Painting For the Fun of It

Notes From My Painting Studio

When I am going through a poor stage of painting and floundering around, I like to get out my old books about painting and do some of the painting exercises therein. One of my favorite books is the Big Book of Painting Nature in Oils. I have had it for a long time and I love it. The author uses a reference photo on one side of the book and his painting on the other side. So fun! My paintings never look like his but that isn't really important. Some of the reference photos are easy to paint and others are difficult. I also love the Walter T Foster books. I had every one of them as a child painter and treasure them. I know this seems dumb to many of you but what it does, is free up my mind and allow me to paint just for pleasure. It takes me away from the awkwardness of slogging through process for awhile. When I m through with the books, I am relaxed and feeling like I am ready to move forward. 

I also like to go through my own workshop materials and pretend that I am a student. I do all of the stuff I make them do as if I've never done it before.It is refreshing and renews my skill level. I am a life long student of painting and that is essential for growth and success. I would rather be a bad painter who thirsts for better skills than an excellent painter who has stopped growing.

The Struggle of Painting

Notes From My Painting Studio
I have a lot of ups and downs as a painter, with periods of struggle and then nice easy periods. I never know when I will come into a bad stage or how long it will last. When I was a young painter, I used to feel panic about the bad painting spells, worrying that I would never come out of them, but now I know that they are a signal of a growth time for me. I've never been one to learn technique and then cruise. I see that frequently in some pretty highly skilled painters. Painters who have a real gift, but for whatever reason, don't have the will or desire to push their skills along further. They have nice work and so they are comfortable with that level. I feel lucky in a way to be a less than brilliant painter. I still crave that masterpiece that constantly stays out of my reach. I suspect that I would be lazy if I had great skill. Perhaps that is their great downfall, having great skill without the determination to reach further because they don't have to be hungry anymore. They have a style and a palette that makes them money so why rock the boat?
I've always admired my pal Mitch Kolby because he is constantly pushing himself further. We've been friends for about 13 years. We were both in a gallery some years ago so I have been looking at his work for some time. It constantly grows and evolves. To my mind he is a brilliant painter, someone I look up to. Our style is quite different and I've no desire to paint like Mitch but I do so admire his skill and the beauty of his work. He is a fine humble man.
The next fork in the road will show new technique for me to learn. The real joy of painting is the serendipitous, mystery of the game!


Artist in Residence Project: Mini Residency at Fair Oaks April 20, 2014

Artist in Residence Project: Mini Residency at Fair Oaks April 20, 2014: Mark Anna and James talk about the upcoming wedding at Fair Oaks The flowers are blooming under the trees this week. ...

Back to Oils

Sunflower Groove

Notes From My Town Studio

I have been struggling along with the acrylics for a number of days but I'm not having much success in getting back up to my former skill set with them. I have put them in a box here in the town studio for a bit and have gone back to my oils for some work. 

I know some  painters who seem to switch back and forth with two mediums regularly and successfully, but I don't do that very well.  I have to focus hard on one medium at a time for extended periods. I am ADD, so I have to really discipline myself and focus on one thing at a time. 

This year has been chaotic, with the studio move, lots of travel, all distracting. I am looking forward to my summer schedule where I am in my painting studio Monday-Thursday and here  at the town studio on Friday and Saturday. More time to lounge around with Henry and wear old shorts and flip flops. More time to work on my champion trees paintings and work a little in the yard and tend to my herb garden. I'll be working in the Fair Oaks Studio through the hot months on Sunday, waiting for cool weather to go out in the fields. 

Life is good for an artist!

Who Knew?

The Taylor Family. That's me on the left.

Notes From My Town Studio

Just when I resigned myself to selling small paintings only at the new space, along came a lovely family from Virginia to choose this 20x24 oil. They were great fun and I enjoyed spending time with them while they made their choice. They took their time, choosing just the right painting for their home.

They found me through my web site online, which shows that the time spent updating constantly pays off. Thanks a million to my new collectors.

Sale Bin

Old Orange Tree
12x16 inches
Oil on canvas

Notes From My Town Studio

I've been selling quite a few paintings out of my sale bin since I moved my studio. It is helping me to clean out my studio of older paintings. Alas no new paintings are selling. This is a low price point neighborhood. I miss the deep pocket collectors who visited me next to Fresh Market but in some ways, I like this space better. I have made the transition and adjusted after 6 weeks. This is a pretty space and I am on the same floor, integrated into the store and able to meet many more visitors than in the old place.  I hope that more affluent collectors will find me again but it is a waiting game. 

If nothing else I am practical. I am making adjustments in my personal budget and my business budget to live with more sales at low price points. I won't lower prices on my framed work. I have bumped those up slightly in price. I am doing more small work and continue to keep the bins full. You can't be inflexible when you are a painter. You have to make the best of your sales points. 

I also put some inexpensive tutorials on the web site to spread my experience to others and generate income. This is simply a correction in my market, due to a relocation. I will be patient and all will be well. 

In the mean time I am still struggling, trying to rebuild my acrylic skills in my studies at this studio each day. It is filling my painting bin with small paintings. 

Still limping along


Notes From My Town Studio

I am still trying to get rid of the cough that started as pollen allergy some weeks ago. Everybody I know has suffered this year from allergies. I feel run down and the cough is annoying. I'm trying to paint too. I did fine on Sunday out at the park with my friend Tim, but have felt quite tired for a couple of weeks. I'm drinking green tea and extra vitamin c to try to keep my immunity good. I'm not feeling sick like a cold but definitely not myself. 

Meanwhile, I am limping along doing acrylic studies. I have lost a lot of my skill set with acrylics, so I am working to get it back, but this time I will continue with my oils regularly. Acrylics just for my small browse bin paintings.

Henry the Studio Dog

Henry the Studio Dog
Studio Dog Wears his Fashion Accessory