Painting #15 Afternoon Garden, acrylic on plywood 6"X 8"


Painting #16 Sunflowers, acrylic on plywood 6"X 8"


“It’s the deep engagement that gives us results.” Per Bristow

 

Let’s talk skill development for a moment. When it comes to art, a practiced hand (or a relaxed and practiced hand) is noticeable to experienced art lovers and artists. Even no-so-experienced artists can tell or feel the difference. Yesterday I was practicing my pencil shading exercises, and noticed how I felt with a pencil. Not so sure of the strokes—not so sure of the angles—of the shades…and my strokes reflected this—but I got through the exercise.


Fortunately I am dedicated to this practice. Today I worked on my “100 painting challenge,” and completed two more paintings. I had watched a video last night for 1 ½ hours or more on how to paint clouds. It is a very personal experience to watch over an experienced artist’s shoulder for such time, and hear and feel him breathe, along with observing the color and brush size changes, his brush strokes, and so on. I have to say that I felt a little intimidated, and decided to return to what feels comfortable right now, this folksy art that emanates from my imagination, the stippilism and sgrafitto techniques that I learned in June. I also did a few new techniques—dry brushing, a wash, and smearing with my fingers. ;)


I’d like to explore my sunflowers a little longer. I notice that they are much cleaner than the first sunflowers I painted when I first started. And I’ve washed three more boards with paint for tomorrow. I am remembering Lynne Wipple’s wise words, "You are going to make "100 Bad Paintings" so you had better get started! This idea can be applied to whatever you are interested in! Have no fear! It is supposed to look a little iffy when you first start on a new tangent! No judgement, get going!! Its all good!" Daily I make this skill development concept my mantra. I don’t think about who has commented to me about my new direction in life. (Yeah, right. But fortunately I have a wise husband who encourages me to think about better things.) Get going. Skill development. The more I practice, the better. And I’ve been so happy doing it. Thank you, Inspiration, it’s the motivation and “deep engagement” that brings the results. The skill and development are starting to show!