When I began this blog in 2010 I was influenced by two people: Stapleton Kearns and James Gurney. Both men posted informative material daily, generously giving of themselves in order to provide something beneficial to their readers. Stapleton, if I remember correctly, after 10 years of writing a daily blog, exhausted everything he had to offer about art and painting, so he is no longer writing a blog. Gurney, on the other hand, continues to write a daily blog that is immensely helpful, educational and informative.
The goal for my blog has been to be Informative, Educational, and Inspirational. I am not capable of providing a daily blog, as the two men above, but I did feel I could create a weekly one and be able to do it consistently…something I believe extremely important if one decides to create a blog.
It’s amazing to look back and realize I created 53 posts in 2019…an overwhelming task to be sure when looked at as a whole, but taking just one bite a week, a lot can be consumed in a year. Dan Kennedy, author and marketing strategist makes an important statement about writing that also applies to us painters…”You don’t wait to write until you’re inspired; you don’t wait until you’re in the mood. The cure for writers block is writing. You get to work, then you will feel like writing.” Louis L’Amour says, “Start writing, no matter what. The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on.” There are many applications for these wise words.
So these are the most popular blog posts of 2019, determined by readership. (Click images for each article)
New!! Video and book combo – I’m very pleased to announce the release of my video, Create Unlimited Color with a Limited Palette, and it’s accompanying workbook, Limited Palette, Unlimited Color. Almost a year in the making, the workbook, along with the video, are uniquely designed to help those struggling with mixing color and achieving color harmony. The book covers the subject of color in a very clear, practical and concise way, in fact, it’s the very material taught in my workshops for many years. What the book explains in great detail, the video demonstrates visually. I guarantee, if the principles taught in the book are applied, you will see a tremendous improvement in the color and color harmony of your paintings.
The Duel: Paint brushes or back brushes – My show with Elizabeth Robbins produced an exciting and titillating twist. Cheryl Macdowall, owner of the Highlands Art Gallery in Lambertville, NJ, said we would have fun…and boy, was she right. “He Said, She Said”was my first show with the gallery. Cheryl’s way of introducing me to a new audience in the Northeast was to team me up with one of the gallery’s most popular artists, Elizabeth Robbins. The duel took a surprising turn when an email Elizabeth sent me went public.
Bringing some sanity to plein air painting – I am fortunate to have been given, several years ago, some 50-70-year-old American Artist magazines. Browsing through one of them recently, I came across an article about direct painting…meaning, paintings created directly from life or nature, usually done in one session. Considering the current fascination with, and gushing acceptance of all things done en plein air, the writer of the article brings a little sanity to the topic. A painting done from life or en plein air is not superior to other works simply because it was done directly from the subject.
Color Mixing Basics – I’ve been writing a monthly article for the PleinAir Today Newsletter for the last several months. One of the submitted articles is titled Color Mixing for Beginners. I’m not particularly happy with the title because I’ve worked with many students that have been painting for years and yet they still do not understand the basics of color or of color mixing. You’ll find this article very enlightening and useful.
Creating Color Harmony – Creating a great painting is not a simple feat. As long as I’ve been in this business of creating art, the more I’ve discovered it never gets easier. There is always more to learn, therefore, the knowledge that a painting can always be improved exists. One thing is certain, we can only paint to our level of understanding. So, gaining that knowledge and consistently applying it to our work is the only way we will grow as artists.
Pros and cons of art competitions – It’s very possible that the painting you entered in that last art competition was a real dog. You know, the one that was rejected. But hey, your mom loved it. On the other hand, you may have submitted a real masterpiece but unfortunately ran into an incompetent judge or one that just had different tastes. Either way, the rejection was real and you felt the blade of the knife. Having juried many art shows and submitted work to many more, I’ve experienced both sides of the coin…rejecting and being rejected.
Selecting Primaries – I recently received a message from a follower of this blog that had purchased my book, Limited Palette Unlimited Color and the accompanying DVD, Create Unlimited Color with a Limited Palette. His concern was that he could not mix anything close to Cadmium Red while using the three primaries I had used to do all the demonstration pieces in the book, and so he asked, “What am I doing wrong?” The answer was simple.
Now what? – Now that the Christmas gifts have been opened,the tree and ornaments taken down and put away, the New Year celebrations and parties behind us, and 2018 fading into history…Now what?
We’ll do this again at the end of 2020. Please do me a favor. If a particular blog sparks your fancy this year, please comment and “like”. We’ll see 50 plus posts from now which ones will be the most popular of 2020. Please share my blog with your friends and ask them to subscribe. Thank you.
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