Painting Checklists Work

painting Checklists work

Painting Checklists Work

Painting Checklists Work Notes

As we all know, painting can be distressingly complicated, especially when we are beginning. There are dozens of things we need to remember all at the same time. One of the things I encourage my students to do is to make a small list of suggestions, a Painting Checklist which can be laminated to hard board like mat board or glued and then covered with a sheet protector. This little list can be clipped to your easel or paint box in studio or if you work on location. I mean a list about the size of a 3×5 inch index card. You can have different lists which might be more tailored to individual situations. Think of this as sort of a site map to your painting process.

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Painting Checklists Work

Here is an example I use:

1. Keep your composition as simple as possible.
2. Omit fussy details.
3. Squint your eyes frequently to establish values.
4. Block in values early.
5. Create Intervals-Try not to put major elements on the same plane.
6. Work all over the painting, gradually adding details.
7. Step back frequently and give your mind a rest.
8. Create resting places in the composition when appropriate.
9. Use diagonals curves and angles to create interest.
10. Create a center of interest through brushwork, detail and color intensity.
11. Do you have a plan for your painting?
12. Will it have a dominant value? Dark, Light, Mid Value?
13. Lay in value and color where you see it. Save the refinement for later.
14. Do not over blend. Keep brushwork crisp and clean.
15. Does the painting have Texture, Rhythm and Harmony?

Painting Checklists Work

One of the lists could have the theme of values and contrast, with questions or suggestions about those issues. Another could have to do with color mixing to help you stay in control of your palette. Why not create a miniature color chart for your palette of the day? Color value charts in miniature? Yet another could involve compositional elements, a way to check off good and bad compositional methods. Finally, you could have a list of questions about what methods you will use to plan your composition.

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Painting  Checklists Work

All of these little lists and charts could be kept in a box next to your easel where you could pull them out and clip above your painting when needed. I often make simple versions to give out in workshop notebooks, but taking the time to organize a decent number of them to use for each situation is even better. Well worth the time it would take to organize and make them for your paintingtool box. The real thing about these lists is that they can be personalized to suit each artist’s personal needs. Think of it like making a series of to do lists that you use over and over.

Painting Checklists Work

If you are an audio learner instead of a visual learner, make tapes instead of the cards. You can listen to yourself talking about how to do good compositions and so forth.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…..

Today’s Recipe

Chicken Sandwich Spread

1 pouch of pre-cooked chicken

1   8 oz package cream cheese

salt/pepper

1/4 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 diced red pepper

1 T mayo

1 T sweet pickle relish

Mix all and spread on sandwich breat or homemade carrot bread.

 

 

 

 

 

One Hundred Fans

one hundred fans

One Hundred Fans

Painting Checklists Work - image  on https://lindablondheim.comOne Hundred Fans Notes

I got an email yesterday from a painter who is terribly worried about the economy. She worries about our current political situation nationally,  internationally.and whether painting sales will go down the tubes. I think everyone who paints for a living worries about the economy and politics in difficult times. We have constant doom and gloom on TV every night and that cannot help.

One Hundred Fans

Linda’s Etsy Shop

We do have some control over our own destiny. We have to have faith in ourselves and our work in order to get through hard times. I never allow myself to think that I will fail. There are always people with disposable income even in poor economies. There will always be people who love art and who believe in us. I believe we must have faith in them, knowing that they will sustain us even when the public won’t. Our collectors are our friends and in many ways our family. They mean a great deal to us as artists. In a mundane world, artists see beauty and love for the earth and it’s treasures. Our collectors are champions for us, cheering us on. We need our One Hundred Fans! We need each other to make the world a wonderful place. It is a partnership of devotion for both parties. If we truly care for our collectors, they will care for us. I am always gratified to get many emails from  collectors who receive my Mail Art during the Lenten season. Most of them are delighted by the surprise and they want me to know how much it means to them. Sometimes I get surprise emails or letters from collectors who just want to cheer me on.

One Hundred Fans

I recently read the article about art collectors and selling art. The person wrote that if artists had one hundred loyal fans in their life, they would never need more. I think he was right. One hundred loyal collectors who bought a painting or two, who told their friends about their favorite artist and encouraged their friends to support an artist, would keep us going for quite a long time.

Instead of trying to get more and more strangers to look at our work, perhaps we need to turn our attention to those who have supported us for many years.

One Hundred Fans

I am delighted to have a fan club of one hundred Supporters. I have my Collectors Club, which helps them save money and helps me to make a living,a wonderful partnership.  I like the idea of One Hundred Fans very much. Having the regular support of collectors would take all of the stress out of an artist’s life, allowing them to paint, not worry about bills all the time. I liked the system back in the Renaissance times.

Patrons supported artists and kept them on retainer to do paintings. The artist was given a stipend to pay expenses and then did paintings on demand. What if we had patrons who pre-paid x amount of money each year and then had first choice on paintings coming out of the studio for the year? That would be a wonderful way to purchase art. If a collector liked a particular artist’s work, what a great way to know he/she could have the paintings he/she liked the best for that year!

One Hundred Fans

Then there are the dozens of fans who don’t purchase but who support us with small donations of sponsorship, equipment,supplies and kind testimonials to others abut us. Theya re equally important in that without them we could not find collectors.

Linda’s Rustic Paintings

Even in the darkest times, my advice is to never give up, no matter what. I’ve had many dark times in my long career. The funny thing is that you never really “Make It”. Disaster is always right around the corner. The financial swings back and forth are incredible for the average artist. You can be sitting on easy street basking in the glow of success because everybody loves you and then Bam!!! You don’t have a dime in your pocket. Just a month or two can change your situation that fast. Suddenly, you are persona non gratis. Six months later, your work is selling again.

The artists who survive this roller coaster are the ones who refuse to give up. Most people don’t have the personality type to do this kind of work because of the financial hardship. I can’t say that I blame them, but here I am and I’m too old and stubborn to quit :>)

More musings for artists and collectors to come……

Today’s Recipe:

This is an old South favorite. You see it a lot in restaurants around the South.

Mississippi Mud

1 stick butter
1/2 cup cocoa
5 eggs (Xtra large)
1 1/4 cups sifted flour (self-rising)
2 cups sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
2 tsp. vanilla

Melt butter, add cocoa, eggs, sugar, and flour; mix well. Stir in nuts and vanilla then pour into a greased 13 X 9 pan. Bake at 350 for 30 mins. Top immediately after removing from oven. (see below)

Topping

1 bag miniature marshmallows
1 box powdered sugar
1 stick (softened) butter
1/3 cup cocoa
1/2 cup evaporated milk

Cover the top of the cake with marshmallows as soon as it comes out of the oven. Beat the rest of the ingredients well and pour over the marshmallows before they melt together.

Critique Professionals

critique profesionals

 

Critique Professionals

Critique Professionals Notes

I  have a  critique professional service for emerging artists. What a joy that is!! I just love doing this service for painters, because I have to think a lot about the process of painting. I often see ways that I can improve my own work by critiquing another painter’s work. I think it is very useful to have your work critiqued by someone who is more advanced than you are. I recommend that painters pay a professional they respect and whose process and painting style is compatible, to do critiquing either regularly or occasionally. My critique sessions include a critique for four paintings at a time either in person or online. This can be once a week, once a month, or now and then.

Critique Professionals

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I don’t recommend being critiqued on art forums by people you don’t even know. Frankly it can be damaging to your work to listen to the wrong person. Some painters are just plain mean and counterproductive to learning anything valuable. They often don’t understand another’s aesthetic at all or their painting goals. Sometimes you are a better painter than your critic, so be sure you are listening to somebody who has a good design background, who understands the region you paint and who has a thorough knowledge of the subject and stylistic goals you are pursuing. In other words, I don’t try to help portrait painters because I don’t do many portraits. I work professionally with landscape painters, beginning to intermediate and emerging level most of the time. Use a critic who gets what you are trying to do!

Critique Professionals

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Critiquing art is serious business. It is not for amateurs in my opinion. I never offer one unless it is asked for or unless I am working with my students in class. It is vitally important to critique in a positive way and in a useful way. I must first understand the goals of the artist and what they wish to improve on. Stepping all over their paintings without that prior knowledge can destroy their hopes and goals quickly. Many of my critique students and I spend a lot of time talking about the arcane mysteries of painting and developing a plan for their future study and improvement. I am a coach as well as critic for many of them. Some want marketing help, others painting help. In any case, I must have an understanding or their personal goals to help them. I must have knowledge, tact and empathy to be a good coach and mentor. There are many professional painters who are masterful at their craft but very poor teachers. There are many very good teachers who are marginal at their craft. The ideal of course is to find an artist who is an excellent painter and teacher, who treats your work with the dignity it deserves. You get what you pay for.

Critique Professionals

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Potato Skin Crisps

Peel potatoes with a knife in wide strips and the meat in thin slices

Place in a large bowl

Drizzle with olive oil

add shredded Parmesan cheese, pinch of thyme, salt,pepper,paprika,dried onion flakes

Arrange on a baking sheet, separating pieces. bake at 400 degrees until brown and crisp.

Vision Beyond Seeing

vision beyond seeing

Vision Beyond Seeing

Vision Beyond Seeing Notes

I wanted to muse on the issue of having vision beyond what I actually see when I paint a landscape. I think that is what makes a painting a painting rather than an illustration, at least for me. My paintings start out based on the elements and view I  see, whether it be from a photo reference or from life out in the field. There is something that attracts me to the scene initially. I may move things around in the composition but basically my painting idea comes from the scene.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Vision Beyond Seeing

At some point in the painting, usually shortly after the block in, my inner view takes over completely. The view in front of me is no longer relevant to the painting process. The exception being animals, people or architecture, because I think a visual reference is important in those cases. For pure nature, the muse takes hold and I am thinking and processing design elements more than the view. The elements of design, armature, rebatment, my own personal style become stronger than the scene. That is why you can line up a dozen painters in front of a scene and have a dozen distinctively different paintings. Illustrators must be exacting in their designs, true to the subject before them, but painters have great freedom to sway from the realistic interpretation.

Vision Beyond Seeing

I always tell my students that the person who buys your painting will likely never see this view in person. Instead, they must see it through your eyes and your job is to make it look wonderful. The longer I paint, the more I realize that a good painting is no accident, but rather a deliberate step by step process.

There are dozens of forks in the road for each and every painting. I think about that a lot, wondering what would have happened if I had chosen the other direction during the process? How would the painting have evolved differently to the one I have completed? There are no maps for the process other than a solid knowledge of composing, design, color and values. There are many possibilities within that good structure of a painting. Many of the choices that an experienced painter makes could easily be changed and still work.

Linda’s Rustic Paintings

Vision Beyond Seeing

One of the processes I enjoy the most is working in series. This allows me to make the many choices possible in working with a subject. For example, I do many orange tree paintings. As one sells, I can do the next in the series. I try to approach each one with new eyes, remembering the choices I made in the last and trying new choices in the next attempt. There is a continuity due to subject, but there is a wonderful change in doing each one. it might be in color palette, design change, or values, but as I am a painter, my own vision and signature come out in each one. Though the experiments are different, you see that the same painter has done them all.

Art is more than painting. It is vision beyond seeing as well.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

 

 

Today’s Recipe:

Tomatoes are so wonderful. They are on the diet of many cultures around the world. Here in the South there is much “bragging rights” going on for tomato size, color and taste. Tomatoes have been the subject of many paintings because they are so beautiful with the green, yellow, pink and deep red colors different varieties produce. When my girls were young, I was a caterer. I had a garden with various vegetables for my catering jobs. I used to grow the lovely yellow tomatoes. I had a blue spatter ware bowl on the kitchen table and I always kept the yellow tomatoes in that bowl. They were a beautiful site each day.

Fried Green Tomatoes

4 to 6 green tomatoes
salt
pepper
cornmeal
Pinch of dried basil
bacon grease, olive oil or vegetable oil

Slice the tomatoes Salt, basil and pepper them to taste. Dip in meal and fry in hot grease or oil about 3 minutes or until golden on bottom. Gently turn and fry the other side. Good with breakfast.

I also like grilled ripe tomato slice without meal. Dip them in oil and grill with salt pepper and basil. great as a side to eggs and bacon.