From the beginning, as far back as I remember, I have been a visual person.
I think this is why I became an artist
I cannot sit and ignore a magazine, or any sitting book, paper, pictures or paintings on walls, garden books, how to books,
--no way can I ignore any of them. I want to know and see what they have to say.
I need to see. If there are directions for anything, I want to see the results. I might like it or not.
I love books on painting, how to get certain results, how paints react with each other, composition and so on. But if these
books have no photos to show the results, I lose interest.
I love to learn how to do things; cooking, painting, building, gardening. The list is endless.
Much of what I have learned about painting has been from books. That said, I think there is no better way to learn than to
learn from the person themselves . Watching an artist paint, and explain what and why they are doing certain things with
brush or the paint is priceless. That doesn't mean I suddenly know how to do this myself. It takes years of practice to achieve making the painting process look easy.
The need for practice should not deter anyone. It is how we learn, develop a style, hand/eye control, and "download"
the learned information to our brains.
Paint paint, practice practice practice, paint paint paint, practice practice practice, paint paint paint, practice practice
The line of words above sounds pretty repetitive and boring. The truth is, you can make it whatever you want. If you make
it boring, you probably won't get too far and give up. If you change your perspective, and make it fun, exciting, something
new to experience , you will probably learn much.
My experience with taking workshops from well known artists is that at that time I paint like I know nothing, have never
painted before--and it is usually a really disappointing mess. But I know that what I see and hear will eventually work its way into my brain and come out in my painting. It just takes awhile. And you have to paint, practice, paint, and practice some
more. And that does not mean that you just have a bunch of "practice" paintings sitting around. You paint to the best of your
ability each painting. And each painting improves. And every so often you get a "WOW" painting. So then you get really excited
and paint more, and more, then you begin to get more "WOW" paintings.
In my case, I keep looking, seeing, when I am riding in a car I am seeing paintings in the landscape in my head. They are
fleeting glimpses that do not come out as paintings--but nevertheless are a learning experience--about what I see--trees
mountains, cars, buildings, old machinery, --anything. By "seeing" you begin to see how things grow, look,are shaped, their defects and their beauty.
The bottom line is that you get out what you put in-- life or painting.