Artipathy discussion

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message 1: by Kim (last edited Oct 09, 2008 08:59AM) (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Thought I'd let you know who I am, and hope to get to know who you are too. My name is Kim Power and I'm an seriously, I'm a painter, working in oils. I'm painting contemporary realism, which just means I paint my "real" world as I see it. I worked in textiles till the last three years when I switched, was bewitched, to the world of oils. I studied art education and have taken private painting lessons and am now educating myself, thus the birth of this site, where I hope to share what books I've accumulated and what I can glean from them and your insights too. You can see some of my work on my much neglected web site (soon to be completely revamped):
and see some newer work and my thoughts on art and life here:
If you have artwork to share, please let us know where we can find you too!

Let the games begin, Kim

message 2: by S. Kay (new)

S. Kay (cobwebs) | 90 comments Great group, Kim... I couldn't find one like this when I went searching. And a great book to start with.

I loved seeing your oils... requires a great deal of patience and the portraits have a lot of life in them.

Can't wait until I can both afford web space, and have enough current pieces I'm happy with sharing together. Need to get organized!

Art was my focus in high school, and a large portion of what I tried in college. Hopefully I'll be able to go back to school soon to finish up a degree in something along those lines. Lately, I work in watercolors but I experiment with a lot of things. Acid etching was a favorite of mine, but I don't have access to the materials to delve into that too much. For now, I'm happy with pencil, paint, and pen. I'm interested in trying more 3-D forms though.

I do a limited amount of freelance graphic design and commission work when I can get it, which is mostly realism and illustration... on my own, I'm interested in a lot of different subjects, from genre (fantasy/horror/etc) to surreal, to sequential storytelling, to everyday objects.

message 3: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Hi Kay, I was hoping you'd bite. ;0) Nice to finally get the whole scoop on what you're up to. Hey, you know you don't have to spend money to put images up if you get a blog. There is the burden of keeping up with it though, which I don't always do.

I looked all over for a group like this too, and not finding one, decided to make up one. I've got so many books on my shelves that there should be plenty of food for fodder. Please feel free to add yours!

If you're interested in sequential storytelling, have you seen the Neil Gaimen "Sandman" series? I keep running into it here so I finally added the first one to my to-read list. I'm curious to see his art.

Acid etching would be so much fun to play with! Have you done any other printing processes? Keep telling myself to get back to watercolor studies. Maybe you'll inspire me. It's a great way to work out some color and composition before diving into an oil painting. I know you know Wyeth so it would be redundant so say how much in awe I am of his watercolors, but I'm saying it. I'd also like to try my hand at egg tempera and maybe use it in combination with oils. many toys!

In the meantime, I'm finishing up a painting I've been working on for months (waaaay too long). I intend to finish it tomorrow, clear weather for light pending.

Looking forward to sharing and hearing your insights.

message 4: by S. Kay (new)

S. Kay (cobwebs) | 90 comments I do have a blog that's mostly personal things, but I had to make it private due to some of the content. I'd love to have a more professional space and am wondering if I could mess with a blog template to make it more of a public showcase... hmm, things to consider.

And yes! I really love the Sandman series... Gaiman is actually the author of the series, and a lot of different artists contribute to the artwork part. Some I like more than others, but there's sure a lot to go through. I just went to the National Book Festival, specifically to hear him speak. He's a quintessential storyteller to me and if you ever want to hear him yourself, he's recorded his current book in video format here:

He has very open views on sharing his work, which I love. Not related to art, but still a joy. :)

I haven't tried other printmaking techniques, but I do have a big antique press that I want to try. It looks intimidating, but I got a few rubber blocks and carving tools, so we'll give it a go!

Did you learn a specific style of oil painting? I know there's a Flemish revival going on, but I'm sad to say I don't know the difference between the types.

I have a watercolor set up right now that was commissioned about a year ago. I'm so ashamed, but I did work on it today a little. Never tell a procrastinator that she can do it "whenever."

message 5: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
You could totally use a blog as a professional space. If you want examples, I have tons! Mine is kind of a mix. Probably not so professional but I think people who are interested in art are interested in the artist too and the whole process of course. That's really what my blog is about.

Thanks for the Gaiman link. Can't see it yet though because we need to update our Flash player. I'll have to get on that. Missing too many things. I love a good storyteller. My favorite kind of person. That's really cool that different artists are involved. That explains the mixed reviews on the series.

Oooh! The antique press sounds wonderful! Those things cost a fortune! I have a friend here that does wood block prints. I love the idea of being able to use an image and then manipulate it in multiple ways. Gives you so many choices. I have a blog here somewhere of a woman who does printing then watercolor into that. I'll have to see if I can find it for you...

Yes, I learned realism with a friend who studied in Russia and is a master painter. I don't think it is quite the Flemish style but I am working with a grisaille underlayer and then glazes and more color. It takes some time but the effect is worth it. That would be a good exploration for me, to delineate the elements of each style/method. Realism is coming back but then it can never really die. It is the basis for all really good painting, even if in the end you are doing something abstract.

Ha, ha, I suppose I'm procrastinating now, but I'm telling myself I'm just taking a break so I can "see" my painting again. Finishing it today so I need to make sure it is all quite exact. Makes me a little crazy. I think I'll start working on more than one painting, as was suggested to me by another master painter, to be able to jump back and forth when I need to get a more objective view.

What is the watercolor?

Back to painting...

message 6: by S. Kay (new)

S. Kay (cobwebs) | 90 comments I guess now that I think about it, I follow some artists pretty regularly on their blogs! Gurney's journey is my absolute favorite right now: I also enjoy Danny Gregory's.

Care to share some of your favorites?

I agree with having a few projects going on... I only have enough space to have one painting set up. If it's not set up, I forget. So portable art journals are my friend when I need a break from that. The large watercolor commission is a scene from the 1930's of a man with easel, painting by a river. There are two women, one sitting around leisurely, the other painting as well, and an old building to one side. It's in sepia tones, like Nosferatu, but I might add a little black later... also need to begin a smaller, portable watercolor of my grandpa's house that I'm turning into prints as a gift to our (huge) family.

What is your painting of?

message 7: by Odette (new)

Odette | 25 comments Hi, I'm Odette.
I'm also an artaholic, though not a practicing artist.

I went to a specialized art high school, took some art classes in college, worked in two art museums (just gift shop jobs) and assisted with a children's art class, was a paid docent for an African art exhibit, took more art classes when I moved to Atlanta (design, book binding - wonderful!) and then had the misfortune to get a horrible, near-abusive figure drawing instructor who scared me off art classes (wuss that I was).
I have a job (non-art) that takes me to other cities for meetings occasionally and I always try to make time to go to one or two good local art exhibits/museums.

I'm open to and curious about most art, but I have a special interest in European medieval & renaissance painting, Dutch golden age painting, pre-1900 landscape painting, 20th C illustration-influenced painting, inuit art (especially sculpture), Indian Mughal era miniature painting, children's book illustration (especially Arthur Rackham era)and some graphic novel/comic book art, pre-1930 fashion, artists' books and recently, pre-raphaelite art.

I dream of someday taking a trip up the Hudson river to see historic houses of the Hudson River School artists (Cole, Durand, Church, Cropsey, etc) and hike to the places they painted.

message 8: by Kim (last edited Oct 11, 2008 12:12PM) (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Welcome Odette! Hey Kay:

I like Danny Gregory's site too. In fact, Odette, you should check him out. I've got his Creative License book. I'll have to put it up here. He's got a lot of people sketching who have never sketched. I was so, so sorry to hear about your bad experience, Odette! I had some students that went through that as adults. Luckily I was able to "fix" them. I taught them using much of the method of "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". Another good one for you to check out.

Bookbinding sounds interesting. I'd like to make my own book but out of alternative materials like textiles. Hmmm... Just too many possibilities out there!

Sounds like we have a good mix of art interests here so far! I love your idea of the HRS hike!! Can I come? At least vicariously. If you ever do it you have to record it somehow. Hey, that would be a great way to do a sketchbook!

So, Kay, is the watercolor a copy of a known print? I'm sure your family will love having a picture of your Grandfather's house. Will you do it from a photo or can you go there?

I'll open a new box for the blog list. Thanks for turning me onto Gurney! Didn't know that one.

message 9: by S. Kay (new)

S. Kay (cobwebs) | 90 comments Well, that was frustrating. I wrote a long response, and it disappeared when I pressed "post". I'll try to be patient and rewrite it all.

First, welcome to Odette, and to Andrea... I'm glad you both joined.

I can relate to your bad experience a little, Odette. I didn't do much in the way of art for about a year after art school due to that. It just wasn't the right school, and I should have researched their approach more before committing there.

I think traveling with other artists/art-lovers, like to the Hudson, would be a lot of fun. You wouldn't have to worry about holding people up by sketching too long, or pointing things out that aren't of interest to others. Usually I end up having to travel alone!

The photo I'm working from is here:

I hesitate to share it, because I'm not sure about copyright issues. Since it's not being published or distributed, I don't think there's a problem... it was a picture my uncle found and fell in love with, so wanted a large version for his office. Mine is a value painting, so I've had to take a few liberties to make things "pop" more.

My grandfather's house is from a photo as well. The house has changed so much (wheelchair ramp, new kitchen wing, etc) that it doesn't look like it did when the family was together more often. So I've taken an old photo from before the changes to work from, to bring back some familial memories.

message 10: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 30 comments Okay, I can't resist a group created by Kim. For any other members, you should know that Kim and I have known eachother since college, so there's a lot of history.

I can't claim to be an artist in any real practicing sense of the word, but I do take pictures on occasion. Would love to try many kinds of art, printmaking, painting, quilting or other fiber arts. I haven't much talent in the area of drawing, so maybe I can pick up the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain book.

My current artistic venue is a television program produced by my students, middle schoolers. I have tons of fun cutting together the videos, and learning more so I can teach them. I also put out a school paper, and enjoy the whole layout aspect.

Being a teacher with two deadline driven projects, I won't be able to keep up with the rest of you, I'm sure. But I love having art in my life, and something as simple as going to a paint-your-own-pottery store brings me much joy.

I'd love to post my photos, but being a teacher, I have to be careful what I post, and some of my best work includes things inappropriate for the young impressionable minds of my students. Though, I'm probably destined to eventually lose my job for accidentally leaving impressions on them in the classroom, first amendment discussions can get pretty interesting.

message 11: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Traveling and doing art is the best! I only started doing that a couple of years ago. My painting teacher asked me to come down to the south of France to paint. At first it seemed like a big extravagance, going there just to do what I love, but Stan (my husband) was cool with it and we both had a wonderful time. One of the most exhilarating trips I ever had. The next one was also in the south of France though the purpose was to visit relatives. I got so involved in my painting we ended up staying longer just so I could finish it! So now trips are for me purpose minded. Even if I'm just sketching I'll always be doing art. I agree it would be great to travel with others that are sharing that same experience. I keep looking at artist-in-residence possibilities and dreaming of when I can go. Some of them even pay a stipend! Here's one I look at often:

message 12: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Copyright, well, Kay, you can't be too careful with that. What I would say is that if it is just a personal gift perhaps it is ok, but in all cases like this, it's best to give some credit to the original image maker. Something like, "inspired by so and so". I couldn't see the image because of my flash player problem. (Gotta fix that!)

I don't do much work from photos, except to use them as reminders. There is the exception of my dog portraits because Leon, my dog, just gets offended if he's stared at too long. I don't see anything wrong with it, but I do think it's tricky to keep it from looking flat, so I understand what you mean by "popping" it. There's some good advice out there on working with photos that I need to read about. I think I might use it more in the future if I work on a larger landscape but in conjunction with some on site studies. I've used them as reminders when I do portraits especially.

You make me think of my Grandparent's old house and how much they loved it. I'm sure they would have loved such a gift, as well as the rest of the family as they spent so many Christmas times there. Very sentimental.

message 13: by S. Kay (new)

S. Kay (cobwebs) | 90 comments No doubt about copyright... credit would always be given, but I definitely don't do it often. An exception being when a photographer wants an artistic rendering of their picture to match a poster or something.

I don't mind working from photos too much if I don't have other options... like something from the past, or too far away to see. Does requires a different approach though.

I know I really need to practice a lot more from life. Lately it's been imagination and photo. Always good to get back to nature and see the REAL world.

message 14: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
That's great if you know photographer's who want an illustration of their work! I love collaboration and that sounds like fun. My husband is a b&w photographer and I've often thought about doing something like that with his work, particularly screen it or something on fabric and doing a multi-media piece. That'll when I become Shiva though.

message 15: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 30 comments Can we put up a picture? I just hate looking at a big question mark every time I log in. At least we could make it a beautiful question mark.

message 16: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
You're right and I have been thinking of it. Just need to find the right one and figure out how to download it. It was easy with my portrait as it was already to-size. I'll work on it.

message 17: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Welcome Gina! I hope we get to hear about your experience in woodcut printmaking! Best, Kim

message 18: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Welcome Terri! Good to have you aboard! I look forward to your insightful comments. Cheers, Kim

message 19: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Welcome to Artipathy, Jon. I saw your read Ayn Rand's book on What Art Is. Curious about that one...

message 20: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Hey Susan, Welcome aboard. You are quite the books, no picture...hope you enjoy the group!

message 21: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) Hello everyone :o)

I am addicted to art... it's not just what I do, it's who I am. I have always been this way. From the moment I could hold a crayon I was away. I started out doing a foundation diploma in art and design, and despite being obsessed with Japanese prints (which are as two dimensional as you can get) I opted to study for a degree in ceramics and glass. I did love working with clay (and I loved sandblasting... didn't really think much of glass blowing), but not nearly as much as I loved working in oils and acrylics, screen printing, etc. So I wandered away from ceramics and haven't really wandered back much since.

While I was at art college I found that I liked the art history classes and exploring the work of others almost as much as I liked creating my own paintings and sculptures, so I split my time down the middle... researching half of the time and painting for the other half. Then the research took over and I didn't do much of anything except that for some time.

I found my way back to the canvas, and I've been an eager beaver ever since. I love painting miniatures. My husband laughs at me because many of my brushes are almost bald... well, they have to be to manage such fine detail of course. I'd love to have time to put some of my work on the net, but right now things are just too chaotic. Also, I don't know about you guys, but I have a habit of giving my work away. There are bits of me spread out all over the country. And I made the mistake of selling quite a lot of work before I'd taken photos... not thinking that it would be good to keep a catalogue of my progress.

Oh my, I've gone on a bit... it's the writer in me, she can't resist ;o)

message 22: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) Kay, you mentioned fiddling with a blog to make it a showcase for your work. I haven't tried tinkering with Wordpress, but I've fiddled about with blogger and it was fairly straight forward once I got going. I don't have a blog for my art work, but I have one for my obsession with Japanese prints. It's here...

It took me a while to figure out how to change the background I must admit, but I imagine it's possible to do a lot more with a blogger blog than I've done.

message 23: by Terri (new)

Terri (terrilovescrows) | 30 comments I also have known Kim since collage and have been able to see her art grow and change over the years.

I love art. Am not talented at all in terms of making it. LOL My art is more stitching and making jewelry though I have not worked on jewelry in ages. Oh and dance...

I love the creative process and see it as a consuming part of who we are.

message 24: by S. Kay (new)

S. Kay (cobwebs) | 90 comments Gina,

Great introduction... I went to your site, and it looks beautiful! There was a lot to see, so I bookmarked it to go back and explore a little later. But you're right, it looks like something I could try too.

I tend to give things away a lot too. I've since started taking better scans/photos of them before doing so, but there are a lot of things I wish I'd documented.

Miniatures are so fun to look at... all the tiny detail. Certainly takes a steady hand.

Terri, Jon and Susan: Welcome to the group too... looking forward to discussions.

message 25: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) I've just found a photograph of a painting I did in 2003, so I thought I'd share it with you all. I'm told I paint like a Japanese print artist. The photo's not terribly good, but here goes...

My home... it's quite a big painting.

And this is me totally ripping off Tissot... in miniature (it's actual size).

message 26: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Yes, I can see the Japanese print influence on the second painting. Interesting way of approaching Tissot. I mean, he did beautiful women and there's that whole beautiful women theme in Japanese prints too. So what size is the miniature?

message 27: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) The miniature is just under one and a half inches tall (incl. frame). I tend to find myself attracted to the work of western artists who were influenced by Japanese ones, as Tissot was. His painting "Mme Newton à l'ombrelle" is very Japanese... including the shape of the canvas.

message 28: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Wow, that is small, so now I'm even more impressed. I like artists that are influenced by the Japanese style too. Thanks for bringing up Tissot. I hadn't looked at him in a long while. Are you then familiar with Notan? It's a way of understanding positive and negative space that I really like. I'll put up a book on it.

message 29: by G.R. (new)

G.R. (grcollia) Light and dark being of equal importance... yes. Yin and Yang. In the west we tend to focus on the dark aspects of a painting/image, and those aspects appear to be more dominant, but dark cannot exist without light. I have an old friend who produces some very interesting Notan images. He also makes stencils, and designs for Japanese yukata (light kimono) which are very striking.

On an off topic note, according to a Chinese fortune teller my husband met a few years back, I am all Yang, which is apparently very unusual. When I was created, no attention was paid to the darkness at all.

message 30: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 30 comments Susan, welcome. I invited Susan, she is a marvelous artist. I'm trying to get her addicted to goodreads as well.

message 31: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
And welcome to Katerina! Hey, you guys need to introduce yourselves! No pressure though, of course, if you just want to observe for a while. I've done my bit of that. Susan, Andrea has peeked my curiosity about your work though...

message 32: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Hey Baobhan, Welcome! Glad you could make it over. Sorry I missed you earlier. Looking forward to your input. I'm curious, what is the avatar you are using? I love that dress.

message 33: by Reem (new)

Reem (reemhkattan) Hello everyone. My name is Reem Kattan. I was born in Saudi Arabia and was raised there all my life. I am Saudi/American I graduated from Rollins College with a BA in Studio Art. I love the paintings of the old masters and strive to be as good as them, although I am still between the levels of beginner/intermediate when it comes to painting. I am most talented when it comes to drawing. I have also done a bit of sculpture and printmaking before. I enjoy photography as well. I am hoping to finish a nice portfolio to apply to grad school in the u.k. I am happy to be here among fellow artists. Hopefully it will help me brush up on my skills. Take care my friends :)

message 34: by S. Kay (new)

S. Kay (cobwebs) | 90 comments Hello Reem! Welcome to the group, we're glad to have you here.

message 35: by Emilie (new)

Emilie hi,
thanks for inviting me kim! im really happy to be here.
my name is emilie.
i mostly do mixed media art and book arts (i started out working only with paper, but then became obsessed with textiles after using some of them as texture in my compositions, so now working out how to make textile books too!

yes, kim, i feel that way too, there are so many projects i want to start, so many interesting mediums i want to learn to work with...(wow! an antique press!), but i have a bit of trouble ( a lot!) with perfectionism which results in my struggling a lot to finish my projects, so ive been trying to limit how many things im doing at one time.

i love many forms of art, my current favorites are: joseph cornell, the pre-raphaelites,victorian painting, daguerrotypes and tintypes and other forms of vintage photography and contemporary black and white photography, artists books, childrens book illustration (particularly dore, rackham, adrienne segur).

right now im really intrigued by art that looks like its been truly laboured over, yet there are things like seams showing, elements that give the work a purposely hand-made personal quality. (like the films of michel gondry and early david of amelie) im very into film as visual art media too.

and writing. the art of language. i love art that incorporates words as another medium to paint imagery and tell stories,and i love when visual and linguistic images play off each other and give more layers of meaning.

and odette, i dont think being scared out of taking art classes bc of having an art professor treat you in a horrible ways makes you a wuss.
and if it does, then im a wuss too. (smile, i guess i could be a wuss anyway, but lets say im not.)
i had 2 terrible experiences with art professors my first year of college, and i stopped taking visual art classes for a long time and changed my major.
i just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in that.

one more thing,a question: i am pretty new to all this and not yet very tech knowledgable. my scanner is not working, and i dont have a digital camera.i was wondering if anyone could tell me how i could get a photo up here for myself (art image is good for now, i dont have any of my art or personal photos in digital form at this time) so i was wondering how to take image from say, artmagick or some other place you tell me... and make it my avatar until i get my things uploaded bc its sort of depressing to see myself as a bland question mark.

thank you. emilie

message 36: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Reem, nice to see your intro. I'm also into the old masters at this moment but at the same time the impressionists and also many many different media, just in general creation! Interesting that you are working on your portfolio. I'd be interested in hearing how that's going, what you choose to put into it. Perhaps you'll share some images with us? I would have loved to get my masters but I'm here in the Netherlands and nothing like that besides in art history. But I got lucky and found a master painter that could take me on for a while. I'm sort of viewing my work as work I would do studying for a masters, including the reading I do. How was Rollins for the BA? Did you get what you went there for? Looking forward to hearing your thoughts and learning from your experiences too!

Welcome Emilie! Thanks for taking me up on the invite. Looks like you've got some common interests of many of us in this group. Great minds think alike. ;0) If you ever do get up some of your images, I'd love to see them. In the meantime, it'll just be interesting to hear about your processes. I'm curious about the incorporation of textiles. Are you dyeing your own or using vintage or what? Tricky about incorporating words in the art. How to make it visually work and also meaningful. As soon as words get involved things can get over defined. I say this because I'm also interested in this element. So far, I'm using text in a blurred way to imply text, or cut off words, so I don't distract from the image. But you are using a different medium so some of the rules, which of course are made for breaking, which I'm trying to follow don't apply. There's a book...Safe on the Rocks that I kinda liked for this. I'll try and post it here. Basically she's doing a sort of mixed media journal. Before I lost my favorites on my computer, I had several sites about this stuff but I'll have to find them all again now.

I like that too, the element of the unfinished in a finished piece. That's realism. Life just isn't all clean and tidy is it? The trick there again is trying to make it natural. Maybe it's just about knowing when to quit.

I'm not so techie for the images but maybe someone else here can help you. I'd be interested to hear how to do it too, since I'd like to give some visual references of other artists besides just the links.

And what's up with these bad professors?!! Don't they know that they are there to nurture and bring out each and everyone's special way of seeing the world? Yes, there are rules and techniques, probably they didn't know them and so couldn't communicate them, and they are a very good structure for developing work, but there is also personal vision which must not be killed. I'm glad you chose to get back to the art nonetheless!

message 37: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 30 comments Hi Emilie,

Also have a lot in common. The B&W photography, words with art, heck, words in general, and film as art, are all strong interests of mine, as are textiles, though I don't get to do much of any of these.

As for the avatar, I'm not familiar with artmagick, but if it's a web site, and you want to use a picture it is very simple. Assuming access hasn't been blocked to the image, you right click on the image you like and scroll down to "save image as" - if that command, or something like it doesn't show up, try a different picture.
Now, I'm on Explorer and Microsoft Office, in case that makes a difference. Your image will be saved to My Pictures, most likely.
Then, to upload, you go to your profile and look for instructions there. Once you get to the point of browsing for your image, you browse to your My Pictures folder and voila, choose the image you saved. Hope that's enough detail.

message 38: by Reem (new)

Reem (reemhkattan) Emilie wrote: "hi,
thanks for inviting me kim! im really happy to be here.
my name is emilie.
i mostly do mixed media art and book arts (i started out working only with paper, but then became obsessed with texti..."

Hi Kim! Unfortunately, I was mostly self-taught. Rollins did not have a very good art program. There were only a few professors who were amazing and taught well. I especially learned a lot from a professor who originally came from Scotland. She is an excellent drawing instructor as well as an excellent graphic design professor. However, I did not learn how to paint well and feel I still do not have all the basics down. For example. i have problems drawing from imagination. Any tips on how to do better in that area? I would love to be an apprentice of a master painter like in the olden days! Unfortunately, I don't know where to find any to take me in. LOL! I think it would be beneficial for me. Any tips on painting well too? I visited your website and I love your work (Ma sha Allah). Maybe one day you can teach me how to better my "mad skillz" lol. I am still young, so I have time. Take care Kim :) and all the people in this group. Salam.

message 39: by Reem (new)

Reem (reemhkattan) Oh, how do I upload some of my work here? I would love to share my work with you all. Also, does anybody have any recommendations on good art books? Especially in painting, drawing from imagination, and fantasy art?

message 40: by Kim (last edited Dec 12, 2008 01:35PM) (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Haven't figured out what painting your avatar comes from, Baobhan, but if I see it, I'll let you know. I like it because it gives a lot of information in a cropped image. So should I call you Mina now? ;0)

Reem, not sure how to upload your images...Andrea seems to have some good ideas about images from other sites. Thanks Andrea! I have my images on a hard drive and resize them to put on my blog but I haven't done that in some time (as you might have noticed). Still quite new to it.

Thank you for your comments on my work, Reem. I'd like to clean it up, get off some of my older work that doesn't represent where I am now and the progress I've made. Maybe next year.

Anyway, main advice I would give anyone trying to improve their art is what I would tell myself as well, draw, draw all the time, everywhere, anytime. Draw what you see. Memorize what you see and try to draw from memory. The only way to improve your imagination is to store your internal files with images that you can then put together. Imagined images are believable because they are based on reality. The more you draw, the more you will also feel at ease to draw something from memory and adapt it. Also, ask yourself what the story is that you are trying to portray. Keep it simple. Make it yours. If you are clear in your vision in your head, you will be that much clearer on paper or canvas. If you are not clear, then your image will be weak. Study perspective. That is essential. If you can get to see art/paintings in real life, take advantage of it as much as possible. Don't just look at the image, look at the brushstrokes, the thick and thin, the colors in light and shadow. Study hue, chroma, and value. But mostly, draw for now, as much as you can. I'll continue to put up books that have helped me and books that I still want to learn from.

As far as studying with a master, there are all sorts of programs out there now for studying "master" skills. There is a list on ARC. I'll put up their website on our list here.

And don't judge yourself, make space in yourself to learn and take the time to do it without expecting immediate results.

Anybody else want to offer words of wisdom? I'm certainly not the voice of authority. I'm learning all the time!

message 41: by Reem (new)

Reem (reemhkattan) Reem wrote: "Oh, how do I upload some of my work here? I would love to share my work with you all. Also, does anybody have any recommendations on good art books? Especially in painting, drawing from imagination..."

Thanks you so much for your advice miss Kim. I will do my best. You are right I shouldn't judge myself. I should just practice. I am open for advice from everyone. LOL. Btw, if you are on myspace or facebook, add me! I would love to hear from you. I know this is off topic but, it snowed so much last night that there was enough for me to build a snowman! I made my first one ever! I posted pics of some of my artwork on my facebook. I have them saved on my computer as well. Anyway, take care and I hope to hear from you all soon. Take care my friends :). Salam.

message 42: by Emilie (last edited Dec 13, 2008 04:41PM) (new)

Emilie andrea-
i am SO excited!!! thank you so much. it worked it! it worked!it worked!
wow. ive been wanting to do this for so long.
your instructions were really easy to understand. and perfect.
at first i had a trouble bc
i had to first figure out how to get my mouse to "right click" bc it was the same right and left. after i figured that part out, (settings) ooh, wow.thank you so much.

i was wondering who are some of your favorite black and white photographers? and who are some of your favorite artists who work with words?

it feels really good to be someplace where i have things in common with people.

thank you to kim for inviting me again.

now, i want to figure out how to crop the image.(smile)

message 43: by Emilie (new)

Emilie kim,i agree with you about the difficulty of incorporating text. and i agree that with you doing oil painting, it would be even more difficult to get it to work visually then working in mixed media.

i feel in my own art journals its not so difficult as when i make what i think of as my art, and then i have different rules for myself too. partly the art journal to me is less about being finsihed,and more a place to work out ideas.

i dont like the over-defined look either, i dont like the words to be so distinct, to me this makes the piece look more like an artistic advertisement then art.

i too sometimes use blurred text, or pieces of words cut out, sometimes the same word in different fonts so the word becomes a form too.

this is an ongoing issue thats important to me, still trying to make it work so i feel its really incorporated and i want to be able to add more longer pieces of text, and have more be readable, and i struggle with this a lot. i want it to work visually, and i want to be able to integrate my own writing that feels connected to the piece without ruining it..and w/o feeling that im doing art journaling on canvas, though ive seen some people do this, and i like their work, so, i dont know....its a headache, and then sometimes it works, and its so compelling.

ive seen some artists who use "artistic" handwriting, and it makes me wish i liked my own handwriting more, or felt it was more "artistic". smile.) ive used type written words blown up and blurry and missing bits so it becomes blurry and you can see the paint through it so it becomes more a part of the piece.i like this but it takes up a lot of space

id love to see your favorites when you find them.
im not sure, but i think youre describing book called, brave on the rocks.(i like your title more. and then, maybe they are 2 different books?) by sabrina ward harrison?
i like many of the pages of her art journal work. the freedom and aliveness, and i like the way she lets you see her brushstrokes quite often and seems to do that thing of i cant remember the name but something like happy mistakes?

reminds me of you saying that is realism, that reality is messy. thank you for saying that. its really interesting to me.
i always thought of realism as somehow implying not only a photo kind of realism in painting, that for some reason in my mind implied taking the emotion out and making everything "perfect" and ideal.
and so i always thought that i could not relate to realism, bc though i struggle often to make it not so, my own life, my own thoughts and feelings are very messy. i like what you say about trying to make it natural, i guess like capturing the messiness in a natural, real way. for some reason i cant articulate, this new way of perceiving "realism" in art, feels very exciting and liberating to me.

oh, the textiles. nope, i dont dye my own fabric. i dont know how. its one of the things id love to learn one day. did you dye your own when you worked in textiles? i love vintage lace and vintage fabrics/clothes. i cut up my own old clothes too, when they dont fit anymore and are made of velvety or silky or another fabric with an interesting texture. sometimes i do paint onto the fabric for color, but mostly i think i pick fabrics that are already the shade of color that i want. sometimes i paint over the fabric completly bc im sometimes only using it for texture.
what kind of textile art did you do?

reem: hi. fantasy art: brian froud, alan lee,arthur rackham, dave mckean,the art of faery,
ill let you know if i think of some more.
i think kim's advice is really good. i have a few thoughts when i read it, to add to it:
when you look at art in books and in life, and you find a painting/piece that you really like, ask yourself what it is about this work that touches you. press yourself to figure out what it is that you are responding to. same with art you are not liking. this helps you understand yourself more, and what you want in your own art. what works, what doesnt work sort of thing.

as far as the imagination, again, taking what kim said as a starting point,
kim-i love what you are writing here about the imagination and making it believable bc it is based on reality. and about making it yours.

i think that keeping an artists journal can be a good help. for me, it helps to work in images and in words. see what works for you. try both at first. i think that another element to make art from your imagination work is to focus on what you are passionate about, what moves you, what you care about. this passion will find its way into your art, and it will infuse your imagined images with the reality/believability bc you believe in them.
i would ask myself what am i passionate about? and include everything from like: chocolate, the color pink, mythology, raising money to create safe houses for victims of domestic violence, marilyn monroe, animal rights etc.
you can explore these in your art journal, sketch them, write about them, ask yourself what you want to communicate about them...and they can then recombine in interesting fantastic ways.
and id ask myself too, what am i most scared of? etc. this is like when kim says, "if you are not clear then your image will be weak."
part of this is the experience of sketching things again and again, becoming clear in your technique , style ,ability to render, etc.
and part is becoming clear in yourself, what moves you...then they will come and work with each other, you will end up with the experience of drawing say, a figure really well, and you will have say identified your own interest in mermaids, and when you change that female figure drawing into a mermaid, it will be believable.
i hope this helps. i am no expert. and these are only my thoughts. they work for me. for me, the more i know about myself, the more clear i am the more i can do art.

message 44: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Emilie, great avatar pick! Lots to say about your last post, but I'll have to come back when I have more time.

message 45: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Emilie, great advice. You make me want to do a journal. I have a Moleskin going but I'm not as regular as I'd like to be in it. I love your questions, what are you passionate about, what touches you, what are you scared of...I think it would be great to compile a list of these questions to regularly inquire of ourselves.

Yes, that's the thing about text in art, to avoid the advertising aspect. Like overstating the obvious. I'm playing around with that right now because I have a sugar jar with "sucre" on it, but I think I can work it out since it is badly printed and I can exaggerate that somehow...I like the way you describe about playing with it all. I can just see you tearing and piecing etc. I don't think there's any problem with putting your art journal on canvas, or at least the idea you developed in your journal. That's what thumbnail sketches and studies are all about, to work out composition, value studies etc. You can figure out what works and then apply it to canvas.

I don't know your handwriting but everyone has their own particular "style" in writing. Keep it, don't try and make it something else, that is part of who you are. Try writing when you're tired, or in different emotional states, or have less space or more space to write in, or upside-down. Just some ideas I'm throwing out there. I do find that "writing" with the paintbrush I get a very nice out-of-focus writing that appears to be readable but isn't. You might try writing with different mediums and see how that turns out too.

You are exactly right, it's "Brave on the Rocks". I'll have to put it up on the shelf if you haven't already. Thanks for the correction!

If you go to my website, listed on my profile, you can see some old stuff I did in textiles. I started out just direct dyeing, then batik, then a combination with paint and sgraffitio, and also finally with direct dyeing and embroidery. The more I went on, the more complicated it got! ;0) I wanted to be freer and kind of got into painting because of that and I'm still on that road though now I'm doing realism with all the details at the end so finally it is still complicated! That's why I like this whole journaling thing you talk about. It sounds so free. I have tons of ideas left for the textiles, but no time to do both at the moment.

As far as realism being perfect, I think a lot of people make that assumption. But if it was, it would be dead. Look at any master painting and you will see them putting some form of messiness or "life" in, bugs, things falling off the table, things spilling, a tablecloth pushed aside. Photorealism is a sort of close up of reality but it still has to have life to work, like showing someone who is not so aesthetically pleasing. But this isn't really my realm so I don't want to say more than I have knowledge of. Maybe someone else here can speak for that genre? Anyway, I'm glad I could open a window for you.

message 46: by S. Kay (new)

S. Kay (cobwebs) | 90 comments I feel too far behind with everything to catch up right away after being out of town for a few days, but wanted to say welcome to Emilie and the other new members here.

message 47: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Welcome to Jovanhanna! Looking forward to your input. I stole some books from your shelves for my growing to-read list. ;0) Happy to hear from you, Kay, when you get your land legs again. Hope you don't mind I put you as the discussion leader on the Dear Theo book. It doesn't mean what it implies. Just putting names with the books people choose, so no pressure, though of course your comments are welcome!

message 48: by Emilie (new)

Emilie kim,i love your idea of writing in different emotional states and with different mediums. thank you. when i read that, i realised that i always write with a very fine nib pen, and my handwriting just gets tinier and tinier. it now seems silly that i didnt think to try, but i didnt. im going to order some pens with medium and brush nibs to try and different style pens(too intimidated to try paint brush yet,)
and the emotional thing, that made me smile too. bc sometimes i dont want to write bc i dont like the way i am feeling. and my handwriting is different (messier, more out of control, maybe artsier? (smile). what you wrote is helping me change the way im thinking about it, like, okay, thats can be a good thing.
my perfectionism really messes me up a lot. that feeling of im not good enough if im not perfect.

and yes, i see too, that in many paintings i vaguely thought of as realism, part of what i liked in them, is that messiness. (messiness in others is not imperfection its artsitic freedom, when its good, i know this doesnt quite make sense, but...)the intensity of an expression, the napkin falling off the table kind of thing, the sense that something hidden was captured, something interior made external.

looking at your website, i can imagine you doing an art journal,and id love to see it, you are so talented at sketching and painting and at expressing yourself in words, and with textiles, i think itd be cool if you could find that freedom you are looking for, and a place to play with all your ideas, and passion and talent. (and mediums.)

i have so many things i want to say to respond to your art that i almost cant focus on any one. i think i will write some thoughts and then more later.

the textiles, i really love the "women in transformation" so much. the detail and layering of techniques, that you "painted" images without any paint, that your images are so filled with emotion and intensity. that they each feel like they are ready to tell me a story if i am willing to listen, and that each time i look, the story will unfold more. they really move me.
what inspired you to do these particular figures? they are truly fascinating and beautiful and exquisite. thank you for sharing them with me.
myfavorite: clementine (i could stare at her for hours) love
and i see what you are saying about complicated!

i really like that you put so much emotion into your art. i love the way you portray your models with so much feeling and personality and mood, and that they tell stories, that they feel meaningful.
i love:to sleep perchance to dream and the oil paintings with the figures in them most of all, so intense and compelling.
do you know the models? it feels like you do.
i am feeling like im not being articulate.
i really like your art so much. it deserves for me to say something more specific but i am not able right now.

if you are interested i can give you some links to sites with art journals or names of books to look at. (not that i think you need help to do art journal, just if you think itd be fun....)
yes, i love moleskin. isnt that the one that van gogh used too? love the sense of history, and they are so beautiful, the thick pages.

i find for myself, if i try too hard to journal everyday, telling myself its So important, i journal much less. i miss weeks at a time.
when i dont push it, i journal nearly everyday.

message 49: by Emilie (new)

Emilie hi kay. i think that big antique press is so cool.
interested to talk to you after you catch pressure, i hate to be rushed.

message 50: by Kim (new)

Kim | 362 comments Mod
Hi Emilie: Just realizing I never responded to your last thread! Whoops, sorry. Sometimes I get off in my own little world...

Perfectionism...yes, I know that trap. I think it is great that you are realizing that you can do this other kind of writing if you just let go and do what you feel. In fact, that is exactly where perfectionism seems to block us (me too!). We get so wrapped up in how it is "supposed to look" that we don't see our own particular vision of the world, and that is the most important thing, expressing your own vision! Not someone else's or some photo of what exists but your interpretation of what exists. Lose that and you are just doing a copy of reality and not reality itself, your reality.

I learn so much from looking at other paintings and the way the masters have dealt with different textures etc., and some of that I use in my work, but it's still how I interpret it. If it doesn't "work" for me, then even if it worked for a master painter it's not going to work in my painting, because I'm telling my story and not theirs. I'm also writing this as an affirmation for myself, as you can see.

And to he** with not being good enough if you are not perfect enough! Shoot, show me a perfect human and I'll show you someone not human. Don't hold yourself up to anybody else's standards, hold yourself up to your own! I always tell my students, and often have to remind myself when I'm working, take that person who is saying those negative things, that it's not right, that you'll never get it right etc. and put them outside the door and shut the door. They have no right to be there when you are creating.

If you want to analyze, save it till the end of your session. Sit back, take something warm to drink, relax and gently tell yourself what you can do better next time to fit what you want to see. We are all learning, all the time. That's the great thing about art. Even the masters were always learning. Look at Rembrandt and how his style changed with age. A student of mine once asked me why would one want to do art if you can't achieve perfection in it? One, who decides what is perfect?, and two, isn't it really about the journey? If we already knew how to do it all so perfectly, why do it?

Oh, and thank you so much for your kind comments about my work. I'll have to get back to the rest of your post later when I've climbed down from my soapbox.

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