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.

Mission Filled Career

mission filled career

Mission Filled Career

Mission Filled Career Notes

I have long had a mission oriented career. I don’t believe I would have achieved success and independence without it. There should be sound and doable reasons to be a painter if an artist has depth and richness in their paintings. Painting for it’s own sake is enjoyable of course, but without a true mission it is superficial.

Mission Filled Career

My missions have evolved some over the years but are still solid. I have a mission statement on the home page of this web site and I tend to like mission statements rather than bios. I don’t think most people care a whole lot about your accolades and resumes, unless they are in the art industry. Most of my collectors and art friends want to know what I believe in and how my paintings will improve the world we all live in.

Studio Special

The other mission I have long had is to improve and assist in the life of other painters. When I was a young painter, fresh out of art school, there was little to no help from older, more experienced artists.  Their secrets were closely guarded in those days.

Mission Filled Career

I told myself at the time, if I ever made it, I would change that scenario and I’m happy to say that I have been able to help many emerging artists over the years. A lot of the topics on this blog are in that vein and I have sent countless packages of art supplies to artists in need  over the years.  I try to give a mentoring scholarship every year or so as well and I buy two original paintings a year to support other painters.

Those are the two main missions of my career and they have brought me much joy and purpose. They have enriched my work and given me a solid purpose as I research the arcane mystery of painting.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Mission Filled Career

Having a firm doable mission also keeps you humble. I know a lot of very arrogant artists and I wonder if they have set a purpose to their work and lives? Having defined missions puts your ego where it belongs I think. The work is more about your mission than your pride and accolades.

Mission Filled Career

Setting a mission for yourself takes a bit of thought. I thought about what I wanted to improve in the world with my art. Missions are not about you and often not about your personal preferences in politics, religion,etc. Missions are about how you wish to improve the earth and life for others. Missions can have dual purposes or a single one. As far as I am concerned, my two  missions are for the life of my career and a many year commitment, not something I cast off and reboot regularly. It can take a lifetime to fulfill your mission, so if you are up to the task, be serious about it.

I am content in knowing that there is a real purpose to my career and I believe mission oriented people are happier and more fulfilled.

More musings for artists and collectors to come….

Today’s Recipe

Easy Mini Chocolate Croissants

Buy frozen puff pastry sheets

1 Chocolate candy bar ( milk, semi sweet, dark, with nuts, what ever you like best)

1 egg beaten

parchment paper

sheet pan.

Line sheet pan with parchment paper

Thaw and cut pastry into squares

Put each piece of chocolate into a square and fold over the pastry, sealing it with egg wash. You can make a variety of shapes as you wish. Bake at 350 until brown and crisp. A quick, tasty treat!

 

Workshop Advice

workshop advice

Workshop Advice

Workshop Advice Notes

It’s been about a year since I taught a workshop, so it’s about time to do that again.

I have structured the 2019 workshops for advanced beginners through intermediate painters. I like to work with painters who feel they have a lot to learn, even if they are advanced. I consider myself to be an advanced beginning painter with lots to learn though I have been painting since dirt formed.

Linda’s Rustic Paintings

Workshop Advice

I like the idea of being a life long learner. I don’t take students who consider themselves to be advanced painters because I often find they have the need to prove how much they know, and that they need to show off for the instructor and other students. I have worked with many self proclaimed advanced painters who in the end, don’t know all that much ;>) They get angry and frustrated when the assignments are difficult and they can’t deliver. They are disruptive and hard to control in a workshop situation. At my stage of career, I don’t want to work with ego oriented painters. I love painters who genuinely feel pleasure in the painting experience and don’t care to prove anything to me. I have helped many painters who paint far better than I do, because they were willing to think about things in a new way. A workshop should not be a battle of one upsmanship.

Workshop Advice

I think new beginners should have a class all to themselves. They are nervous and apprehensive about picking up a brush, and deserve careful attention and patience. That should be a separate workshop entirely.

The very best workshop experience comes to painters who arrive with an open mind, ready to try anything for a day or two. Eager to learn and practice, even if they will never do these techniques again.

Workshop Advice

Plan ahead, make a packing list. Sleep well and rest before the workshop because you will be spending a long day in studio or out doors, depending on the type of workshop. Keep your supplies at a minimum. You want set up and take down to be easy. Keep the bulk of your supplies in a box in your car and replenish from that.

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Communicate in advance with the instructor. Ask all of your questions before you sign up. Think about your learning style. Do you like to sit and watch the instructor paint, or do you prefer to get started painting. Do you like hearing information, reading information or just painting a lot with critiques? You should think about that and ask questions about the instructors methods of teaching. If he/she is reluctant to answer your questions, find a different workshop. His/her attitude before the workshop is a good indication of how you will be treated as a student.

Workshop Advice

Don’t book a workshop out of your experience range. If you are a beginner, doing an advanced workshop will be disruptive for you, the instructor, and other students. You will be lost and irritating to the advanced students.

Don’t book a workshop with too many students. You won’t get much attention. I like to teach from 8-12 students.

Don’t expect to do quality paintings at a workshop. No one should put that pressure on themselves. Consider your painting to be studies and if they are beautiful, be happy with a nice surprise. I give myself permission to do bad paintings at a workshop and for my students to do the same. It is a different atmosphere entirely, from our normal painting routines. I have had far too many students whose expectations were dashed, then blaming me for their poor paintings. These kind of ego motivated students expect their paintings to look like mine after two days. Leave your ego at home if you want to learn.

Workshop Advice

If you book a workshop and cancel, expect to pay for it anyway. It is so unfair to book a workshop, allowing an instructor to prepare for your arrival and then cancel. They have already done the work, ordered supplies and are counting on that income. Painting teachers have to make a living from their business, just like anyone else. I give back 50% of the fee for artists who cancel, but don’t expect anyone to do that.

Make sure that you like the instructor’s painting style. That doesn’t mean you want to paint like they do, just that you admire their work and it is in the same genre and style that you want to do.

Workshop Advice

If you would like to have a wonderful experience painting in north Florida, Join me in 2019 for a one day workshop at my Country Studio. I’ll be doing private workshops for groups of friends, clubs and other groups. Painting with your friends will be an enjoyable experience. You pick the subjects or ideas for the workshop and I will plan it. The workshops are on any day you choose and go from 9AM-4PM. Lunch and beverages are included for the fee of 125.00

More musings for artists and collectors to come…

Today’s Recipe

Potato Strips

I like to take a knife and thinly slice potato skins first, then the meat of the potato. I oil a sheet pan with olive oil, tossing the potato slices and skin with the oil. I separate them on the pan. I slat/pepper them , then add dried thyme, paprika, dried onion flakes, and a ton of parmesan shredded cheese. I bake them at 400 in the oven until they are crisp and browned. They make a fine snack all by themselves or a side for steak or hamburgers.

Yummy!

Studio Party Fun

studio party fun

Studio Party Fun

Studio Party Fun Notes

Studio Party fun is necessary for my good health and happiness. I have had studio parties as long as I have been an artist. The parties are my way of thanking old and new friends who support me in many ways. There are some important steps to take for a successful studio party.

Studio Party Fun

Promotion is first. If you don’t invite people, nobody will come. I use a variety of methods to promote my parties. Social media is free for the most part, and you can run inexpensive ads as well. I use a post card mail out to invite my local and area mailing list. I send them out about four weeks before the party. I also use email invitations to my newsletter subscribers. I have a nice app called Postale, which sends an attractive email post card. That goes out to a variety of email contact that are not on my postal mailing or newsletter list. That covers just about all of my contacts.

Studio Party Fun

Linda’s Graphite Drawings

Some of the ways I promote my parties is trough features of the party to come. My parties are all food themed. A different consistent theme for each of my four yearly parties. I show photos of the cooking process, my tea set, my studio clean, stories about my nature trail to viewers before the party, to keep it on their minds. I want them to have as much fun as I do at my parties. Sometimes I feature an author, music duo, or nature expert for the parties. They are not just about my art. Good food, good friends and new friends are the goal.

Studio Party Fun

Linda’s Etsy Shop

Cleaning is so important. A clean studio with no messy paints or stacks of stuff cluttering it is essential for a successful party. I store away all of my easels, paints, tools, and canvases, transforming it from a working studio to a nice gallery space a day or two before the party. Dusting and floor polishing, nice table cloths, and good music are important. I put out a dozen folding chairs around the room, leaving room for folk to browse and tour my studio and look at my art.

Studio Party Fun

Signage is equally important. I have typed out price lists around the studio. I have small signage on shelves with prices, a sign for the party special and price. I have a sign on the desk, telling people how to purchase. people don’t like to discuss pricing at a party. With the signage, they don’t have to. My studio assistant handles all of the food, coffee making, sales, wrapping sold paintings. She does a wonderful job. An assistant for parties is essential. It allows me to relax and enjoy my guests completely. I never have to be a used car salesman at my parties. No hard sell at all. if you are not lucky enough to have a regular assistant, ask a friend or relative to handle it for you that day. Pay them for their time. It is so important. I also have signage out on the road. I use yard signs, very inexpensive. I put them up the night before.

Studio party Fun

I get about a 5% of invited attendance, which is pretty typical in the art industry. So, I average 25-35 people for my parties. Considering I live out in the middle of nowhere and have a crummy road to the studio, I am pleased. It takes about 25 minutes to get to my studio from the nearest city. Most of them come about noon or later and the last leave about 5:30. It is a wonderful experience each time. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Studio Party Fun

I have four parties a year and I always make sure that there are new and different paintings for each party. This is important. Some method is re-framing, other is moving around paintings and then new work is sprinkled into the mix. These parties are important enough to do the best I can to please people. They enjoy seeing new work and different menus. A well done party is a lot of work, but the benefit is so worth it whether sales are good or not. The good PR will last for a long time and the invitation puts your work in front of people whether they attend or not.

More musings for artists and collectors to come…

Today’s Recipe

Salmon in Pastry

1 (17.30-oz) package frozen puff pastry sheets, thawed
Nonstick aluminum foil
Flour (for dusting)
4 salmon fillets (1 1/2 lb)
2 teaspoons seafood seasoning
8 tablespoons spinach dip, divided
2 oz aged white cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
2 tablespoons garlic butter

Set puff pastry out to thaw.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with foil. Coat work surface with flour. Roll out pastry sheets, using a rolling pin, into 20- x 24-inch sheets; cut each sheet in half.

Coat salmon with seafood seasoning. Shred cheese. Spread 2 tablespoons spinach dip over each salmon fillet, then evenly sprinkle with cheese.

Place 1 salmon fillet in the middle of each pastry sheet spinach dip-side down; fold pastry carefully over salmon, then place seam-side down on baking sheet.

Brush melted butter evenly over pastries; bake 25–30 minutes or until pastries are golden and salmon is 145°F. Let stand 5 minutes to cool before serving

Artist to Patron

artist to patron

Artist to Patron

Artist to Patron Notes

A common topic for a hobby artist is the lament that there is never time to paint. I t tell them that we always do what we really want to. We always make time for what is really important to us. There is no getting around it. If you watch tv, cook, do laundry, play with your kids, garden, golf, etc.etc, you are doing what is a priority for you in your life. If you are not doing art, then it is not as important to you as you may think or say it is.

Artist to Patron

Linda’s Rustic Paintings

When I was raising my kids I worked as a chef,caterer, cleaned houses and painted in between those tasks. I have always found a way to paint no matter how many other jobs I had, because it was important to me. If you are thinking about painting but not doing it, think about all of the little stuff you are doing which is not really important. Are you just making excuses and hiding from your art?

Linda’s Etsy Shop

I know a woman who insists on calling herself an artist but she hasn’t picked up a brush in 15 years. She has plenty of time to meet friends for lunch, and travel extensively, but she doesn’t have time to paint. I think there is a certain mystique in calling ones self an artist for some people. They don’t really want to paint but are loathe to give up the romantic notion that they are an artist. I’ve always considered myself to be a painter rather than an artist. There is nothing romantic about it really. It’s hard work and joyous but not very romantic when you make your living painting.

Artist to Patron

I don’t begrudge those who don’t really do any art but wish to call themselves artists. We all need something wonderful in our lives and there is nothing better than the arts.

Artist to Patron

What I would love to see is that those who don’t paint would redirect their interest toward supporting artists instead. Sponsoring or patronizing their favorite artist would mean so much more to them and to the artists they know. Some of them do become avid patrons and I believe they are happier and more fulfilled in that role. Let me say before you start throwing the rotten tomatoes, that I certainly have no say in anyone’s muse but my own and wish no offense to anyone.

Artist to Patron

Some of the former artists turned patrons, are so much happier as collectors or supporters of artists than they were as frustrated artists. They have a higher purpose in their lives. I don’t just mean financial patronage. Many of my supporters do favors for me, find me new collectors, share my paintings on social media, take me to breakfast and show kindness constantly.

Artist to Patron

The reality is that we have far more artists than collectors. Collecting is vital to the health of the artists who make their living from their craft. If I had a dollar for every hobbyist who tells me they have no time to paint, I would be wealthy in no time. What if every one of those began supporting other artists who must sell to survive? It is a thought worth considering.

More musings for artists and collectors to come……..

Todays Recipe:

Chili Casserole

2 lbs. ground chuck
2 can kidney beans
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups water
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. garlic powder
2 cups grated cheese
1 pkg. Fritos
Cooking Spray
1 tbs. Canola oil

Sour cream and shredded lettuce to top at the table.

Preheat oven to 350°. Brown meat & onion in oil. Drain. Add tomatos chili powder, brown sugar, garlic powder, water. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray. Place a layer of meat mixture in bottom of baking pan. Add a layer of beans, then a layer of Fritos & a layer of cheese. Repeat layers. Leave last layer of cheese to top baked casserole. Bake 35 minutes. Top with cheese & continue baking until cheese is melted & bubbly. Top with Sour cream and some shredded lettuce.

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