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,
I was so excited to start the new year after spending the holiday trekking to and from Florida. We arrived home on the afternoon of New Year's Eve and had a restful evening. I got up and joined a couple of friends for a workout on New Year's Day -- great start to the year so far. I completed 5 paintings that week. But as the week progressed, I could not ignore the nagging aches in my body and growing fatigue. Then the fever hit. I went for a Covid test, which came back positive. Bummer. I cancelled my First Friday art event. This is not how I planned January!
That said, I'm grateful for a few kind souls in my life. My boyfriend made sure that painting orders still went out on time. My dog has been ever at my side. And a really sweet friend of mine in California sent me a surprise care package filled with goodies from Blue Oak Coffee in Bakersfield, which she co-owns. Bernadette roasts her own coffee beans, and you can order online.
The care package included organically grown oranges and Meyer lemons. I immediately looked up receipes for Meyer lemons, and came across this great recipe for Ginger Cardamom Meyer Lemon Crinkle Cookies over at the PineappleandCoconut. I may have eaten quite a bit of the dough before it even made it into the oven. But they were delicious baked as well.
Photo credit Shanna over at PineapplandCoconut.
How about treating yourself to some coffee and cookies? I'd love to know if you do!
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.
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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I'm a lifelong artist living just outside of Chicago. I love flowers, vintage finds, nature hikes and all things beautiful.