For more than 20 years, the annual Splash Watercolor Competition has been celebrating the outstanding work being done in watermedia by contemporary artists from around the globe. The Best of Watercolor presents 124 paintings selected from the 21st Splash Competition, sponsored by BLICK Art Materials.
Category Creativity Inspiration
During a conversation with Anne Hevener, the editor of The Pastel Journal, I mentioned that I get a lot of email from painters inquiring about pastel materials and techniques, and that I often find myself answering the same questions. Anne proposed the idea for a blog in which I might regularly respond to painters’ questions, realizing that if one person is wondering about something, there are many others wondering the same thing.
Creepy Art We LoveHalloween is so much more than a day filled with trick-or-treating, ghost stories, costumes and gatherings. Halloween represents the creepy, the crawly, the things that make the hair on our arms stand up.And, as artists and art lovers, what signifies Halloween can be found in famous works throughout art history — in spades!
The subject matter we are drawn to paint and how we ultimately portray it is as diverse as the human experience itself. This is what makes painting so exciting.The three broad categories of subject matter are: still life, portrait and landscape. All of us have formed personal relationships with different subjects through our individual interactions with them, and we are capable of telling a story through this shared human experience.
Deciding what to paint is one of the most common dilemmas with which painters struggle. Just like hunters seeking prey, most of us are always looking for that certain subject that will motivate us to new artistic heights. This often leads us to profoundly beautiful subjects. As spectacular as many locations may be, it is often the mundane that becomes our final muse.
The term Impressionism denotes a style of painting made popular in the late 1800s in France. A critic, meaning to be satirical, coined the term after seeing an exhibit that contained Claude Monet’s painting, Impression, Sunrise. Little did he know that the term would stick and end up defining one of the most, if not the most, popular artistic movements to have ever existed in western culture.
Painting can be an intense exercise. It’s a joyous adventure filled with possibilities. So much effort can be put into learning how to paint that we can forget to play and to have fun artistically.The importance of remembering to have fun is something I was taught many years ago while learning to play tennis.
When we think of Georgia O’Keeffe, most of us think first of her early work: the monumental close-ups of flowers that stunned the New York art scene. The other subject most quickly associated with O’Keeffe is her husband, the famous photographer Alfred Stieglitz. And a new book of collected letters between the two artists sheds new light on their intriguing relationship.
Since prehistoric times, humans have manifested the desire to express emotion and thought through artistic forms. This desire to be heard, and hopefully understood, has led to the formation of language, the invention of a written alphabet, the arrangement of sound into music, and the placement of pigment upon a painting surface.
There are three components to a representational painting: subject matter, medium and style. Each provides a painter with a means for creative expression. I like to compare them to music. The subject matter becomes the arranged notes upon a sheet of paper. The medium becomes the instrument to be used for the performance such as watercolor, oil or pastel.
“Stuck” by Jean PedersonHave you ever been stuck in a rut? I mean so stuck that when you pull out the paints for a few days, weeks or, heaven forbid, months, inspiration is lacking? Well I sure have experienced these times throughout my painting career! It’s funny how you can be going a hundred miles a minute and then … nothing.
What is a personal artistic journey? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word “personal” is defined as relating to, or affecting a particular person. The word journey is defined in the same dictionary as something suggesting travel or passage from one place to another.In university, I was taught that art was the communication of ideas in visual form.
The dedication page of a book can be an emotional one for a writer. Especially for an author who’s also an artist. It’s the dedication page that signifies the conclusion of a book, and the reflection of all of the hard work that went behind it. It can also be a page that refers to an emotional memory.
I’ve always been service-oriented. Since I was young, I liked the feeling of doing volunteer work, such as trick-or-treating for UNICEF, instead of going door to door just for the candy. I liked to make things and sell them, especially if it was something that would help others. One summer, when I was about 9, I made handwoven potholders with one of those little square looms.
It’s another beautiful day in Florida, and this is the first leisurely morning I’ve had in over a week. Being here isn’t synonymous with being on vacation. I work harder here than I do in Kansas! While I dearly love my work, it’s time for me to relax and once again, connect with my thoughts in writing.
As I was working this morning on some of my blogs and other writing projects, I turned my attention over to Facebook. I’ve been working on a couple of new pieces of artwork, and I like to post the art in stages, giving my fans a sneak peek into my progress.Scrolling through the newsfeed, I was rattled to my core when I saw an announcement about another shooting rampage in this country.
“It must be nice to just sit and paint all day. What a soft life!”A friend of mine had said this to me, and half of the remark is true; being able to paint for a living is great, but there is much more to an artist’s life than paint and brushes. For example, preparing for an art exhibition is no easy task and includes several steps that require different hats.
I often talk to artists who express frustration with the lack of improvement they see in their work from year to year. The “idea” of being a great artist takes precedence over the time and effort required to become a better artist.Have you ever caught yourself or an artist friend saying the following?
One of the hardest things I have to overcome in my art classes is not the talent level of my students, nor the painting techniques and application of artist materials … no, my biggest hurdle is the self-esteem of the person I’m working with. It’s a tough one, for all the talent in the world won’t offset an artist whose view of himself is below par.
Question of the week….“I draw and paint but also work full time. I want to make more time for art and also get out of this artist’s block that I seem to have been in. Can you give me any tips on what to do to break this cycle?”This is a common question that I get asked. It seems to be a universal dilemma for artists, and a problem we all battle from time to time.
Facebook certainly has changed the way we view the world. Every day I seem to learn something new and get inspired by the photos and quotes that cross my news feed. I’ve personally designed my feed to include only positive things, each pertaining to positive thinking, writing, animals, and of course, art!