Hopefully this blog will inspire you to have confidence in your creative abilities and give you courage to learn and try new things. Try something NEW. It could be just what you need to make you a better artist, or a better person. My latest obsession is Amigurumi Crochet, and my favorite subjects right now are Hollywood Icons, Famous People and Characters.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Art, LIke Life, Is a Journey, Not a Destination

After sending out my combo newsletter (belly dance and crafting) to 913 people, I got one response this morning from a  lovely lady who wants to get back into "art" and my reply seemed to cover a lot of ground, so I have reprinted it here for you all.

Dear Penny,
I enjoyed reading your blog today, which I received as a result of taking belly dancing classes a few years prior.  I loved art in high school (I am now 55) and my mother disposed of all my art work from then after I moved out.   My husband bought me a sketch pad several years ago that I've never touched.  It's not that I haven't wanted to use it as I am inspired to the point where I think "I can draw or paint that" but it just stays in my head.  While my kids were growing up I would always doodle.  There was a restaurant we would go to where you could color or draw on the tablecloth and they would want to save the doodles.  I guess my main question is, what paint supplies would you suggest a beginner invest in to start with?  Thank you for your time and insight.

Hi, Kathy,

Thanks for your email.  I know what you mean about lacking confidence.  For me, what happens is, the more I paint, the better I get and the more confidence I build up.  Like any skill in life that you want to excel in, you have to practice, practice, practice. 

What medium do you want to start with?  Watercolor?  Acrylics?  Oils?  I have just purchased a set of water soluble oils that I can't wait to try.  Usually I paint with acrylics and I prefer the Jo Sonja brand because I was trained as a tole painter, and that's one of the best paints I have found for all surfaces.  I paint on wood, metal, glass, paper, canvas, furniture, walls, etc.  If it doesn't move, I am likely to decorate it. 

I have not tried watercolor, so I can't say what to use in that category.  But I do use a variety of mediums with my acrylics.  I like Liquitex and Golden Brands for art projects and usually purchase the glaze medium, flow medium, retarder (slow drier) in the brand I am using at the time.  I even like the cheap craft paints for some things.  It all depends on what I am doing.  Lately I have started doing mixed media using dimensional paints, gels and additives that make the paint thicker and give it texture on the canvas. 

Brushes seem to be addictive.  I have to have ALL the specialty brushes, and everyone says to buy the best ones you can afford because you will paint better with a good brush.  My favorite type of brush is an angle in various sizes, because I can float color for shading and highlighting, and I can do lots of tole techniques with it.  But I also have fan brushes, rounds, flats, brights, daggers, scruffies, mops, scripts, and comb brushes.  I can use them all for either acrylics or water soluble oils, but not for watercolor.  You need to keep those brushes separate, or so I have been told. 

I'm sure I have just confused you because you wanted to know what to use as a beginner to get into "art."  Well, my other addiction is books.  I love painting books, and recently found 30 of the Walter Foster series at a thrift shop.  I suggest you find a book on the type of painting you want to start with and purchase the items they list in the front that are necessary for that medium.  Or, watch the TV shows on Create TV.  I watch Bob Ross, Susan Scheewe, Donna Dewberry and Jerry Yarnell.  I love videos.  I learn from each and every one of them. 

In fact, Bob Ross is going to be on in a few minutes, so I am getting my tea, settling down in front of the boob tube, and am ready to soak up more painting info.

Good luck to you!  Most of all, have fun!  Life, like art, is a journey.  It's not a destination.


Penny Stewart, 951 763 2068
Visit my Blog: Painting for Fun and Profit, Becoming An Artist
See my Store: http://www.pennybiz.etsy.com

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