Sunday, April 5, 2015

Practice Practice Practice

Recently, I decided that it's time to pursue Art more fervently.

I have had the opportunity to work on some pewter casting projects that has really flamed (haha) a love of that medium for me. But I certainly need to improve my general artistic skills in order to be able to make more beautiful things with that. Ideally, I would like to eventually be able to do custom pewter work. But that absolutely would require much better skills than I have now.

I have always been drawn to the beauty and joy of flowers, especially in the spring! Several years ago I had the opportunity to take an informal oil painting class. It has been long enough that I've forgotten pretty much everything, except for the fact that I LOVED doing a closeup of a few tiger lilies during the still life study. I have wanted to paint giant flowers ever since! At one point I even started taking photographs in an effort to capture flowers and moments that I ached to paint! Sadly, neither my camera nor my photographic skills were sufficient to really capture what I was seeing. But I have recently decided to pursue oil painting again in an effort to be able to capture those joyful beauties.

Towards those ideas, I was thinking this morning (as I lay in bed, when some of my best thinking happens) about the possibility of taking a single art class in the fall to work on improving my artistic skills. Then I remembered a story of a chef that I saw on television. This person was in very lowly circumstances and desired to become a chef, but culinary school was far beyond their means. Upon reflection they realized that the most important skill developed in culinary school was knife work. Well, School may not be affordable but onions were! So they bought a 50# bag of onions and started practicing. They cut a LOT of onions and potatoes. A LOT! And developed some mad knife skills and was able to go on and eventually became a head chef, achieving their dream with a lot of hard work and tons of practice rather than formal training. Well, you can find instruction for pretty much anything and everything online anymore, especially with YouTube, and I am a visual learner, so that appeals. And due to the kind generosity of a dear friend I have the art supplies to start working on this stuff. I may not have the stuff to start painting with oils every day, but I have plenty of stuff to sketch and color and draw, and if I will use those as my onions and practice practice practice I will have better skills when it comes time to start using oils.

I also realized that I need to work on speed. If I want to be able to take and setup a chair and paint out in the field, so to speak, then I need to be able to sketch and layout quickly. I heard of a friend of a friend that would go to an artists studio class once a week and they would sometimes have speed drawing where they only had like 5 (or 15?) minutes to sketch a subject! While this person was an incredible artist who had crazy mad drawing skills, the speed rounds were VERY challenging, because it forced him to focus on just the most important lines, etc. So I think it would be good to include some of that in my practice as well.

I have also decided to use this blog as a place to report and show my progress and be accountable for working towards those goals that I am setting for myself. Eventually I would like to be able to develop my skills to a point where I can not only do those things that make my heart happy but to be able to find a way to use those skills and art to bless and lift the lives of others. That will come in time, but for now, I will try and post here on this blog... Toasty Tuesdays and Flower Fridays!  Toasty Tuesday will be the day I will highlight and report on those things that require heat, such as pewter casting and possibly flamework glass beads.  Flower Fridays will be the day to highlight and report on things related to flowers be it sketch, coloring, painting, or even photographing.

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