catch phrase in art these days, but what does it even mean? If you want to build a car engine, you don't rely only on intuition to tell you what parts to use, or the results could be disastrous. The same is true when it comes to making art. Having a knowledge of design, composition, color theory and the proper tools and techniques in imperative to creating good art. I designed this course with many practical lessons that will help you retain this knowledge.
3. They "wing it". Along similar lines as relying on intuition only, not having a plan in place when you approach your blank canvas can result in art that looks like it is going nowhere. This is why many artists express frustration and not knowing when their painting is done, what it is lacking, etc. I designed this course to help you plan out and create your own visual roadmaps so that you never run out of ideas, and stop creating art that ends up at the back of your closet.
My hope for you is that my course will help you begin making your best art ever. You can check out this course and my others HERE.
All my best,
My latest online art course, "All About Abstracts" has just launched! This course is self-paced. Buy it once, and it is yours to keep and enjoy forever. Learn to find your artistic style and your creative choice as an abstract artist.
In case you missed it on Instagram, here is a fun little clip I put together showing my painting process for my hydrangea painting titled "Rhapsody in Blue" in my "Dreaming in the Garden" Collection. I love working with my hands -- adult finger painting for lack of a better term. I create textures buy allowing my paint to run and drip using a water bottle. This way, each painting is unique. I finish off many of my paintings with Neocolor II water soluble wax pastels. Making marks with these pastels puts the finishing touches on each painting. I love sharing my process with you. Let me know what you think in the comments below.
You can see the entire collection right HERE.
Here I am talking about one of my favorite tools I use in all of my paintings, Neocolor II water soluble wax pastels.
The course is for anyone who wants to learn how to let go of control and find joy in their art again, using my tried and true techniques. The course will help you to overcome habits that may be holding you back, causing you frustration, and keeping you from reaching your full potential as an artist. In my art course, you will create an abstract floral painting like I paint, from start to finish. And best of all, once you buy the course, it is yours to keep as long as you want. Refer back to it over an over, watch all of the video content, and download all of the helpful PDFs.
Interested in joining my online art course? Click HERE.
Here's a little sampling of some of the art my students are creating in this course.
I hope to see you in my course!
Have you ever bought a small piece of art because you just had to have it, but it seems so tiny on a wall in your home? Or perhaps you rent and do not want to create holes in your walls. You can easily create a stylish vignette on a table top or nightstand using the small artwork, a vase of flowers, and a few small, "found" objects. In this case, I used a round shaped vase to offset the rectangular shape of my artwork. The vase has a beautiful, earthy color palette and a rich glaze. The dripped pattern on the surface of the vase even picks up the dripped pattern in my painting, creating an interesting motif. Faux floral keeps things easy, again using colors and shapes that work well with my painting but don't detract from it. Since I love natural treasures such as rocks, shells and minerals, it was easy to sort through my box and find a few that I wanted to showcase. The colors, patterns, shapes and texture keep things earthy. I love the intimate feeling of this little display, and it's easy to change out if you enjoy decorating for the change in seasons. This painting is called "Rain on the River" and is available from my Summer Storms collection. You can shop for it HERE.
When most people think of painters, they think of someone who uses paintbrushes. But I rarely use paintbrushes! Watch the video to see how I paint.
My art process is intuitive. I don’t plan much, except my color palette. But that doesn’t mean that making art is without its challenges. I look back and see where I started when I took up a paintbrush again 2 years ago and my first attempt at abstract art, compared to where I am today. I paint obsessively, so the lessons I’ve learned in these 2 years have been many in number and difficult at times. My color choices have improved. My art has improved. My compositions have improved. My reasons WHY I make art have become clearer. I cannot afford workshops, so I’ve learned on my own, trying until I discover my own breakthroughs. Sometimes with tears. I think all true artists feel like failures at times. But out of the dark times and the difficult times beauty has been born. Resiliency emerges. My art has changed. I’ve lost some fans for whom my message no longer resonates. And I’ve gained others who want to be a part of my journey, who understand that life and art are more than pretty pictures. Sometimes it’s about grit and tenacity and change. Just as ocean waves splash over rocks, pulling away impurities and smoothing what is left. My new collection, titled “Emerging”, is also a relevant reflection on what we are currently, collectively experiencing as a world in lockdown.
I thought I’d share with you a little about my background as an artist. The words “self taught” are thrown around a lot these days, and I just want to say that regardless of an artist’s educational background, we are all self taught. Art is not concrete like math or spelling. We can be taught important fundamentals and techniques in art, but we apply them in our own ways to our own way of creating art.
While many students may leave art school with cookie cutter portfolios that look similar, once we spread our wings and find our style, our journeys can take us in so many different directions. I spent nearly 20 years in commercial art, working as a freelance illustrator and designer. Then, as I went the path as a children’s book illustrator of more than a dozen books, I began exploring fine art by drawing and painting still life in graphite and watercolor, and my style was very realistic and classical. It wasn’t until 2 years ago when I picked up a brush again after a 4 year hiatus (at a miserable job), that I began painting in an abstract style. And even now, my art is evolving and changing because I am always learning. I teach myself to observe nature — the way light affects color and value. I attempt to capture what I learn in my approach to each new painting. I couldn’t imagine still making the type of art I did back in the early 90s when I was fresh out of art school! There’s no creativity in repeating what you learned 30 years ago. I still apply fundamentals of composition, value, color theory, etc., but with the confidence to pave my path in whatever direction my heart desires.
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In the midst of all of the heaviness of news in the world, it’s easy to wonder whether the world still needs the arts. One of the first business closings in Chicago that I heard about was an historic dance company. Of course, there are many others and the list keeps growing, but it just shows how delicate of a balance it is for so many businesses to stay open. So what about art? Do we need art?
We do. There is value in owning an original painting, drawing or print, seeing its texture and the nuances that are oftentimes lost in reproductions. For instance, I own several works of art by other artists that are oil/acrylic paint on canvas, and I can feel the texture with my fingertips and see how the varnish catches light to play up those textures. And if I turn over the paintings, I can see the artists’ inscriptions on the backsides. I can smell the faint scent of varnish. The art is “real” to me. There is nothing like it, and knowing I own the original, touched by the hands of the artist.
So we will always need the arts. Live performance dance is so much more engaging than video recordings. Original art is so much more engaging than reproductions. This is why people buy tickets to a ballet or spend a day in a museum — to engage with the art in a way they can’t from behind their mobile devices.
My business is still open. I work my business every day. I still believe in the value of adding my own brand of beauty to the world, of creating art that is unique, uplifting, dimensional and original. I still plan to launch my next collection on Earth Day, April 22nd. I hope you'll join me. You can receive notifications by subscribing to my email newsletter.
I'm a lifelong artist living just outside of Chicago. I love flowers, vintage finds, nature hikes and all things beautiful.