As artist’s we’re always looking for new ways to create and connect. The holidays are a great time to do both! The holiday season might seem far away, but like every year, they’ll be here before you can say “Happy New Year!” If your friends and family are like mine, then the holidays can also be an opportunity to show off our talents with hand-made holiday gifts.
Category The Artist Life
The art of still life painting is a time-honored one that has been around since at least the time of the ancient Egyptians. Still life paintings were often used to adorn the interiors of Egyptian tombs with the belief that these depictions of food and other objects would actually become real and available for use by the deceased in the afterlife.
We are big admirers of J. Turners work in oil and watercolor, especially his magnificent, ethereal watercolor paintings. In a famous exchange between Turner and William Winsor, of Winsor Newton, on the topic of color permanence of the pigments he was buying, Turner is said to have told Mr.
“Thou canst not stir a flower, without troubling of a star.” – Francis ThompsonThe most common pigment on earth is red ochre. We see it along with carbon from charcoal in the cave paintings of the late stone age, like those at Lascaux. This sedimentary color, rich in iron and taken from the earth serves to remind us of our interconnectedness with the stars.
In the beginning, we all come to discover art in different ways. Perhaps a teacher in school handed you a small set of paints and said, Try this, or a friend of the family was an art director and encouraged you to learn how to draw, or perhaps a favorite aunt took you to a museum at a young age and that lit the fires of creative passion.
The Color Theory of WhiteThere are differing opinions among color theory purists whether white should be considered a color at all, since it represents the absence of hue or chroma, and cannot be made from the three primaries, as black theoretically can be. It’s not usually represented on the color wheel, but white is usually an essential ingredient of any palette.
A Short Visit with Mary QianThe Fifth in an Artist Daily Exclusive Series:The Realities of Fine Art as a CareerIn the Rain by Mary Qian, oil painting.What did you find most surprising about being a full-time painter?The most surprising thing for me is how busy I am. I am continually juggling the time to learn, to experiment, to paint and to do the necessary business work of being a full-time, professional artist.
“Speaking, when you have something to say, is like looking.But who looks? If people could see properly,and see whole, they would all be painters.And it’s because people have no idea how to lookthat they hardly ever understand.” – Pierre BonnardWhen we teach classes indoors, we often set up a very simple still-life for the class to work from.
A Few Words with Frank EberThe Second in an Artist Daily Exclusive Series:The Realities of a Fine Art CareerLost Arrow Road, Yosemite by Frank Eber, watercolor painting. What did you find most surprising about being a full-time painter?The commitment level it takes to keep it all going was surprising.
A Few Minutes with Adam ClagueThe Seventh in an Artist Daily Exclusive Series:The Realities of Fine Art as a CareerWhat did you find most surprising about being a professional painter?How far ahead I have to plan my calendar to keep up the necessary momentum. This way, if one endeavor fails to bring profit, you still have other prospects on the horizon.
If you havent had an opportunity to see the works of Anders Zorn in person, you might want to get a copy of the exhibition catalog for a show of his work at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. The book, Anders Zorn: Swedens Master Painter is a treasured addition to our art reference library.
The Second in an Artist Daily Exclusive Series:Masters of American Watercolor—Frank EberHow did you become interested in watercolor?I really didn’t get interested in it until about 15 years ago when I first saw a painting by Percy Gray. I had always associated watercolor with paintings of puppies in a basket, vignettes with lots of white paper, or something you’d see on a sign at a construction site.
How to Paint? Change Your Blindness.“Simply knowing how many things shape perception and that perception shapes what we see can help alleviate miscommunication and misunderstanding, preventing us from getting upset with others when they don’t see things the way we do. No one can see things like you do except you.
We have been enjoying the book, The Artists Eyes: Vision and the History of Art, by ophthalmologists Michael Marmor and James G. One of our favorites among the many fascinating subjects they cover, is the eerie phenomenon or illusion in some portraits that the subjects eyes follow you no matter where you stand in the room.
“Oh please be careful with me, I’m sensitiveAnd I’d like to stay that way.” – Jewel from “I’m Sensitive”The very same traits that give many artists and other creative folk their vivid imaginations and rich inner lives can also cause almost debilitating struggles. They also stress that high sensitivity is not a disorder and in many cultures is greatly respected.
The Fifth in an Artist Daily Exclusive Series:Masters of American Watercolor How did you become interested in watercolor?Back in the late 60s early 70s I attended Ringling School of Art. Watercolor was fluid, portable, spontaneous, and most of all it didn’t smell like turpentine.Who were the watercolor artists who inspired you most?
The Fourth in an Artist Daily Exclusive Series:Masters of American Watercolor—Mary WhyteThe Portrait Society of America has announced that Mary Whyteis the 2016 recipient of its Gold Medal. The award is the Society’s highest honor.How did you become interested in watercolor?I first experienced watercolor when I was in a seventh grade after-school art class.
“If the insomnia of a musician allows him to create beautiful pieces, it is a beautiful insomnia.”– Antoine de Saint-ExupéryCommon experience informs most of us that sleep is essential for insightful and creative thinking during waking hours. A study conducted at the University of California – San Diego, illustrates that the four or five periods of REM sleep we experience at night (which typically total about 90 to 120 minutes), enhance our creative processing more than any other sleep or wake state.
More Gray Matter!A study by Rebecca Chamberlain from KU Leuven, Belgium has found that artists have structurally different brains, compared with non-artists. Well, that explains a lot! I’m sure many of us have suspected as much, but now science is beginning to look into the matter and this small study has revealed some surprising details that distinguish the creative brain.
The Sixth in an Artist Daily Exclusive Series:Masters of American WatercolorStephen, what can you tell us in general about yourself as an artist and your way of working.First and foremost, I am a water media painter. I use these media in a “watercolor manner” but find that each has its own visual qualities and handling characteristics that adds to my vocabulary and expression as a water media painter.
The Seventh in an Artist Daily Exclusive Series:Masters of American Watercolor Monika, I understand you are a native of Warsaw. Were you educated in Poland?Yes, I was born and raised in Warsaw, Poland and I graduated from the University of Warsaw where I studied Biology and then received a Master’s Degree in Animal Physiology.