What a great idea to share the thoughts of other artists…. you are always striving to improve the content of your site. The benefit of the input of other artists inspires this student to try a little harder. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you Cheryl!
My team is constantly working to bring more value to the site, and I am really looking forward this new series. There are so many amazing artists out there, including quite a few in our own Master Oil Painting community, and I’m as excited to hear from them as I am to share it on here. I completely agree with you that hearing from other artists will improve our site and inspire us to try harder.
I love your eye for color. Gorgeous.
Thank you Carol!
I continue to be amazed at how you juggle teaching, herding a gaggle of aspiring artists like us, and make a living as an artist. I am grateful for your help in these many ways.
So glad to hear your enjoying it Earl! Teaching has always been a passion, so I have no intention of slowing down, as long as my energy level lasts and Heavenly Father continues to direct me – I know we could not have accomplished what we have without His help!
Thank you for sharing your wonderful gift. You inspire me to want to paint.
That is what every artist and teacher hopes to hear Mary, thank you!
I have painted for may years and continue to be amazed at how much one can learn. I appreciate so much your willing to share your expertise and heart with everyone. Thanks again. I am new to your class and excited about where it takes me.
I am excited to watch your progress as well Marcea and to be a part of it! I will do my best to share what I have learned in whatever way I can think of that will be useful for you.
Thank you so much for all the time you and you’r family spend on other’s.. I have learned through you’r critiques of mine and other’s paintings… I am working on random strokes of the brush in my work and to watch out for Line’s of subjects in my paintings… Color temperature is a hard subject to explain and learn and I feel you are a Great Teacher. I thank you BILL!
That is so encouraging to hear and so appreciated Dawn! I am grateful for my family and their selfless efforts to help this all work. I could not dream up a more wonderful family to be a part of – I am truly blessed – or a more wonderful art family to share with and learn from. Thank you to all of you as well for being so good and generous with one another
Thank you so much for EVERYTHING you do to help us and teach us with your sharing your knowledge and paintings. So glad you are doing Monet and love the reference photo and you painting of it, to me is most helpful. Guess I am a visual person! (I know I am). I learn so much from the Q and A even when not my own painting. I probably need to find a grey scale thingie to help me out. When my son was in 3rd grade the school nurse called to say he had flunked his eye test and was upset because the other kids hadn’t. So I said no problem will come up and give the test to him so he will feel comfortable. My son and I went sailing the the eye test and agreed on everything we were so pleased and proud of ourselves. He went back to clas happy as a lark and they informed me I was color blind! Am still laughing I was 30 yrs old and had no clue I was but I am color blind. Had eye doc check it out and am. The mild form when it gets to pastels in light pale grays blues and greens so my daughter used to love to ask us what color something was and giggle her head off. I always buy matching clothes from the same company so I know the colors match! It don’t thing it makes much difference in my painting but might and am not worried about it. I think am more confused trying to convert colors to black and white and gray shades and know they have charts out there somewhere, would like to buy one. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!. Thanks again
So great to hear from you Patty! I have two professional artist friends who are color blind – Nathan Salano and Dan Woodson – who have both achieved phenomenal heights with their work and careers. Robert Moore at the Broadmoor and Trailside Galleries is also color blind and he is one of the top selling artists I know. So color blindness need not stop your success – push forward and follow your instincts and you will succeed! Great story by the way, thanks for sharing…
I love this message Bill. I just lost my Mother, my best friend a few days ago and it has been hard to find reasons to smile. My Mother always taught us to give and give frequently no matter how big or how small the gift. I am new to your community and was caring for my Mom right after I joined so I haven’t seen much. I watched your rant video (the whole thing) which left a mark and genuine affection for you as an artist and as a person. This message is beautiful and I agree that we are very fortunate to be in a position to share our beauty with the world. I too, like my Mom, love good caused. I have been trying to think of who I can donate some paintings to. I will definitely be donating to the nurses on the hospital floor and I was also thinking of the local school and retirement home. These small gestures of kindness go a long way and can truly make a difference for someone.
Thank you for this message of kindness and for making me smile at a time when it seems impossible
I am so sorry for your Mother’s passing Chrissie. I am very close to my parents and the thought of losing them as they have increasing health issues is daunting – I talk to them every week and rely on their encouragement. You are in our prayers! That is the force that gives me hope when circumstances try to wrestle away my smile. I have great faith in our Father and His Son to do everything possible to bring us strength and hope – without interfering too much in our brief time of training here in mortality. I also believe we artists were inspired to paint and create so we could be instruments from our Father to bless others and lift them up – often in ways we would not anticipate. I trust that your sharing your gift of art with others will not only bless those you share it with, but it will help to keep you smiling, the way comments like yours do for me! Remember, we will be sending our faith and hope and prayers your way.
Thank you, Bill, for this message. I truly love being blessed with the ability to be an artist and this has enriched my life so much through the people I have met and art groups I have joined. When people at my church discovered I was an artist, they asked me if I would be willing to paint the coffee mugs that are presented to new members of our congregation upon joining. This is certainly a different type of painting but I saw it as a way to give back and now have been personalizing mugs for many years and the new members are always delighted with them.
What a fantastic way to share your gift of art with others Joanne! I don’t believe in higher and lower art efforts – whether painting a mug, an ornament, a saw or the Sistine Chapel, Heavenly Father just wants us to share what He has blessed us with to the best of our ability. He will guide us and give us the opportunities to touch others’s lives as long as we don’t let pride cloud our vision. I’m happy to hear you are blessing lives with your gift.
Beautifully said and it makes my life so much richer to be able to of myself. Thank you for sharing this thought. Time now to go paint my gift!
Correction to above to” give of myself”
Thank you Mary, I am overjoyed to hear you love to share your gift with others as well!
You have such a giving heart , that was one thing that drew me to your sight . You can tell you love the Lord and I know He loves you!! i’ve taken this course without having the time to use my artistic ability, If I have any. My last painting I did is displayed in my Church. I prayed the whole time I was working on it that it would be a blessing to anyone that saw it. I get a blessing when I look at it even though I see so many things I’d like to change. I’m 77 years old and I’m enjoying hearing about your wonderful career. Your paintings are inspirational, I’m sure you pray over your work. It show’s. The beauty of our Heavenly Father’s masterpieces!! I’m learning from you even though I haven’t put paint to canvas . I hope to start working on January’s assignment and try to display something!! Thank you again for helping us!!
Wow, Ruth, I’m excited to hear you will be picking up a brush soon! Each time I enter my studio, the first thing I do is kneel in prayer so that my efforts will be more than my own. I know Heavenly Father will sustain you as well…
I am a photographer and one year this young photographer saw one of my images and I overheard her say how much she loved it. I printed another and gave it to her, she loved it. We weren’t friends I just felt the need to to it. You never know what is going on in someone’s life. I hope this made a difference somehow….. plant a seed of God’s love❤.
That is awesome Nancy! Sounds like inspiration through and through…isn’t it wonderful how much joy we receive when we follow those promptings.
Some years ago when I started painting, my television director at First Baptist Church, Memphis, TN wanted me to paint his wife’s childhood home as his gift to her. I was glad to do so without charge, but when he gave me the photo, it was a run-down, shotgun house, white clapboard. A tree with a swing, and a cotton field alongside. I tried, but the effort was terrible. A friend of mine taught art, and she said, “remember, you’re not painting the house in the photo, but the house she remembers! Use a perspective of looking up toward the house, and add a bit something like naples yellow light to your white for the outside of the house.” I did both, and was shocked at the difference it made. That painting still hangs over their mantle in Knoxville, TN where they live now. You’re right; it’s not necessarily the professionalism of the painting, but the friendship behind the painting that makes the difference!
Heavenly Father brings us what we need, even if we go through the ringer first, like your friend who gave you the perfect suggestions to guide you along. One of our church’s Prophets, President Spencer W. Kimball, said “God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other.” I believe that with all my heart, and that is one of the guiding themes for everything that I do. What a blessing to know the family cherishes your painting and your friendship!
I paid for this course and now I can’t get in. I’m using the only e-mail address I’ve ever had and it said it can’t be published. Can you help?
I receive your e-mails at this e-mail address bi can’t get in using it
Just watched your “What is Serious Art” video. Spot on! Art enriches us so.
I can never thank you enough, Bill, for the impact you have had on my life as a painter. Six years ago when you agreed to let me come to your studio once a week was the opening of my painting reality. You nurtured, nudged, and taught me so much in that year. You gave me confidence and permission to be myself using my own style, yet helped me understand artistic principles that I needed. You are still helping me grow as an artist through all your videos and teaching. My heart leaps with joy how much your notoriety and business has grown. I think God has honored you for all the extended lessons and guidance that you have been willing to give to your students. Now, as you are partnering with your family, your growth touches many painters. Thank you again for teaching me to paint, to love my art, to clean my brushes, to focus on my strokes, to acknowledge the use of color, to include lights and shadows, and so many other things. You’ve impacted me for a lifetime.
Thank you Sandi, you have been an incredible blessing to our family as well – your kindness is contagious!
I gave a watercolor of tulips to a friend at my church. She is a grief counselor at a local hospital and had been taken by it when she saw it in my rack a year ago. I half promised it to her if she would visit me in my home. She never asked a price but kept reminding me how much she liked it and her good intentions. I actually had two of them almost alike. On Christmas Day she was scheduled to lunch with a group of us but she was called in to work. I had the painting wrapped and with me at our Christmas morning service and gave it to her before she left to go to work. My thought is it wasn’t going anywhere in my rack and if someone deserving really liked piece, I would rather it be enjoyed.
That was very kind of you Dean and I believe your generosity will be more than rewarded. Usually our rewards have nothing to do with money – but then again, you can’t buy happiness or love with money, right! Is there anything better than that? Not in my mind…
As an artist myself, I enjoy reading about how other artists perceive the journey of being an artist. I too, experiment with different mediums but paint primarily in oils at the moment. I just purchased a set of interactive acrylics that have whats called, “open” qualities, meaning they can be re-wet for adjusting edges. I find it very exciting to play with a new medium and can relate to your concern with destroying a canvas and made my own supports to freely paint on as well. It does make a huge difference in my creative senses when I don’t have to worry about messing up an expensive stretched canvas. Your work is incredible. Thanks for sharing.
Hi Bill, How do I down load these videos on you tube? We have just moved and I have not gotten around to internet service yet. So, I need to go the library and down load these to my computer and am not have much success.
I have no training at all in paining, but I do paint although it is not by any means professional looking. Could you give me a great place to start…classes I could take…books I could read..etc? Thank you, your work is stunningly beautiful and I enjoy seeing it!
So sorry I missed your post Kathy until today.
There are some incredible resources for artists today! If I had to start with one book, and I wanted to master representational painting, I would start with Richard Schmid’s Alla Prima II Everything I Know About Painting – and More. It is one of the best resources for painters.
I am also a huge fan of videos and DVD’s – especially if you can find some that are more than just a quick demo. Start with artists that you admire most and see if they have videos available. I would practice with that artist’s method for 6 months to a year or 2, then take some time to follow your own instincts and experiment and practice for a while. That will give you some time to really zero in on what appeals to you about how that artist works and also what you don’t like as much. Then either go back to learn more from that artist with fresh, more informed eyes, or look for an artist that might be more in line with the newer informed understanding you have.
I still like to watch other artists paint because I never know what insight or technique will grab my attention and improve how I approach my art. My whole desire is to improve – to get better and better my whole life. I am an eternal student. 30 years of painting full time and I still feel an intense desire to learn more and climb higher – to make paintings that truly touch others’ hearts and inspire their minds, and I don’t feel I’m anywhere close to that yet.
If you are anywhere near Arizona, the Scottsdale Artists School is a fantastic place to take workshops from many of the top artists in the country. Never take a class just to take a class – make sure the artist is someone who’s work you really resonate with. There is too little time to waste any – if nothing is close to where you live, save up until you can take a week-long workshop from a top tier artist – I would also read reviews and comments by attendees to see if they are not only a skilled artist, but also a skilled teacher (a day or two in a workshop often is not enough to really get a grasp of what is being taught – a week works out much better if it is possible).
Don’t become a look a like – learn from the artists you study with, but follow your own instincts and imagination when it comes to your style or direction in painting. There is not any one best way to paint or best artist out there. There is a multitude of possibilities – never limit your own with someone else’s thinking or rules!
You have a beautiful family thank you for sharing!
What would you say, if I told you
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I remember when I first discovered
this, I thought it was too good to
be true, but it WASN’T!
Are you interested in seeing
what I’m talking about?
Just click the link at the bottom of this message
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You need to HURRY though, I’m
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I like turning them upside-down…. I’d done a painting of a wolf for a friend and when I was done, there was something wrong…. I just couldn’t figure out what it was, but knew I wouldn’t be satisfied till I figured it out. I kept coming back to work on it for a couple of days, then remembered the advice to flip it from one of my college professors.
Immediately after I turned it, I could see the mistake! I’d made his forehead way too long…once I turned it around and made that change, it was just what I’d wanted. I’ve also done as you describe with similar results.
Many years ago I worked for a gentleman who had very small and difficult-to-read handwriting. When I couldn’t figure out what he had read I turned it upside down and was able to figure it out. I’ll try this with painting also. Thanks for the reminder!
It’s good to hear that the truly talented and educated such as you come across these frustrations. The gift is to see and make the needed changes. I pray each day for this ability! Thanks for sharing as I needed to read this.
I’ve been doing just this mistake over the past day while working on a self portrait. I think I have it and 5 minutes later after a break, I can see that my eyes are too small/wonky/value is wrong… It’s heartening to know I’m not alone, so thanks for the tips!
We see the reverse of ourselves each time we look in the mirror..when painting a self portrait it helps to remember that we don’t see ourselves as others see us. Self portraits are not easy..not for the visual drawing/painting artist nor the photographer. The other – “Older” – Bill Inman
Thank you for so generously sharing your knowledge and skill. I sit to paint In a confined area, usually a couple of hours in the afternoon. Then I grab my canvas and plop it in front of the TV for the evening news. I see what needs fixing and what is likable. Usually even a bad painting is more likable than the news.
Before I call them finished, I set aside all my paintings for several days, and sometimes weeks. Then, when I take them out, it’s like starting all over with fresh eyes. Wondered why that was. Thanks for the explanation!
Sometimes I will instinctively know that something is wrong. I am not experienced to know what that is,or how to fix it. My husband,lovely as is, would not notice if I hung it up side down or simply took it off the wall. My eldest daughter has an artful eye but she is busy with her own life. Soooo…I don’t look at my paintings for a day or so then revisit them, I will put them upside down or sideways to view, I drag them into the bathroom and check in the mirror but must admit this often simply confuses me. I take a photo and look at that. I post to Bill’s group in that he will comment if something is really off and get excited when he gives a correction suggestion! I appreciate the fellow members looking at my work. I do feel good when someone says it is lovely but also wish we have enough courage to put in what we may find offsetting in a piece. It doesn’t mean one has to alter it but it gives us chance to see what someone other than ourselves are seeing…and there are some very experienced painters in this group. My 2 cents.
Thank you for this wonderful tutorial Bill!
As was mentioned above, I also use a mirror to get ‘another’ opinion.
Sometimes, we can get so stuck in our own zone we literally cannot see the forest for the trees unfortunately!
its sort of like looking at yourself in the mirror and thinking you look pretty good and then catching a glimpse of yourself a couple of hours later in a shop window and thinking OH NO AM I THAT FATl stop and photograph as I go because everything looks different on camera than it does in person Maybe its because I know so little or haven’t been painting long enough to be overconfident but I send snapshots of what I am painting to about six people that I know and trust. Two are artist friends and I can and get a list of corrrections or suggestions just like I hope to get. One has no tact at all and says exactly what he thinks, wouldn’t begin to lie, and I get exactly what I want from him- his gut reaction of what he sees. the others are family members who are always encouraging and interested in the end results and guaranteed to smooth over self doubts and self esteem. People are so scared of hurting your feelings but I WANT to know whats not right and I WANT the feedback. Loved this article. Thank you Mr. Inman
Hi Bill and painter friends,
After I was finished treatment for Ovarian Cancer, I started taking painting lessons. I have been painting and taking lessons intermittently now for 10 years. Praise the Lord that I am well, Thank you Lord. I was cared for by many nurses, physicians, family etc. I had painted a Plein air painting of a small cove and island. I absolutely loved the painting. I so wanted to share my heart and soul with one of the physicians that had shared his heart and soul with me, whilst he cared for me. He was a great listener. I had the painting framed and gave it to him as a gift. My heart was filled knowing that I was giving him something special from me. He liked the painting and was thankful. I don’t know if he hung it anywhere and I haven’t seen him in years. I am thinking that if I went back now and saw the painting, that I likely would grimace and want to improve upon it. That is life though, we look back on things, and maybe wish we could change them. But I know for sure, that in that moment in time, that was the best of me, and I wanted him to have that as a gift.
I LOVE my Coulter easel. It is steady and study even on the windy Oregon coast.
That’s a huge consideration Judith – occasionally if the wind is strong I have to grab my french easel and hold on for a bit until the wind has passed. I can tie down my easel, but having tripod legs that widen out far enough to make it stable in windy conditions is definitely a plus.
I have the same issue re French easel and weight. So I got an old golf cart at a garage sale, removed the holders for the golf bag, had a an aluminum box made for it. The long narrow “box” is like a carrying shelf or box affixed to the cart and rides low on the cart. I can slip my french easel and a huge umbrella in it like a carrying box, plop on a small aluminum chair and tie things down with a bungee cord or two. Everything rides fairly high off the ground and because of the large wheels I can go almost anywhere. When setting up I can get a largish stone to weight it all down and open up a beach umbrella for shade and tie it to the weighted (with large rock) golf cart . Am safe from sun or rain and don’t have to lug the stuff, just drag it all along! I take a lightweight bag with me and extra bungees which I use to anchor…put rock or sand/gravel inside bag and put that inside the narrow aluminum box (on the golf cart) to weigh it down in case it is windy. When done leave rocks there..where I found them. But inspite of having a perfect setup I am always still (mainly by habit, I think) on the lookout for something better.
My latest craze: ditching the French easel and affixing a pouchade box to an aluminum telescopic camera tripod. Then loading everything up on the golf cart.
Carol, What a great idea! Would it be ridiculous to ask it you have a picture of your golf cart with special box and your on-station plein air set-up?
muy buenos tus temas, son importantes para los que nos gusta el arte y la pintura , un saludo desde Venezuela amigo .
Blick is having a sale now on French easels. Full and half box. I’m guessing half box is half the size of full box.
Black Friday or end-of-year sales are a great time to experiment when our budgets allow. I like to try a new easel/palette combo once in a while just in case something will make painting on location a bit simpler. So far, my 35 year old French easel is my favorite, but a friend has just made me an easel similar to the Coulter, with a few modifications, that I think might replace my French.
I also don’t like the heavy weight, but, I’ll take my French box…I have three of them…over other stuff I’ve tried. So, I just bought a little trolley that holds not only my French box, but turp, paper towels, panels, etc. Really handy!!
That’s the way to go Susie! I have the Kelty RedCoud 90 backpack which is massive, but my French doesn’t fit inside with my large palette – that’s the main reason I experiment with alternatives once in a while. The easel Michael designed for me to use on a tripod comes in two sizes, and they are so convenient and light, that it’s a tough setup for the French to compete with. The complication has been getting the palette he created so it will also work with the tripod. I think it may be ready, but I haven’t been able to field test it yet – hopefully very soon. The main thing is to paint without limitations as much as possible and still be able to hike in anywhere we want.
Where are the palettes Michael designed for sale?
Great question Kathy! Michael is now ready to create palettes for anyone who would like to order one. He just recently finished his experiments and updates so he (and I) is thrilled with the design. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 308-750-4169. He even designed a shelf that works beautifully for using the palette with a tripod – for those who don’t want to use a French easel.
Love my coulter easel!
That’s great to hear Niki – I hope this post sends a lot of customers his direction! I love the innovation that is happening with easels and palettes today.
I’m going to try my Leder Easel with a Coulter Box.
Diane how did that combination work together?
let me preface this comment with “I don’t like plein air” I am distracted by the heat or cold, bugs, or just the wonderful views or smells around me. I had a French easel, which was too heavy for me to get to what I wanted to paint. I now use an Italian (Capelletto?) brand folding, field, wood easel, which weighs just 4 lbs. and folds up to fit in a backpack or bag easily. It is obviously not heavy enough to be real steady, but with my pastel or oil palette box on the foldout arms on the front, a bungee cord or two, it works really well for the few outdoor trips I make.
Smart Carol – if things are too complicated a lot of artists just won’t bother especially since painting on location is already difficult to begin with. We each need to evaluate our individual circumstances and decide what works best for us.
I really like the Strada easel I’ve been using for the last couple years. I have the large one with two shelves. I think what I like best is the ease of use, and no knobs on the outside to get in the way. I used a French easel for about 10 years before that.
The Strada does look convenient and quick to setup – I saw them while at the Plein Air Convention, but have not used one. I’m super attached to having a large palette down at waist level, but I may need to try a Strada sometime in case I’m somewhere I need to pack especially light. I’m glad it’s working out well for you Debra.
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Truly remarkable work! Thank you for sharing.
What a fine artist you are,I love your work and if I were a rich man I would be your best customer.truly stunning.
Have you seen Susan Tustain.she is a self taught brilliant artist?
Love your work. My passion is nature and you capture it perfectly.
Very enjoyable read about a very gifted artist! The advice about being braver to be me and ignore the meanies really spoke to me.
Very inspiring! You are a magnificent artist!
Great artwork, thank you for sharing.
Thank you so much for sharing your art and your heart with us
Your genius is in how comfortable and natural your subjects fit into their surroundings. They aren’t posed. Viewing your work is like stumbling upon the scene moments before the animal disappears into the landscape.
Wow. Cannot even imagine anyone telling you someone is a better artist. I love painting animals and looking at your website has inspired me to learn to be better at it. Thank you for creating such beauty.
Thank you so much for your insight! It helps to hear from someone that truly shares from the heart. We are such a mixed bag and it is good to know that even the great artists (like you) have the same human feelings that must be worked thru!
Your work is outstanding and it has been really great to get to know a bit about you!
I have contacted the Coulter Easle folks twice in hopes of purchasing but no reply. I need a tripod for the DSLRs camera I was given so the coulter system could deal with two needs.
Bill or Kristy if you know how to get through to these folks please let me know. I am off to Hawaii in a couple of months and would like to take an Easle.
The Coulter folks got back to as did the Tobins. I am having a tough time deciding between these two. A plus with the Coulter is the commercial tripod which I presume would also work for my camera. Whichever I end up getting it has to travel friendly..for both a sailboat and commercial air travel. I dream of taking it when we kayak but this will likely remain a dream.
If Bill or others could chime in on plus/minus of each and better yet your own experience I would be very grateful.
So glad to hear they got back with you Janne. I called about the Coulter Easel, but no answer, and then I saw your new comment.
The tripod is a standard camera tripod with quick release so you can easily switch between your easel and camera. I think the Coulter would be the simplest system for travel, especially in small spaces like a boat deck.
I have not ordered one yet so I don’t know the field experience pros and cons, but I actually found the Coulter Easel because I thought of the same idea and looked to see if anyone else had tried anything like it. I love the idea of simplifying and condensing, and a single board easel with a palette that attaches to the tripod legs is pretty simple. The less I need to do and the quicker to set up the better – as long as my panel is sturdy in wind and my palette has plenty of mixing space I’m good to go.
Hawaii sounds like a fantastic place to paint this time of year – have fun!
I just purchased Williamsburg and some Gamblin to replace the Winton. It seemed that when the paint dried the colors faded. Now what do I do with all that Winton?
I often use some student grade colors (VanGogh) with Gamsol (Gamblin odorless mineral spirit ) for the block-in (plein air or studio ).
I proceed with professional colors after, when it becomes more serious 😉
Hope this will be helpfull for you 🙂
This is exactly what I do.
A lot of great suggestions for you Christine – I think I would be prone to the canvas toning idea – maybe mix them together for a warm or cool grey under color, depending on your subject and approach. Donating them to a school is a great idea – although do we want to take a chance on getting a budding painter hooked on inferior paint – maybe a yard sale or studio clean out sale?
Perhaps toss it or maybe use it to tone ypur canvas b4 u start.
I really enjoyed this blog. I have asthma and use M. Graham paints. These do not affect my breathing at all. They are creamy and have beautiful colors. My only problem is their Alizeran. It is not lightfast so i will not waste my money.
In response to Christina N, contact a local high school or Community College. They will be greatful for the art supplies.
So glad to hear you enjoyed the post Christy! I agree, I think those who are affected negatively by oil paints are using some type of solvent. Use oil, especially walnut, as a solvent and there shouldn’t be any adverse reactions. I still like Gamblin’s permanent alizarin the best.
I have mostly Windsor Newton student grade simply due to the costs. Some colors like Cad Red or Cad Yellow are not great in this line so I have higher quality tubes in those colors. I’ve also been experimenting with other brands and higher quality paints. once my paintings begin selling for thousands, not hundreds, maybe I can afford all professional grade paints!
oh, and I avoid any paint sold at Hobby Lobby – terrible!
I think that is a sound policy Steve – canvases as well – although I do get some products from them with the 40% coupon that work well, like the Quick Dry spray!
You have not rated the water miscible oils. I use Artisan and Cobra. Do you have any suggestions with them. I also use M. Graham oils but have trouble with them in plein air because I have not found a way to thin them, without solvents, that is fast drying for a block in. Any suggestions?
You may want to sample Lukas Berlin water soluble oils (made with safflower). I catch them onsale at Jerry’s. However, I have gone to regular professional oils but use walnut oil for medium. I wasn’t satisfied with transparents in the water-based so have gone to mostly Rembrandts.
Rembrandt paints are excellent Kathy. I used them in the 80’s – if they had offered the 150 ml tubes like Gamblin and Utrecht I probably would have continued to use them. I am now trying other brands like Michael Harding and finding that I like them a lot. I will have to try out some Rembrandt colors again and see the comparison – in fact I still have some tubes from the 80’s that are in great condition – amazing how long high quality lasts.
I have not used water miscible oils Pam, but I have heard good things about Cobra and the Lukas Berlins Kathy mentions – many say the Lukas are more creamy than the other brands. As far as the M Graham, I use walnut oil to thin for my block-ins – no it isn’t fast drying and that can be inconvenient sometimes, but I love not needing any type of solvent (make sure you don’t use too much walnut oil though on an acrylic ground – it will bead up and not adhere well – at that point you will want to wipe it off and go again, or add more straight pigment to the mix). If you take straight paint and apply a thin layer with a paper towel or rag you will find it works also. There might be times that I revert back to some Gamsol for a specific type of wash, like a multi-colored light wash, but it’s been about 5 years and I haven’t needed it yet.
check out Marc Hanson’s reviews on the water soluble oils
What do u think about ARCHIVAL ?
I believe in using the highest quality materials I can find that work for my purposes Hakim. The word archival is tossed around a lot, but it’s not very useful since even professional grade products have flaws and will eventually deteriorate – very few products are likely to last centuries in today’s environment – I just hope my paintings last my lifetime and the life of those who purchase them – if it’s worth it to someone after that, some conservator will figure out how to preserve them. The reason to use professional grade is that they have much higher grade ingredients that will generally last decades longer than student grade and for most styles of painting they look and perform better which saves us unnecessary frustration – painting is challenging enough without the added problems that come from student grade materials.
Archival is a brand of oils made in Australia by Chroma, they are very flexible and not prone to cracking.
https://www.masteroilpainting.com is very interesting, bookmarked
I am not an artist but I love art. I really loved your work and from your interview how humble you are.
I absolutely love your work. Thank you so much for sharing some of your insights after years of experience along with your honesty and humbleness. Very refreshing!
Thank you for sharing your art and expertise in both painting and business. Your paintings are beautiful. I love your style too!
I would like to express my gratitude to Bill Inman for his sunning work in painting and precious lessons on internet and to Joe Anna Arnett for sharing with us some of her thots and works.
Thank you Cezara – your kind words are very appreciated!
Hi. I just canceled my monthly membership which was paid ahead. I understand that you will reimburse the remaining amount.
Thank you and wish you the best going forward.
Beautiful interview and content. Thank you Joanna.
Donna S/New Jersey
You are a wonderful artist and inspiring human being.
https://www.masteroilpainting.com is very informative,
Thank you Matilda, I’m so glad to hear you are enjoying the posts. I do love all the feedback we get from so many artists – it’s fantastic to hear and learn from so many different artists’ experiences and insight.
Being a real lover of hollyhocks from childhood, I really appreciate this demonstration, and look forward to attempting one such painting myself. I grew them for several years, but am now old and handicapped and can no longer garden. I can still paint them, though! Thank you for this! Wish I could afford to take your online classes, but I am on a fixed income. Love, love, love your paintings and your techniques, though. God bless you for adding beauty and joy to the world!
Thank you for sharing. I am inspired by the assorted paintings and helpful tips in composition. I hope to watch the five hour video soon, to better understand warm and cool tones, values, and creating light. You are a very generous and talented artist and instructor.
I like this very much. It is very useful, espetialy together with full movie (: . It is like e-learning big shapes of painting, and then going in details (with full movie). And also we need repetition .. so thank you (:
La idea admirable
Thank you for sharing your painting… Loved watching the details, found them very helpful.
Love the painting techniques…there is only one thing that bothers me about this painting. Flowers in nature do not all face the same direction. I would have loved to see more of a variety in the directions that the flowers are facing, They appear stiff when all facing front. I hope to try a holly hock painting.
Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Bill.Beautiful paintings,very helpful.
(: Thank you for this sincere, touching and insirational words. I must say that i like this first holyhocks not less then last one (:
First, as a retired competitive equestrian athlete and trainer your words about being in the “Zen Moment” for lack of a better term are consistent with my own experiences during some of my very best competitive rides. Your painting style is very different then my own but what your teaching me is invaluable. Thank you for your honesty and hard work.
I personally really respect and appreciate your efforts and talents. Thank you
Blue Hollyhocks is my favorite and I think it is the misty background and the solitary rocks being dominated by the beautiful blue hollyhocks, that takes my breath away and really speaks to me. I have never seen hollyhocks and your arts make me wish I could see them. It is interesting thinking on how our arts have evolved and who inspired our styles throughout different stages if our ‘growing’ process. The funny thing about art is that each stage works together in bringing us to where we are today and serves as the stepping stones to the artist we will become tomorrow. If we dont allow those stages to happen, then our skills never evolve…and our art becomes boring.
I love the blue hollyhocks. This painting is very romantic and mysterious and transports me into another time. The colors are soothing to me. Great job.
Thank you for this wonderful post. I loved reading it and seeing your journey. I too battle between loose painting and the details. I too love the style and paintings of Bongart! I intend to paint loose and expressive and when I get into it the paintings become tighter and tighter as I do when I draw. I want to create something more expressive… There are times when I lose myself in the painting as you expressed and forget about funndamentals. It’s wonderful! Sometimes I am so excited with the outcome and other times I have to wipe it all out and start over… Either way it’s a great feeling…. Music helps to move me to my right brain and forget everything I’m studying. I am motivated by you, your thoughts and your art, so please keep sharing! Thank you.
I can identify with the split artistic personality. Especially, when trying to create your own artistic footprint. And the Zen moment gets interrupted too often. Thank you for words of inspiration and lets me know we are not alone in this struggle to become the best we can be.
Seldom does one of your accomplishment openly offer such intimacy as a means to guide, instruct and encourage.
For infants in the arts, as I, what you offer is invaluable.
Thank you for sharing your journey…
I love your paintings and really appreciate the time you give to your students. I’ve already learned so much from watching you and listening to you share what you are thinking while you paint. It’s very helpful to know that even accomplished artists still struggle some days! If I paint more often, have soothing music, free my mind from worries and have some kind of plan for the painting, it comes more easily. But I’ve also had wonderful spontaneous days when there was no plan and everything worked….so who knows? If the “flow” comes, it is a gift!
I am new to painting yet I can relate to the feeling you describe of unconsciousness and the brush creating something that somewhat surprises you …almost like where did that come from when you snap back to yourself and apainting is there. There is no effort, no conscious thought, no concept of time passing..it is a wonderful place.
Thank you for this blog.
I think you are correct Bill when you tap into consciousness… Didn’t the Greeks call it you’r genius? … You can also call it GOD.. All those would be correct.. I seem to hold the brushes and the color’s pop into my mind.. We stop thinking and just let BEING paint… Its all like “be still, and know I am GOD”…
I get emails all the time but have yet to use your site. I thought I paid for a membership but I can’t get in to anything. Don’t remember login info but email is email@example.com but your system says it’s not valid?!
Can u verify that I am a member?
I have been painting for years but I work full time and only have 2 evening a week that I can paint. I know that if I could do a little bit each day I would get better, but I don’t know how to work it in. Any suggestions? I love your work and love to watch your videos.
Thank you so much for your insightful reflections on your journey as an artist. I like that you know “At Home on the Range” is a painting has many elements of the best for you. It is a beautiful and vibrant painting.
I’m learning from you that it is okay to paint from memory and our imagination rather than only what one sees. I find that as l put more of the “rules” of painting on the shelf (for aspects of the painting) l’m often more satisfied with the outcome.
I look forward to seeing the details of how you developed the hollyhock painting.
Thanks for continuing to write such amazing blog posts!
I have tried everything and can’t get it to work. I know my password but reset it anyway still not working but then the site login for 6 month program doesn’t work when I click on it and am not in the 6 week course???
Guess I don’t remember my name would be nice to just login with email name that one I don’t forget! Thanks but after losing 2 pcs and so much stuff in the last 3 weeks am computered out.
Appreciate the recommendation. Will try it out.
“Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I _appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the website is also very good.”
Thank you for the interview. It is always interesting to hear others journeys.
As a recently retired Senior, I’m finally working on my art. Life Drawing was the main FEW classes I’ve taken while raising my family and working, over the years. Recently sold some paintings at the request of friends. People want what I do but is not that good. Of course, I don’t charge much. I want to LOVE my work. Any ideas or assistance for art classes for serious Senior artists either on line or live? I’ll be moving to Portland, Oregon shortly.
Wow, such a talented and very humble man! Love that he doesn’t hesitate to say that he is a Christian, attributes his talent to God, and puts his life in God’s hands. As a beginner, I know I have a lot to learn but sometimes I do get discouraged and wonder if I have any talent at all. Very encouraging to learn that he says he did hundreds of paintings and a lot of them were lousy before he found success. Thank you for a wonderful and enlightening interview!!!
LOVED THIS ARTICLE. WHAT INCREDIBLE WORK!
Very enlightening interview. Like the comments before me, it makes me encouraged to know of his struggles and how hard work made him successful. I have no illusions of becoming famous or anywhere nearly this good, but I do want to be able to enjoy what I am doing and hopefully some others will also. This was especially enjoyable for me. I was raised on a ranch in Montana and the western way of life is what I know and what I love to paint.
This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks for wrnitig!
You’re welcome Cathy!
Thank you for sharing your story of learning to paint. Your paintings tell a wonderful American story.
Thank you for posting this wonderful artist interview. I admire his humbleness and his dedication to seek God in his work first of all. I too, ask the Lord to open the doors of art for me and close them if He doesn’t want me to pursue it. My journey, so far, has led me to some open doors, small, but open and so I am inspired to push on. It is a struggle, but one I must follow being so passionate about painting as I am. I really needed to hear this artist tell this story about his art journey at this time in my life when it seems nothing is really happening much for me yet. But I have many more brush miles to go to reach something like real art! Again, profound thanks.
this is a master of light and shadow to create emphasis or a mood, or to make you feel the sun or the cold or the crisp mountain air. And he paints with knowledge of the country, and the actions of the animals. He is incredibly good!
My email and password won’t let me in.
I can’t open the course.
Bill, this painting is most amazing! I love everything about it. The colors are so crisp! Thank you for the tip about aliz crimson! Thank you for these amazing videos!?⭐️? Cathe
Love the Stoic Barn painting. So many beautiful colors. So many wonderful brush strokes. Your method of painting really inspires me.
Love your way of painting – thankyou
I loved the video, thank you so much for sharing it with me. I love you your way of painting!!
Very insightful. Enjoyed this very much.
This is great. I will share. Can we have an interview with Curt Walters next?
Curt Walters is a fantastic request Valerie! I love his work. I loved living near Santa Fe in the 90’s and studying his originals in the Alterman Morris Gallery. We will definitely reach out to him.
Hi Bill – this is really helpful. In terms of lighting, I prefer outdoors over indoors but even then, I have to play with the white balance in my camera to get it right. For indoors, I bought a professional photography bulb (the ones that are super bright and hot) and a white photography umbrella. I turn the bulb around to face backwards into the umbrella which then diffuses the light on to my painting. I don’t have to make color adjustments in photoshop with this method.
Such a good video. Very inspiring and how you build your warm and cool colors for such interest.
The interview with Camille was wonderful. I had the pleasure of doing one of her workshops here in Madison, Ms when I first started painting. I was overwhelmed with what she was doing.
She is a wonderful instructor. Loved it!
Thank you Camille for your wonderful insight/theory and Bill for his excellent questions. (that has to be hard to do. But you gotta love the road trip.) I love the “the theoretical Professional and/or advance being the toughest to reach & teach…that’s me. Just by interviews and points of view of you two and others like John Weiss I am slowly learning to hug the shadow-reflection through a painting. For myself, old habits, good or bad die slowly. As an illustrator for nearly 40 years i found that others (clients were dictating my voice with a “can you make it look like this guy did it?” request. This is me today: http://www.christophernewellartist.com
Bell Well Hugs, Chris
Great interview, Bill. I see wonderful luminosity in Camille’s and your paintings. I learned a lot from this interview. Enjoy your trip and remember to come home to Indiana safely. My gratitude to Camille for sharing her artistic genius.
Excellent!!! I have been a fan of Camille for years and love hearing her responses to your questions!!!! THANK YOU!!!
Wish I had come to painting many years ago. It is my passion now but at 94 I cannot expect more than the enjoyment I get from so many great artists.
Camille mentioned she had a large advertising budget that she put immediately to her art. Did that come from having a very lucrative illustration career or what. It seems most people really struggle to get started. On person whom I shall not name I came across in FB group. He has painted for years and has a very identifiable style. In the space of a year he went from giving away his work in Central Park..all of it was quickly scooped to a shop on Etsy selling around 400$ ( no sales) to going onto Saschi at around 1200$ for the same pieces that had been on Etsy..no sales. So the question that begs to be answered is…how best to not only get folks seeing your art but how to get your work selling.
That’s a fantastic question Janne!
It often makes it sound easy when we hear a quick synopsis of an artist’s rise to success.
I believe successful selling of artwork is a combination of a lot of factors that are as varied as the artists themselves. I’m not sure where Camille got the money early on to advertise, but I do know of some artists who mortgaged their homes, got loans from family or maxed out credit cards to kick-start their careers. Others worked jobs and painted every spare moment while galleries marketed their work until their painting sales exceeded their job income.
One friend of mine taught high school art and sculpted until 2 each morning and on weekends for years before he was able to sculpt full-time. He was then a consummate businessmen. When you walked into his studio he had a business manager that kept his activities – like shows and gallery needs – in order. He made it a practice as well to periodically visit a gallery quietly and see how they were displaying his work. He was generally in 10 galleries at a time to ensure consistent sales.
My start came from persistently approaching galleries I liked until I got in. I did that while in high school and college. The first year after college I worked as a graveyard security guard so I could paint during the day – I averaged 4 hours of sleep a day. Kristie and I have also lived frugally (as much as we could with 7 children) and missed out on much of what other people considered important – like cable TV, car payments (driving old cars we could buy with cash), buying old houses for cheap that we could fix up, not eating out, cooking from scratch – that sort of thing.
Sometimes it’s simply pure luck – the right place at the right time.
Mostly, it’s not considering anything else acceptable as a career. Most painters look at all other jobs as temporary necessities that allow them to buy more paint and give up whatever will keep them from achieving their goal of painting.
It is rarely an easy way to go. Then again, is anything in life easy?
The most financially successful artists I know are also great marketers and promoters. Advertising in art magazines or wherever collectors will see your work over and over seems to be one of the keys.
Eric Rhoads offends some artists because he stresses so much the need to spend money on advertising – but he’s right. From Richard Schmid to David Leffel to the top shows in the country – they have all advertised consistently in the magazines. That’s why we know about them.
Coca Cola has been the top selling soda for eons – they have also spent enormous sums on advertising and continue to do so today.
There’s no getting around it – if we want to have the sales success of a Richard Schmid or a Morgan Weistling we have to promote (having incredible art also helps but it is not as necessary as great promotion). A lot of mediocre artists sell well because they advertise and promote really well.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach, but if you do advertise, be prepared to keep at it month after month without seeing measurable results for months (or years) until collectors are confident you are here to stay.
Pursuing a career in art may not be the easy road, but it sure is a joyous one!
I wish you well on your own path Janne.
Very interesting interview! Sure gave me a lot to think about before and during my painting sessions.
very educational for artists, am just short of funds now to be able to purchase books like these, but am willing to read through if made available. thanks.
LIBRARIES!!! many books from libraries are even available on line to read on Kindle or other reading tablet. You get a card/account and you can download books as well as take out the physical copy. seriously great art books in every library I know.
John F Carlson. What a book! Took the e-book on holiday with me. I started highlighting passages I liked, but soon found I was highlighting the entire book! Bought the paper version immediately on my return home.
Thanks for the book suggestions they are very helpful, we have all bought books which are below standard and a waste of money. I find book lists from established artists help reduce buying duds, and help in making a good artists library.
Regards. Pete (UK)
Thanks for the list. I have wasted money on books that were no help.
My favorite inspiration is Andrew Wyeth. His paintings are not oil, but they inspire me.
I buy multiple copies of Carlson’s book and give one to every new painting student who is taking classes with me. A MUST read!!! I have about 150 art books in my library and I buy quite a few on ebay…usually good prices!!
What are your favorites Susie?
I fell in love with Rockwell, then found Michealanglo. Today I love Warehouse and Terpning. Oh and Leighton. Can you make it 3 books? Lol
Waterhouse was a phenomenal artist Cathy – I too am a fan.
Great idea Susie with your students – every artist should own a copy.
I should have thought of that Carol, libraries are a terrific source and a fantastic opportunity to try before we buy!
I am having the same problem. I am using my email address and pasword but can’t get in. 🙁 I even tried to click forget password but it says invalid email address. 🙁
Thank you for this blog. My husband bought me the Daniel Keys set of Rosemary Brushes, after I bragged about them. I bragged only from the rave review of my fellow artist friends. The set was very expensive and included the ivory and mongoose in various sizes and shapes. After only one day of use, one of the mongoose flats splayed out so badly, it was impossible to use. I contacted Rosemary and included pictures. I was told to boil the brush for one minute and shape it while wet. It sort of worked, but when I painted with it again, the same thing happened. I am not pleased at all, especially since I have 1,200 invested in them. I do however like the Egbert and some of the ivories.
Wow, you went all out Karen – that is a huge investment. I purchased more brushes than I normally would just so I could experiment and share my findings with the Master Oil Painting community. I hope you get to somehow put those brushes to good enough use to make the investment worthwhile. I have a studio full of past purchases I was excited about based on the reviews of others that now gather dust.
I’ve used Rosemary’s exclusively for the past six years. After cleaning them in turp. I wash them in Murphy’s oil. When I lay them down to dry I always put a little sunflower oil on the tip of my fingers and bring the brushes to a fine point or even flat. My brushes have stayed pristinely white and not splayed. I think it’s all about the washing.
I have resisted the mass migration to rosemary brushed as I have plenty of decent brushes on hand. I purchased a few to see how they are. I am really happy with the several other brands that I now use.
Always go with your instincts Mary – if you love the brushes you’re already using, it doesn’t make much sense to switch. I am the same – if I hear rave reviews I usually purchase a couple to try out – sometimes they’re keepers and sometimes not, but it’s fun to give new materials a go once in a while.
I’d be eying those Rosemary brushes for 2 years, reading reviews, getting their brochures, going though their enitre website. I finally took the plunge and got some (after comparing prices with local bought Winsor Newton for ex.). I got Ivory, Evergreen, and classic short flats. I paint mostly portraits & landscapes, alla prima and in layers also (2 or 3). What I found is that yes they are good brushes but nothing to rave about and no better than previous ones I had been using. The Ivory series and the short flats are not better that the Robert Simmons and I agree they quickly splay and become useless. The Evergreen series is too soft (Raphaël textura in small numbers does a better job). After discussing the brush issue with my teacher, we came to find a local brand called Zen (comes in dark silver long and short handles) with just as good power to hold the paint and take the hard work of most painters. These brushes have the advantage of costinf $3.-/piece, and when it’s used to the pojnt of not enough hair left, throw it away and buy a new one. Conclusion: there’s nothing like brand new brushes to handle the paint and your painting process. Find yourself something inexpensive and replace brushes as soon as they don’t behave anymore, as soon as they wear out. I’m never going to buy expensive brushes again. This was my experience and in no way reflects everyone else’s. Best to all, Dominique
Thank you Dominique, I have not heard of Zen – will have to try some out. Ken Auster used nubs of old brushes with dried paint on them. The first time I saw him painting back in the 90’s I thought ‘this guy is crazy, he can’t produce good work with brushes like that’ – he sure proved me wrong! The tools are not nearly as important as are the imagination and innovation of the artist.
Bill, an excellent local painter (you know him ), uses cheap student grade paint, those cheap brush sets from Hobby Lobby…i.e. 6 for 7.99…yet produces spectacular paintings!!
I know I’m coming in a bit late, but I wanted to comment that your friend Bill’s work may not be around for as long as it could be if he’s using student grade paints.
Lightfastness, colorfastness and longevity really have to do with quality of colors and pigments and even binders.
If you can convince him to use better paints posterity may thank you 🙂
Hello Dominique, I suspect you’re from Canada too. I have tried the Zen brushes as a cheap alternative to the Robert Simmons Platinum (which I love) as well. They seem to work well for a while and then lose tons of bristles. As you say, they’re only $3 Cad so not a big investment….still a bit frustrating though. I haven’t tried the Ivory series. Would you suggest them as a good alternative to the Robert Simmons (which can be expensive and hard to get sometimes). I particularly love the Robert Simmons 3/4″ short handle glaze.
I have some Rosemary brushes that I have not used a lot yet, so I can’t comment. I have been using a lot of Silver Brush bristle brushes and synthetic bristlon brushes and like them both. However, for my money, the all time best brushes were the Grumbacher Professional grade brushes. These are no longer made as far as I can ascertain (after hunting like crazy last year) and Gainsborough brushes are all that is left from the Grumbacher lines. As you can probably guess, my Grumbacher brushes (“Professional”) are pretty old – at least 20 years and have held up better than the Gainsboroughs, which are much younger.
I also have used utrecht bristle brushes and liked the 219 brushes but I don’t think this is a line they have continued to make. It was a boiled bristle and somewhat softer than the unboiled, but I get along just fine with the few I have.
I meant to mention that bristles on the few eggberts I have twisted after being used the first time, so I have been reluctant to buy any more of anyones. But the utrecht long flat looks good and so does the Rosemary 279, so I might try them when I next get inspired to spend more money!
Thanks for your critique.
Grumbacher brushes were my favorites as well Linda – especially in the 80’s. Mine all got worn down to very shortened filberts, but they lasted an amazingly long time.
I have many brushes, varying in price a good deal; I’ve used Rosemary & Co brushes (which by the way I don’t find at all expensive) mostly for acrylic (the Shiraz range particularly), and have just on Ivory brush, which I use for oil. On the whole, I’ve found them good value and of good quality. I do however allow my brushes to rest – in other words I have a dozen or so in the same basic shapes, so that I don’t scrub them away to nothing. However, you mention a brush giving up the ghost after just one use – I would find that very concerning; hasn’t happened to me yet. I’ve never actually tried Utrecht brushes – perhaps they’re not easy to obtain in the UK; but if I can find them, I will try them given your endorsement. And I must also have a try with those Egbert brushes from Rosemary – I use filberts a lot, and this would add another dimension.
I agree Robert, Rosemary’s are well priced. Brushes don’t seem especially expensive overall when we consider how long they usually last. I have some watercolor brushes that cost me $200 and $150 each back in 1988 – fortunately they should last my lifetime and beyond. Since I spend about $300 every 10 years or so on brushes, seems like a small investment for any hobby or profession. If someone’s budget is strained, they can always follow William Hook’s approach and only use a size 12 bristle – buy 3 or 4 of those and you’re set.
March 29 at 4:15pm
For any of our awesome artists who are having a difficult time logging in, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I can help you get in asap, but these comments don’t always show up for me.
I appreciate your descriptions, conclusions and photos so much as I am fairly new to painting and I am in the process of ordering supplies now so this came at the perfect time!
I am already learning so much! Thank you!
Hi Susan – just starting out and seeing the vast array of art products can seem intimidating I’m sure. I would recommend you start with say a size 8 from a few different types of brushes and try them out, rather than buying brushes in multiple sizes. That way you can find your favorites and then buy a few more sizes of that brush style. Don’t pay a whole lot of attention to the hype – every artist is different and there is no magic brush. When I did watercolor in the 80’s I had some very expensive brushes that I bought because I read they were ‘essential’. I ended up using some old oil bristle brushes and other misc more often than those expensive brushes. The best thing to do is experiment and play and not go whole hog just because someone else says you should.
can not get into my paid for class
I received an email from Cathy telling me she talked recently with Rosemary Brushes and they told her the Mongoose brushes were no longer.
This was my reply:
You are right Cathy,
A few years ago when I called them they were still mongoose and they said they had a large stock of hair, but could buy no more and it would eventually run out. I guess it ran out. Or maybe they finally made it illegal to use the hair they bought when it was legal.
Thanks for pointing that out. I will add this conversation to the blog comments as well.
So the brushes are now badger hair. I am anxious now to give them a good try and see what the differences are. I have some badger hair brushes in my watercolor case – they are much softer generally, I believe, than the mongoose – we’ll see.
I need to cancel my account before the next
Billing cycle. Not sure how to do that?
I took care of it for you and sent you an email confirmation.
Absolutely gorgeous, Bill!
Thank you Earl – I certainly have fun with all the beauty around us!
wonderful – too old now to start any course but can admire your wonderful work – thankyou
You are NEVER too old! 🙂 I say pick up a brush and do it just for the joy of it.
As long as you can breathe and hold a brush in your hand it is not too late to learn. The Almighty has gifted you with this time do not waste it.
Bill, your paintings are so beautiful. There is so much beauty to be found right around us and to be able to capture it so masterfully must be so satisfying. Thank you so much for sharing and for helping us learn to paint.
Wow very good!!!
As usual your paintings capture Gods handy work in a unique and inspiring manner. Thanks for sharing your gift
Here in Devon, England a beautiful Spring morning has dawned. My garden is full of blooms,blossom and birdsong, just waiting for swallows to return and to hear the cuckoo. Grandchildren love to play here and through the woods to Woodbury common, the sea is only three miles away. My aunt would say “all this and heaven too”. Many thanks for your painting guidance brings great pleasure and encouragement. Friends and I have just put together a calendar for 2018 of our paintings to sell in aid of Hospicare who will be selling them at their “Open Garden”events throughout the year.
Good wishes and happy days
Wow ! Beautiful and inspirational, Thank you !
Bill, you can still get the Utrecht 207 flat, however, its bundled in a set.
These are breathtakingly beautiful, Bill. I am enjoying the course very much, and I love your work!
Thank you for posting this…so many different flowers! Makes one excited and keen to try more flowers with your images as inspiration.
Thank you Bill for the wonderful pictures of your art!!! They are truly beautiful, Our creator is the artist above all artist’s!!! I’m trying to learn but I seem to make more messes than anything else!!!
My Mom’s very favorite (and mine) (taken from W. Wadsworth Longfellow “Daffodils”
“I wandered lonely at a cloud that floats on high o’er vales and hills a host, of golden daffodils; beside the lake, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze. Continuous as the stars that shine and twinkle on the milky-way, they stretched in never-ending line along the margin of the bay: ten thousand saw I at a glance; tossing their heads in sprightly dance. The waves beside them danced; but they outdid the sparkling waves in glee: A poet could not but be gay in such a jocund company: I gazed and gazed but little thought what wealth the show to me had brought; for oft, when on my couch I lie in vacant or in pensive mood, they flash upon that inward eye which is the bliss of solitude; and then my heart with pleasure fills…and dancing in the daffodils.”
Never too old to be thrilled by the beauty of nature, I am 94, still painting even if not approaching the talent Bill is blessed with.
These photos really drove home to me the subject matter ratio to the canvas size. The smaller the canvas, the more need for cropping the view of the subject. The larger the canvas, the more detail of the view that can be included. I have been trying to include lots of detail on small canvases with much frustration and fussiness of brush strokes. I would love to be looser in my brush strokes and now realize what was causing my frustration. Thank you!!!
Amazing work and since I’ve been studying Richard Schmidt’s work from the Alla Prima books, I’ve noticed your style is very similar. My work is still in the early stages of finding myself through brush miles but I am intrigued by people like yourself who have accomplished such riveting brushwork which then produces their own style. I have learned all the technical parts of oil painting, composition etc. but have had a time establishing brushwork I am happy with and a palette of colors. There are dozens of palettes. I’ve tried many of them but it seems that I find another one I like better and I never seem to focus on staying with one or two. Any advice? For example: go to Nancy Medina (google it) and her palette seems to sell but the colors seem a bit garish but I’ve found more than one online person teaching these bizarre color palettes and their work sells faster than the traditional colors of the masters. Frustrating. I want to be able to sell my work as well as be satisfied with becoming an accomplished artist. Thanks, sorry for the long post!
Sorry for the delayed response. I have been on the road a lot the past two months which put me way behind.
Regarding palettes, I have not found any two professional artists who use exactly the same colors or # of hues. Some love a limited palette like Zorn, some use 20 or more colors. There isn’t a right and wrong – it comes down to what you like to use and if the paints you choose allow you to mix the values and colors you want.
I like a warm and cool of the primary colors, two crimsons, cad orange, the transparent earth tones and one or two greens. I could get away without using the green pigments, but they are mighty convenient. Some artists insist we stay away from earth tones for one reason or another, others say never to use Pthalo green because it’s too strong and we should mix our greens – if we worry too much about others’ opinions we won’t get much painting done.
The one helpful bit of advice is to stick with pigments that have a lightfastness rating of 1. There are a lot of fugitive pigments that are beautiful – stay away from them – you can find something just as beautiful or close to it in a pigment that won’t fade or crack a few years down the road – and watch out, many professionals still use fugitive pigments.
My suggestion – forget what sells – paint what you really love, what you’re drawn to. Keep the colors on your palette that you like, put the rest in a drawer, then try out a new color occasionally to see if you like it. The more you paint the more you will get a feel for what you need and what works for you. Nancy Medina is a wonderful artist and she found a style and colors that work well for her – do the same by following your interests.
I’m not a fan of trying to paint like another artist except to learn the basics. There are a lot of artists today that paint like Scott Christensen – they aren’t as skilled as he is and they end up becoming a Christensen look a like, rather than their own artist. We are naturally going to mimic bits and pieces of those we admire – that’s part of the evolution of art – we just don’t want to get so enthralled with someone else’s work that we fail to allow our own instincts to take a slightly or largely new path along the way.
There are some extremely skilled and accomplished painters in the world today, but no perfect ones. Let’s glean what we can from them and then take it farther. We can’t ever let fear of failure stop us from pushing the boundaries of our potential. We each have a unique voice – a way of seeing the world that’s a bit different from everyone else. The trick is to let that voice be our guide – not what others say is the ‘right’ or ‘best’ way to do something.
Truly great art, events or experiences come from someone saying ‘I wonder what would happen if…’ and then giving it a try!
Find what brings you joy and you will succeed.
Happy painting Jeri,
Thanks Bill, for sharing your beautiful garden. Your work is so inspiring and makes me keep trying so that one day I might be able to produce such a garden! I appreciate you giving so much time to your students and being a working, busy artist at the same time. That cannot be easy! Thanks for helping us and I look forward to videos from your trip.
Dear, i like your wonderful work ,painting is my hobby i am not a professional but i love beauty and nature
i thank you for encourage me to start again my life with color .thank you very much.
Gosh would love to be able to paint like you – thankyou for the lesson.
Needless to say that I really appreciate your work. May I ask a question not quite to the point, but what kind of software you use as photo editor ? I am lost in what is avlb on the market.
Thank you and you’re welcome!
I use Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 Olga. Many artists and photographers use Lightroom, but I haven’t had much experience with it. Also, I hear many use Photoshop Elements – I’ve never used it either – it’s a more basic version of Photoshop CC I believe. The Adobe products are available as a monthly subscription. I pay for the whole suite of products ($54 monthly), but you can get them individually as well (the Photoshop and Lightroom combo is only $10/mth – https://creative.adobe.com/plans?single_app=photoshop). Photoshop Elements is a one time purchase for about $70 (on Amazon).
Thank you for explaining so well the process for painting the luscious pink peonies. My favorite flowers. I will give it another try. Love your paintings.
I would like to hear about another artist. John Michael Carter, President of Oil Painters of America.
Such a wonderful story of inspiration and wisdom. Thanks Eric for being an artangel. I will send this on to my art family and friends.
Great inspiration! Thank you for sharing your time and experiences. As someone who is getting into painting later in life, and loving plein air painting, you give great advise to new artists. I have been immersing myself into this new passion and love all the encouragement that is offered!
Thank you for this terrific interview.
Thank you, Mr. Rhodes, for sharing information and inspiration about your life as well as your art.
My lack of an eye for detail and spelling is all too obvious. .
Sorry for misspelling your name, Mr. Roads.
Thank you, Bill, for being so generous and sharing your knowledge and talent. This was a very helpful tutorial. The thought that went into each aspect of the composition illustrates that even though a painting may look painterly and loose, a successful piece is the result of careful planning, executing and revising when necessary. Beautiful!
Really enjoyed and liked you putting the reference photos on and doing the 10 Steps with your instructions and comments on each one, is very helpful. Of course always enjoy your work and love your paintings and videos. You give such wonderful information, you are a natural teacher showing us how you paint by showing and sharing your knowledge and gift with us.
There is one thing I have a problem with in watching your videos and is mostly because of my computer. I have to turn the volume up 100% on my pc and on the video in order to hear you when you are speaking. I could and would love to hear nothing when you are not speaking, the music comes on much louder and I have to turn the volume down to almost mute then when it stops I have to turn it back up full blast to hear you talk! I repeat this thru the whole video…. Honestly, I do not want to sound like complaining but if I wanted music I can turn on my own! For me am happier with silence and just watching and learning from you, trying to figure out what colors you are mixing and watching you paint on the canvas and your brush strokes and placement than worrying about loud music and turning my volume up and down to stop the music and worry about missing what you are saying. Mute would be fine for the music which to me is distracting but then not able to hear what you say is not an option… thank you so much and hope I did not offend as I never want to do that.
Regret so many wasted years, even those of retirement! My hope is that you and people like you will proliferate to inspire us all to work harder to reach our goals. Thank you Mr. Roads.
Thank you for sharing some of your personal life with us. I can see the goodness in you both in every video and webinar.
What a beautiful family you have.
Thank you Janyce! ~Kristie
I love your work Bill, I too am an artist and more importantly a christian.your bride has nailed themind of an artist for sure, My hubby is a musician so we mesh like peanut butter and jelly. Keep up the good work and kuddos to your lovely bride.
Thanks, Suzanne! With all that right-brain creative energy around your place, it sounds like you need to hire a good left-brain assistant to keep life organized. Although, I imagine you have a lot of fun together!
What a wonderful blog about living with an artist. I enjoyed it immensely. God Bless.
Thank you Linda- you artists are a great lot! ~Kristie
Thank you for the thoughtful article. I really enjoyed it and I got some good information. I always wondered what the spouse of an artist’s thought and felt, and I now have a clear picture. I admire you both and understand each of you has a talent. You share your individual talents with each other. I really believe you two are a “working couple”. Congratulations.
Thank you Barbara, we do try to function as a whole, just 2 different sides come together to make it that way. ~Kristie
Kristie, thank you for filling in for Bill. You are the best thing that could have happened to him. I really enjoyed reading ‘your blog’. You must be a wonderfully together woman, to have born 7 children and supported Bill through all his trials and tribulations. Art is a passion others sometimes don’t understand. I too have stopped the car to study the trees and the skyholes or the sky colors or how a hay roll looks and the colors in things. Thanks to my cellphone I can capture some of those things and hopefully attempt to paint them. As a wife I don’t get the opportunity to paint as much as I would like but when I do I’m in a place no-one but another artist can understand. Thanks for reading. Sue
ahhh, so you’re the other one pulling over and taking pictures in odd spots along the highway:-) Thanks for your kind words! ~Kristie
I really loved reading this. I call myself a recreational painter…far from a professional artist, but I still saw myself in some of your descriptions. And I suppose the some of the same things could be said about supporting a spouse in whatever endeavors, but definitely artists are a different breed. This blog was so very personal. Thank you!
I think whether full time or on weekends there’s a special spirit that dwells in each artist! Bless you! ~Kristie
WOW! You hit that nail on the head.
I’m a new member and haven’t interacted in any way except to wander around the site.
Excited to be here but can’t seem to squeeze out the time and energy to just sit down
and paint. I know when I start I can’t stop and life is just full of other plans for me.
There is a lot of guilt in not being available to everyone and having to be nice about
it while trying to hold on to whatever is was that had you so whipped up and just
couldn’t wait to get it on paper or canvas.
God Bless you KristieI. I hope you know how valuable you are.
Thank you Marjorie. Sometimes life is like that, I hope you can soon find that calm in the eye of the storm, breathe, and create! ~Kristie
What a beautiful expression of both your life and your love; a journey so very well articulated in so few words. Thank you for sharing…God Bless you both.
Thank you Sandra! ~Kristie
Congratulations Family Bill!
You are very blessed!Thanks to share with us your great testimony of life and joy of your family!!It is a blessing to your husband and his all activities and be nearest to him all the time!And it is good for your children to love the father’s work,it is inheritance!
I love the work of Bill since I saw them on the Facebook,and my daughter of 15 years was on my neck asking me to get for her painting course on Google,day and night she was crying at me!!She is a good artist in drawing and paint,but here it is very expensive for child to enter in such school according to my capacity!!!
I too am an artist trough handcrafts making!!I admire Bill talent and your family,especially your lovely wife and it is true it might be fine to marry an artist sure!!
Congratulations once again and keep it up!!!
Thank you Mukandayisenga, I hope you and your daughter enjoy whatever creative outlets you can find. God will provide the way – Kristie
Would you mind emailing me at email@example.com. I would like to see if there’s anything I can do to help your daughter feed her passion. – Bill
Thank you Kristi for sharing with us. God has gifted you in many way’s , but not only with being a wonderful Mother and Wife but also with a gift of writing!! Enjoyed your blog very much and can see myself in your description of your husband. So thankful to have the priviledge to be able to read your thought’s . My prayer’s are for Bill’s continued success and for his sweet Wife and Family!!!!
Thanks so much Ruth! Bill’s mom’s name is Ruth, I always have a soft spot in my heart for any Ruth, you all seem to be so kind and gentle. Kristie
Kristie-Thank your for sharing your family life with us. I know you have helped Bill become what he is today in more ways than anyone can ever know. It isn’t easy being the wife (or husband) of an artist. My sweet long-suffering husband is very patient and supportive and has been for years. But those who support deserve much of the glory! Thanks for filling in on the blog and giving us more insight into your sweet relationship and wonderful family. God Bless you all!
Thank you Janie, and I bet your husband is so proud of you! ~Kristie
Thank you Kristi! You are the glue that holds everything together. Bill and the children are so blessed!!!
Thank you Bev! Kristie
Thanks Kristie for telling a beautiful life story which is just as special as Bill’s. Happy anniversary. I am from a family of eight children so I truly appreciate seeing your family photo. I bet you have a lot of fun being together. I see a lot of talent there. Congratulations.
Wow – I bet you also have some fun family times together. Thank you Margeret! ~Kristie
What a beautiful story!! What a commitment!! What a family!!!What an artist!!!
May God bless you all!!
Thank you for sharing.
From another fellow artist in Vancouver Canada!!
Thank you Golfo – up in God’s country (Canada:-) ~Kristie
A beautiful story!! A big a commitment!! Beautiful a family!!! An amazing artist!!!
May God bless you all!!
Thank you for sharing.
From another fellow artist in Vancouver Canada!!
Thank you so much for writing this. It was easy to connect to. I am the artist at almost 60 and my husband is the spouse of an artist. It really helped me to read from your perspective and appreciate my husbands support even more.
That is sweet Kathy! Those creative juices instill a youthful effect I believe – so you just keep on painting! ~Kristie
What a lovely commentary about your marriage. Thank you the sharing your thoughts and feelings with us . You are truly a blessed couple.
Thank you JoAnne! ~Kristie
Love this! Beautifully written Kristie. I have always admired and been inspired by you both
Erin – you have no idea how many times I think of you through the week. I miss you. It’s not very often when I find someone around here who can connect with me:-) Enjoy your adorable family up there in God’s country! ~Kristie
Thank you for your support of Bill which, in turn, allows us (especially us newbies to art) To learn from him.
And I want to thank you for helping me to realize my MAJOR stumbling block! My husband, Glenn, and I have been married 52 1/2 years, have 4 children, 4 children-in-law, 8 grandchildren and 1 grandson-in-law. All these years (19 of which I was a stay-at-home Mom), I have been the organizer, the calendar keeper, the bill payer and the chief cook & bottle washer and I don’t know how to let go of all that. Oh, what I would give to have painting become my main activity every day!!! I just started painting about 2 1/2 years ago and am quickly falling in love with it…..and Glenn is in full support! We are clearing out the office (spare bedroom) to set up a studio for me. And, yes, I DID forget to eat lunch one day last summer when I was painting a 2′ X 2′ abstract/impressionistic cow for our granddaughter as a wedding gift. I have never before forgotten to eat a meal….what a delight! Glenn said I was enjoying myself so much he didn’t want to bother me. Now, if I could just let go if the guilt of not doing ‘other things’ so I could paint, paint, and paint some more!!! Kristie, thank you so much for the blog….it helped me understand my thinking; now on to my ‘doing’. Bill is so blessed to have you as a spouse and I am so blessed to have Glenn as a spouse because he is so supportive in trying to get me to give more time to my newly discovered desire!!!
It will be a few weeks before the home studio is up & running but I am looking forward to becoming a better artist with Bill’s help!
Way to go Cindy! I’m excited for this part of your life’s journey, you have definitely earned it. And good job Glenn for the support, that really is the key. ~Kristie
The love in your family glows brightly!
Thank you Dianne, we are blessed! ~Kristie
What a beautiful testament to loving,and living with open and generous hearts
That is very sweet Patricia! Thank you! ~Kristie
What a lovely article!!!..God bless you and family.
Thank you Maria! ~Kristie
Beautiful recount of lives lived purposefully and with so much love and caring and understanding!
Thank you Diane! ~Kristie
I so enjoyed reading about your beautiful and loving relationship. To be an artist and have family support is a true blessing from God. Thank you for sharing your many discoveries of what it means to be married to a working artist. You both are super. God knew what He was doing when he brought you two together. May your lives together continue to be blessed.
Thank you Karen. I guess God knows what he is doing:-) ~Kristie
What a wonderful story. You are so fortunate to find Bill and have the life you have. God always knows what is best for us!!. I love Bill’s art and hope to learn from him!!
Thank you Grace, I agree with you – I am very lucky. Kristie
Kristie, thank you for writing this. I am married to an Illustrator/Artist and you have hit the nail on the head as they say. I got a chuckle from the driving. Many times I have noticed Wes looking off into the distance and praying that we do not go off of the road. He sees a painting in every landscape or notices colors or the way the sun hits a building or a tree. I am lucky to also have a wonderful sensitive humble man and help support him in every way I can. Thank you so much for a wonderful heartfelt article. It is nice to know that there are more people out there that understand.
Way to go Nancy! You are so much more to him than you’ll ever know!
I was also at the convention which was fascinating. I didn’t see anything about purchasing raw footage? Enjoyed your post. Are you willing to share what 20 10 10 means. Made it to the early Abraham presentation but the first two.
Hi Jacqueline, the unedited footage deal was a form in the packet they gave us – I almost missed it since I barely had time to look through everything. We had to pay and turn it in at the DVD booth before the end of the convention. Call them and let them know you didn’t see it – maybe they will still let you purchase.
The 10-10-10 system I will cover a little bit once I can refresh my understanding with the videos. I don’t want to cover things to in depth though since Eric sells the Boot Camp DVD’s and I know how expensive creating art events and videos can be – we need to recoup costs as much as possible to keep it all going.
The high energy festival activities aren’t really my personality – I’m super enthusiastic about art while being a fairly mild and thoughtful type, but I understood the need to keep the energy high – a week of fast paced activity can wear a person out. I would much rather Eric keep everything on the high energy side rather than on the put-us-to-sleep overly serious side.
I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it – what was your favorite part or presentation?
enjoyed it also when your wife wrote her article – she must be a very strong lady and looks well after you -thankyou
Thank you – she is an amazingly strong lady – one I admire immensely! I couldn’t be a full time artist and teacher without her.
Thanks for the wonderful coverage of the event. Put me on the list for that paint box..it holds brushes and all.
How does one find out about such events?
Can you share with us the basics of the 10 10 10 system…they say teaching is the best way to a good handle on a topic.
I love Asante Fe…Bishops is such a nice place to spent some time. How far ahead does one have to sign up? Is there a registration limit? It would be to see if the Cdn $ may go up a bit? before making any commitment.
Your welcome Janne.
I love the palette – once he made it for me and I saw how beautiful and functional it was we asked if he would be willing to make them for our community because we knew many would like a large painting area like I do. The brush holder is also removable which is nice if I’m in a hurry and just want to toss my brushes into the bin quickly. The other thing I love is that it closes with small magnets worked amazingly well and he sends two hooks that attach to the larger magnets you can see on the edge of the palette for a bungee cord that wraps around the back of my easel for especially windy days – holds the palette securely without having eye hooks sticking out like I have on the palette I made myself.
As for the events – I learned of the first one from my subscription to Plein Air Magazine 6 years ago and I listen to the Plein Air Podcast. I wasn’t able to attend until any of them until this year, and even this year was a major sacrifice of time I don’t have, but we thought it would be a strong benefit for our community if I had personal experience with it – I was also excited to watch demos by some of the artists I admire so much. I was disappointed I wasn’t able to attend a couple years ago when Clyde Aspevig and T Allen Lawson were there.
The 10-10-10 system I will cover a bit in one of our webinars – once I have a chance to watch the videos and refresh my understanding.
Basically, the idea is that increasing something by 10% is usually doable – if we make $1000 this year is there any way we could increase that by another $100 – most would say yes. If we apply that to our collectors – go from 10 to 11; then increase the price of our paintings by 10% – go from $1000 to $1100; then increase our production from 10 paintings to 11 paintings – the compound effect over 10 years becomes dramatic. Even over time, if we can’t necessarily continue to produce more paintings because of time constraints, the compounding of all the parts allows us to make a living doing what we love to do
Of course, accomplishing the consistent rise in collectors and purchases of our art requires effective marketing and branding. He talked about artists who were huge names for a couple decades, stopped advertising and promoting themselves because they thought they were too well known to worry about it, and within 5-10 years were struggling to sell their art because galleries and collectors no longer knew them or their reputation.
Santa Fe is our old stomping ground – we lived in Rye about 3 1/2 hours from there and I started selling in galleries there in 1991. Kristie and I love that area and it is brimming over with amazing galleries and artists. I couldn’t resist signing up right away for that.
I think the limit for the event is 900 artists and the events have sold out before. The earlier you sign up the cheaper it is – there are early bird discounts – part of why I am already signed up – they had a convention super-early-bird discount that I took advantage of. As long as you sign up before Christmas you should be alright as far as selling out goes – that’s not a guarantee, just a probability. If signing up right away is a strain I would certainly wait. They also have a payment plan that might help for those who could benefit from that.
Please put me on the list for that paint box..it holds brushes and all.
How does one find out about such events?
Can you share with us the basics of the 10 10 10 system…they say teaching is the best way to a good handle on a topic.
I love Asante Fe…Bishops is such a nice place to spent some time. How far ahead does one have to sign up? Is there a registration limit? It would be to see if the Cdn $ may go up a bit? before making any commitment.
Eric Rhodes, is a multi millionare and an OPORTUNIST! This is why I do not subject my work for “WHOS BEST AT. . . .” Contest! It harkins back to my young days in 1st, 2nd, 3rd grade etc. Wherein I was ALWAYS the last person picked to be on a TEAM for spelling, poems, etc.
Take the entire Eric Rhodes empire. . . He states he “Just wants to help people discover painting. . . ” really. . . WHO among us, can afford $150.00 or more, per DVD on how to do X. He and ALL his companies are like Anna Wintor of “Devil wares Prada” and her Vouge empire telling the WORLD what and what not to ware!!!!
If you PAY THE PRICE, so to speak, your IN WITH THE IN CROWD. . . The WHO’s who of all of Rhodes magazines, seminars, conventions, conferences, etc. Etc.
ALL these type of things do, is make people feel BAD cause they DID NOT MEASURE UP TO so and so, or THE STANDARD!!!
GOD, gives us our talent, our abilities, OUR PASSIONS! He made us all the same, no one is BETTER, more skilled, more talented, SMARTER then anyone else!!! Knowledge is a GIFT to be shared with all who seek it, who hunger for it, WHO LONG FOR IT!! But when one person sets himself up as the DECIDER of WHATS IN, WHO’S IN, WHO OUT, WHO’S BETTER
So HE can get even RICHER, That, is NOT for me!!!!! So, you will NEVER catch me at a PLEASE EXCEPT ME convention!!
You may be right – I don’t know him well enough to say one way or another.
I got to talk with him on the phone for an hour when we interviewed him for the blog and I had a chance to be around him a bit at the convention. My impression so far is that he genuinely loves art, artists and painting and he is doing all he can to make sure the market for good representational art thrives. He very well could be an opportunist, but what exactly does that mean?
The term ‘starving artist’ is prevalent for very good reason. Most artists I know are humble people who love the beauty of this earth and went into making artwork because of it. Whether they made money or not was irrelevant – they just wanted to create something wonderful. Some have become wealthy from it, most have not, but neither went into it with the idea of becoming wealthy.
Eric was a Silicon Valley radio entrepreneur who was so stressed out by the high pressure environment, he would have days where his body would just start shaking violently. His wife purchased an art class and kit for his 40th birthday – he took the class, felt the stress melt away and fell in love with painting.
I started trying to share my painting techniques through video in 2006 – I have the early footage still. The resolution was terrible and I didn’t share it because I didn’t think it would be very helpful. Finally in 2012 I decided the technology was sufficient to do something that would be worthwhile for viewers. That was the rose video ‘Sweet Summer Days’. It took me 5 full months to complete because I had to learn to use a lot of software and had no idea how to put it up on the internet. I have never recouped any where near what it cost in time and money to produce.
The courses we sell now are starting to produce a profit, but we have huge monthly expenses to keep it going that I never dreamed of when we decided to create the course – our email list manager Aweber is about $200/mth alone. I get up at 5 am and work till 10 or 11 each night just to keep up with everything needed to make this all work – the videos we put on the membership site take hundreds of hours to produce and I want them to be as informative and inspirational as I can make them.
I got so far behind on my painting schedule I had to figure out how to sell the course to recoup some of our costs because we couldn’t sustain it otherwise.
My son David who takes care of all the computer and internet work does so for free because he and his wife believe in what we are doing. He gets up at 4 am to answer emails and such, goes to work a few hours later, gets home at 4 or 5, spends a couple hours with his family and then does more work on our website for a few hours before he goes to bed. I could not do this without him, and yet he gets no compensation except for my love for him and his family. Kristie spends countless hours editing the videos while also trying to take care of 3 children and me.
Yet we get comments on our ads stating that we are just opportunists trying to take advantage of people.
So maybe Eric is an opportunist – I really don’t know. What I do know is that his efforts have definitely helped representational art grow and opened up opportunities for plein air and studio painters that we did not have before. He is helping to swing the pendulum back from so called ‘Modern’ art to classical training and beautiful landscape and figurative artwork. Where 30 years ago we had a couple ateliers and plein air shows, we now have hundreds.
Remember American Artist Magazine? They were around for 100 years. They put on the Weekend with the Masters Event similar to the Plein Air Convention – it was so costly it broke them – they are no longer in business.
I for one applaud what Eric is doing. To some he may seem to be taking advantage, but he is producing these events at great personal risk when the experts said it wouldn’t work. I plan to do all I can to help him keep it going because I believe it is good for all of us. If he succeeds and comes out way ahead financially that won’t bother me at all because I have witnessed the blessing his efforts have been for artists around the world!
Yeah, it is what it is; Rhoads is a businessman, not a professional artist (no harm, no foul). However most professional painters established in their careers steer clear of him and do not take his convention seriously at all. With its commercial approach, “branding” and general popularity contest-like atmosphere, it hardly has anything to do with the real art spirit. If you just want to party with friends and watch an indoor demo or two, fine; but you might want to reevaluate your artistic integrity before you buy the ticket….
Eric, I too am Eric. I don’t know if we know one another or not. Clearly I would never claim to be a professional painter, I’m not. I do love to paint as much as time permits. And yes, I make my living as a business person. I’m not sure about professional painters steering clear, we get about 80 top tier painters, the best in the business at the plein air convention each year.
I make no claims that I am right for everyone, but marketing does work for anyone who wishes to embrace it, and I’ve watched careers soar from those who tried before and were not able to make it.
The true art spirit is what’s in your heart. Your passion. And seeking a way to help others find your work isn’t evil. In fact it’s helpful.
I’m not sure if you’ve been to the convention, yeah its a party… after the serious work is done. Four stages, 80+ painters, demos most of the day for four days in a row. Hardly not a demo or two….
I’d encourage you to come check it out. And I’m happy to have a conversation about all of this so we can get to know one another. I think people who know my passion and my heart might (hopefully) have a different opinion. I’m merely trying to help anyone who wants it. But I know what we do isn’t for everyone.
Phillip, I appreciate hearing your feelings. I don’t believe we’ve met, don’t believe (to my knowledge) you have been to the convention. I’d be happy to have a conversation with you so we can get acquainted and you can share your feelings with me in person or by phone. And I’d like to invite you to the convention as my guest, so you can judge it from actually attending.
Clearly we are all equal and I would never date try to indicate anything otherwise.Nor would I set myself up as the decider of anything.
Lets get to know one another.
Thank you for sharing your trip! Looks like you had fun! Loved Kristie’s Blog while you were away!
Enjoy being with the family for a while- coming home is so sweet?
Travelling is definitely more fun with the family in tow Diane. Fortunately I don’t travel too often on my own. As much as I love being an artist and teacher, family for me trumps art every time.
Looks like a pack full of information and fun ! I love the set up you had.
Can’t wait for your teaching on Plein Air Art.
It was fun, exhausting and definitely packed full of info. I love to see the different approaches to painting that professional artists have – once in a while I pick up something especially useful.
Working on the Cross Country Plein Air videos – hopefully soon!
Cross Country – Will that include a trip to Tropical South Florida?
That would be fun Julia, but alas, I went as far as Virginia and am now working on the videos. I guess Virginia isn’t on the coast, but it is pretty close.
When I make it down to Florida I will definitely let you know where I will be painting!
Bill, I was at thee convention also. And also felt that I had to see and do everything but by the time the evening sessions were about to start I was totally wiped out. The big issue was the fact that I did not have enough time to eat a good meal. The breakfast they provided was adequate for most but I need more protein to start my day. Thus my question to you….What is the recipe for the bars that your wife made for you? I looked at the web site you linked to but their recipes were for smoothies. Your’s is for a bar? Could you point me to the recipe? Cause I am signed up for PACE18 and I know I will probably do the whole “I have to see everything” bit and need to have something to keep me going longer and brighter.
Thanks in advance for your response. I have really appreciated your emails, especially this one on PACE17. I have shared it with friends so they can see what the concert was like.
I will have Kristie post the recipe on here Margie.
She has suggested several times that I do a blog post on staying healthy, but there are so many opinions and contradictions about health that I don’t feel very qualified.
I am 51 and have the energy of healthy 20 year-old’s. I drink mostly water with some herbal tea occasionally – no pop, no coffee – caffeine shrinks the capillaries and ages our skin and brains more quickly (according to Dr Amen who wrote How to Make a Good Brain Great). I also believe in at least 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week. Don’t eat much sugar, get enough sleep (not my strong suit), laugh joyfully and play with kids and paint as often as possible. Throw in prayer and scripture study and you have my recipe for youthful energy!
p.s. Kristie also helps keep me young, but not everyone has access to a Kristie!
Margie…. as you know we just provide some breakfast at marketing but its not intended to be a full meal, just trying to help. We found that some want to go all day till late at night because they are there and just want to get the most out of their time there. Others opt out when they get exhausted because there is so much. But, I’d love the recipe too!
Oh, and thanks for coming and signing up for 18 in Santa Fe!
Thank you Bill for the video and article on plein air convention. I appreciate all you do to help us!!! Love you and Kristi and your Family!!
Thanks for sharing about the convention, attending is on my bucket list!
Will the Paint Box come in different sizes? I have a small strada easel.
Love all the effort you make to explain everything to anybody who asks. Thank You, Bill and Kristie…and the rest of the family. Yes, where can I find a Kristie? I have a Dave and m thankful for that but he should go into training with Kristie. Perhaps we need a full tutorial for artist spouses/significant others??? Will also look forward to paintbox / brush holder ordering and perhaps even Santa Fe but it sounds way to stressful.
Ethanks so much for fixing the pop up links over the pics…most of it shows now and I really like this one a lot….interesting bit about the shadow I’d not considered befoe.
i love your teaching… my email is in not in caps…
Gosh your so good wished I could afford your lessons – thankyou
Thank you for your insights. Its good to hear that even a seasoned painter goes through the emotional ups and downs when a painting works and when it doesn’t.
I really love your perspectives within your paintings through the use of light. It gives me the feeling I am there in real time. There is a sense of peace and calm.
Art is never easy Petra. It is a joyful pursuit as well as a consistent struggle. It is also incredibly rewarding because it is so challenging! That peace and calm in Jim’s work is a big draw for me as well. He captures a beautiful sense of atmosphere and light in his work.
Thank you for sharing your insights with us.
You are welcome! I’m so glad you enjoyed it Carol.
Thank you for the great interview. McVicker was spelled wrong in the Flooded Field’s title.
Thanks so much Michael. I fixed it.
Love these interviews. Insight from professionals is always so interesting.
That’s great to hear Janne! I love them as well. I’ve been painting full time for about 30 years and I still love to hear the stories of other artists and glean insights from their experiences and teaching. I recently saw one of Jim’s originals at the OPA National show – it was incredible – superb color subtlety and edge quality. His years of painting from life have definitely made him a master painter.
Delivered with a friendly smile! Always such a pleasure to hear from Jim about how he approaches art. Always helpful and inspiring.
I fully agree Bob! So glad you enjoyed it.
Thank you, Bill for pulling this interview together, and most especially to you. Eric for baring your soul for the sake of inspiring us to do more, live more, be thankful for every day. And you look pretty good for a vegan!! You are trying to surpass David Leffel in years and painting wisdom?? Many many thanks, every day, for all you do. Grateful our paths crossed.
Lovely to look at beautiful art and learn about artist I didn’t know before. Just an fyi. I know the grayed out text color is ‘in fashion” these days but for older folks the lack of contrast makes it frustrating to read. Might want to select a darker gray if not black if template allows.
I agree Elizabeth – we have tried to change it, but the software doesn’t seem to allow a change to any darker text.
I love the journeyman… the face….. it’s all about the face!
I like the brushwork and the colors in the longhorn, but I would love to see a photo of the shadow… They are always tricky for me. I’m sure that, Mr Tennison no doubt got it right.
Your colors in your ocean house, Bill, are just what I’d want if it were mine.
The Yellow Kimono is ..well..Just Beautiful.
The winter scene is spot on!
The apple and cheery blossoms… Lovely!
Prayer in itself is always a beautiful thing, but as you said, is striking as well.
The wren brings focus exactly where needed…
I was so busy looking at the calm noon rocks, that I hadn’t noticed the horizon line at first. It’s still a nice painting though.
Toward Winter……..thumbs up.
Cari, very impressive….
…and Mr Whitaker’s Cove is very brilliant
but last and not least… I was immediately impressed with his Gunslinger!
So, now… does this qualify me to judge the next show???!!! LOL
These are all truly beautiful paintings!
I think you are probably just as qualified as any other juror Dianne – it’s mostly a matter of personal interest from what I’ve see – especially when most of the work is of such high quality.
What’s up, the whole thing is going sound here and ofcourse
every one is sharing information, that’s genuinely fine,
keep up writing.
Es español, por favor!!!!!
Dear , mr . Innman, I have read your interview with , mr. Stapleton, He seems like a very dediicated , and diciplined craftsman. The examples of his paintings bring me to places I have newer seen. They have a yearning , even , lonely quality to them, yet dont demand any thing, but just to BE. The movement of the season, or the water and wind , suggests, imminent CHANGE.
Thank you for your enlightening postings.
Thank you Elizabeth for your elegant response! I have admired Stapleton’s work for many years. I remember seeing ads in the magazines back in the 90’s and enjoying the beauty of his paintings then. I was thrilled when he agreed to the interview. I knew he would have tremendous insights to share with our community.
I’ve admired Mr. Kearns since I first began painting 6 years ago. I think the statement he makes about making a painting, not recording reality is so true and a major roadblock to greatness.
I agree Kittie – that’s one of our primary goals – to help artists break away from the constraints of the camera and explore with creative imagination and “poetry”.
Many thanks to both you and Stape, Bill!! I do so appreciate his comments and found them very inspiring. His paintings are really lovely and very inspiring as well. I think it is noteworthy that he has devoted his time and attention to his art, as we sometimes take it for granted and don’t realize that talent needs to be developed. Kudos to you both!! I’m starting out late in life and at 63, I fully appreciate the value of time well spent:)
I loved Stapleton’s attitude toward art. “What can I make out of this?” , is my motto when I paint anything. Break rules and be serious about it!! Thank you Bill for providing this interview.
No doubt Spike! There are no boundaries beyond the ones we make ourselves. Onward and upward, eh.
Marvelous interview with a great artist. Insightful message to those of us who paint at every level. Thanks
I’m so glad you enjoyed it Jennie – I agree wholeheartedly!
Thank you for posting this conversation with Stapleton and of course, including these paintings. I am extremely inspired by his work and much of his comments. I especially am driven by his phrase – “The art comes from you, the data comes from the world.” His paintings showing here have nostalgic value to me as I have either lived there or have warm memories of being there. I am 66 years old and just this year truly finding time to put all of me into painting with gusto and this interview with a magnificent artist is such a learning tool for me. Thanks to you, Bill, and of course, to Stapleton whose information is greatly valued.
What an exciting time Cathie to be so young and have the opportunity to “put all of me into painting with gusto.” You couldn’t have picked a better time in history to delve into painting with all the wonderful resources available today for learning and inspiration. 50 years ago 66 might have seemed old, but today you have the possibility of decades of good painting years ahead. Just think of all the incredible things you can accomplish in that time.
Thank you, Stapleton Kearns and Bill Inman for sharing your insights and wisdom. I love Stape’s matter of factness and have held a similar internal dialogue regarding art marketing verbiage: I.e., what’s the big thing about “plein air”, since I love to paint outside anyway and just do it…. and I’m not French! Lol. Love the ‘fullness’ and ‘polish’ of Kearn’s paintings shown here. It does the natural landscape full justice! – six versus just 2 hours certainly seems to give back the investment of work and studied experience!
Spot on Renate! Back in the 90’s and early 2000’s it seemed that so many thought plein air was about a certain look or direction – that always rubbed me the wrong way. I have been painting on location since the early 80’s and never felt compelled to seek a ‘plein air’ look. I love that Stapleton doesn’t concern himself with stereotypes or definitions – he simply paints what he loves in the way he feels inspired to paint. A wise path for each of us to follow – that’s also why he is a master of his craft.
I am quickly chasing 90 years and have just had my big “light bulb” moment. Your interview with Mr. Kearns was “enlightening”. I have been painting for many years and always kept an extremely clean palette. Throw away the cleaning rags! Seriously, I’m going to play around with
muddy colors as I’m looking at the grass and trees in a completely different way. What a great artist and interesting way of putting the colors
together. Isn’t life great? So much art to enjoy. Thank you for your interview.
Of all your interviews this I have liked the best. He makes wonderful comments and then jars me using the word ” ain’t”.. . his verbiage has the same small surprises as his vibrantly wonderful paintings. It isn’t mentioned , but it seems he has no time for family. I think he would be an interesting person down with for a chat.
Thank you Bill for interviewing and sharing great artists’ insights through Blank Canvas. Thank you Stapleton Kearns for granting an interview with Bill. I will remember to ask myself, “Am I just recording data or am I adding art to my work.” Thank you, again!
Bill thank you for interviewing wonderful artists for Blank Canvas who enlighten and touch us, not only with their work, but with their thought process. Thank you Stapleton Kearns for sharing your insights, experiences and your love of painting poetry. It enriches us all.
You, Stapleton Kearns, are my most favorite artist. I love your paintings, but most of all I love who you are as a painter. You are so sharing and giving. I love reading your blogs over and over. It has been one of my greatest wishes to one day study with you or just watch you paint. It would be a great honor to own one if your paintings. Maybe one day. Thank you for sharing yourself with the world.
Thank you Bill for this interview. Thank you Stape for agreeing to the interview. Stape, you continue to amaze. I have followed your blog since its inception. It was always the first “read” of the morning for me. Now I reread specific sections or topics when I need a Stape-fix. Stape challenges my thinking in his blog and honest and respectful in his critiques. Bill’s critiques actually reminded me of Stape’s critiques in his blog. I don’t miss Bill’s monthly critique webinars, just the deadlines for submissions! So, my gratitude to you both as you continue to inspire this painter to keep going.
Ah an excellent interview and posting of such “poems”. Rigorous, thought stimulating, and the glimmer of understanding about this whole painting thing. Thank you so much Stapleton Kearns, for speaking with our audience, and to our collective artist souls. Thank you also Mr. Inman for sharing.
I gain so much from all these interviews. I especially enjoy reading the names of the artists that the interviewee artist lists; I ALWAYS look them up whether I have seen that artists work before or not. I did watch Jim McVicker on youtube years ago but now I understand what the heck he was talking about now that I have a clearer understanding of colour and atmospheric light. So, thank you Jim McVicker for this interview and all your helpful responses to Bill’s valuable questions.
great areas to paint.. keep up the good work
Thanks for sharing! It was inspiring to read this and now I must get out here in beautiful South Carolina and plein aire paint!
Bill, you are such a talented artist, not only with paint, but with your words and style of writing. You always inspire me and I know all the wonders and challenges you spoke of. Thanks for taking me on that Plein Air trip. I enjoyed the adventure and thought I could feel the breeze and hear the birds songs whilst I had my morning coffee. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you for sharing your gifts. Kindest and friendly regards, joanna
I can not wait for the details of Michaels palletes . It has been raining 24-7 in Texas. I have been very discouraged with the weather here. Thanks for the wonderful discription of your journey.
HI Bill. I am a student to Plein Aire, started 18 months ago. I am beginning to under stand the process, albeit it slowly. For me the challenge is firstly, composition, then perspective. I have found that thumbnails really have helped me with some of the perspective. I can make mistakes on the thumbnail and I am not attached to the painting at this stage. Values are hard, distant colors are greyer and have more white .My challenge has been changing the color without changing the value. I am totally in love with the plein aire process. As you say, chatting to people who come over to talk whilst you are painting are a joy. I have had to learn to be more open and embrace the fact that my painting that day may not be good and to let go, understanding that the firework finale as you put it is just not going to happen. However, I know I can do this just lots of practice and the courage to go out on my own and paint. I love the blogs and I am looking forward to your lessons on Plein Aire.
Thank you Bill- enjoyed your blog. Haven’t tried to paint plain air yet but plan to try!
Stapleton Kearns is the real deal. I do not know another painter out there who does not work harder. Thank you Stapleton.
Hi Bill – I have been receiving your mails for a couple of months now – I live in Cape Town South Africa and would like to know if I can purchase firstly your 6 week course and then go on to monthly – I love reading all the mails I receive and find your information so informative- I have gone for art classes with local artists but I so love your style – it suits me – I have tried other styles but feel totally out of my comfort zone- many thanks
Hi Marilyn! First off, thank you for your kind words, and I’m glad to hear that our content has been helpful to you. We’d love to help you get started with our training as well, so would you be able to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org? That way David, our Tech Guy, can help answer any questions you have about joining the 6 Week Course and eventually the Monthly Membership.
I’ve noticed another common question, concern is brush maintenance.
Being the novice I am, early on my brushes would stiffen from lack of proper cleaning. To correct it required leaving brushes to soak in turpentine or other solvents for extended periods.
That however was not my favored remedy
Surching a suitable solutions I’ve settled on using “baby oil”.
Typical application is to remove as much paint as I can by dry wiping the bristles dipping the bristles in the baby oil, perform a second wiping then a final dip and light wipe to complete the process
Furthermore any residual oil remaining on the bristles appears to have no negative affect with studio or professional grade paints.
This process results in perfectly clean brushes without benefit of toxic or expensive solvents, and to date has not shown harmful to the integrity of either natural or synthetic bristles.
Hope this is helpful
I thoroughly enjoyed the interview with Stapleton Kearns, Thank you for these opportunities to hear first hand the priorities and wisdom from long time painters like Kearns. His discipline of painting hours put me to shame, My favorite comment was that he is not trying to record data, but instead, do artwork. His art speaks loudly. Thank you for doing these canvas interviews. They are inspiring and help me know what areas I need to work harder,
Bill, I am a relative “newbie” to the world of painting……only about 2 1/2 years and am enjoying it more each week. Hope to soon have my home studio set up (in a few weeks) so I won’t have to unpack and set up each time I want to paint! As I really like your painting style/technique, I have a couple of questions for you. What do you paint on….a board, a canvas, linen? How do you prep your surface …I like that what appears to be brushstrokes that show up in the finished painting and assume this is done before the paint goes on the surface? Do you add a medium to your paint when you apply the underpainting? Thank you so much for your time (and your talent!)
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I know the Muilwyks! My son, Rick Bell is married to their daughter Patty. Have walked over that farm! Besutiful!
Wow! I’m impressed with your lifestyle. I am a Christian, and do dedicate daily to reading scriptures and devotional. I
Last year, I decided to stop eating meat, and do feel better. I run about 5 to 10 miles weekly, and start my day with green juice and my daily polyphenols too. My art work is not from a university standpoint, but it came to me as the greatest gift from God. I had never
Taken a class in my life, so I do thank Him for blessing me with my art. Some of my works are in Spain, Italy and France. I’m glad I got to read your blog, and thank you for posting it.
Good for you on the running! I can’t get myself on that wagon, but am impressed with those who are. Keep up the great paintings! God Bless!
I am very impressed with how you guys take care of your health. I am not as careful with what I eat unfortunately. I am proud to say I have never had any alcohol and I have never done any drugs of any sort. I don’t smoke either. But I do have a sweet tooth and love salty stuff.. so while my liver is happy with my no alcohol and no drugs diet, it hates me when I eat sugary stuff. I go to the crossfit gym 4 times a week to make up for the 8 hours I spend each day sitting at a desk in my office staring at the monitor, which is destroying my eyes and back. Even though crossfit is a high intensity interval training, I don’t think it can help with what happens to my body during those 8 hours. Changing my life style at this age would be difficult if not impossible.. but I hope I can find the will power to do more to take care of my health. Thank you for sharing 🙂
Bill is my benchmark. I wish I didn’t like cheesecake and other goodies so much! So much out there to taste, so little time….
Hello Bill, I follow your emails (really like them, whether they are about art exhibits or painting a specific scene), but this one I keep in my mail box handy. Read and reread it. (Yes, I painted my yellow rose :-).
Needless to say I really like your style of painting and teaching. Just wanted to say thank you for the inspiration and encoragement. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.
Last year I went completely whole food plant based no meat no oil or dairy. I have never felt better in my life. I watched a documentary called Forks over Knives and it opened my eyes to see that we really are what we eat and the fats we eat are the fats we wear. And I have started walking everyday I am 67 years old and wish I had started this way of eating years ago. I was told I was pre diabetic before but not now so there is truth in why this is called the healthiest diet in the planet. I also know how important it is for me to spend time in God’s word everyday and in prayer. Being spiritually fit is as important as being physically fit. One thing I have noticed that as I have started this way of eating lost over 50 pounds and feel better than ever people still think and ask “how can you not eat meat?” So I am thankful to read this about your family and know that there are like minded people who agree that it is a good way to live. Like minded people who share the joy of painting taking care of our mind body and soul. That’s what life is all about. Enjoyed your blog thanks for putting it out there maybe it will convince others to take their health to a higher level. I love painting and want to enjoy it for many years to come.
Awesome! We have tinkered with whole food plant based. I’d say we’re 80% there:-) You’re a great example.
Ah ha! The truth is revealed. Since retiring five years ago I have spent a lot of time scouring the web for good art and art instruction. This in an effort to improve my own work. Many times I find work and artists whose work has a particular appeal to me. It is surprising how many on these folks turn out to be “members”. Josh Clare, Bryan Mark Taylor and Carl Purcell to name a few.
As I have followed Bill’s instructional videos and reviewed his work I have been suspicious of your “life style”. I picked up clues like the scriptures on the worktop, references to two years of service and the encouraging language Bill uses in his presentations. The clincher was the photo you used on this post.
Congratulations to you and Bill for being examples of the “plan of happiness”. I look forward to more instruction and more great paintings.
Your secret is safe with me.
You’re a hoot. We actually struggled a lot about how much depth to go into with our faith. We never want to seem like we’re pushing our religion on anybody, but also are more than happy to answer questions others may have. It’s a fine line in business. We are blessed with a community of artists that are so kind and supportive, I really love them so much, and it would kill me (and Bill) if we offended anyone. Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS, Mormon) is the greatest blessing in our lives. We have had some comment that while they love Bill’s art they can’t be a part of our community because of him mentioning Heavenly Father and His creations too much. So sad.
HI Bill. Loved this Blog. I have been a vegetarian for, well, since 1991. I love animals and so from an ethical standpoint I could not eat them. Thank you for sharing. You and your family are more special than I realized
Thank you so much!
Well spoken! Faith, Family and Vocation, the three legs of the happiness in this world. By adding nutrition, healthy activity and awareness of the importance of friends you have a terrific plan for living. God bless you both. The blog is a great idea!
I love your “three legs of happiness” comment! Thank you!
I am in awe of the balance you and Bill have achieved in your lives and how conscious you are of living a life of depth and fulfillment. While I have made inroads into plant based eating, I have a long way to go in other areas of my life and uncertainty as to whether I will make much more progress there. I’ve discovered that postponing fulfillment can be a gamble you just can’t count on winning.
Love the picture of the bread loaves. I’ve been thinking about making our own since the store bought stuff doesn’t really taste as good anymore to either my husband or me.
Thank you Linda! And I would be glad to share my bread recipe when you start baking:-)
That was from me – Kristie:-)
Thank you for this blog, Kristie. I think that it is you who are Bill’s “Living Fuel”. Never mind all the other “good advice” ingredients.
They help but it is the lucky man and woman who can say, we love our life, we love each other, we love what we do. You are
truely blessed! Enjoy and Thank You for sharing and caring!
Oh I agree Renate! We are blessed, and our community of amazing artists is part of that blessing. (from Kristie:-)
Oh thank you so very much for this blog. I too knew that there was something different about you and Bill, and in a good way! I enjoyed reading your article and now ask, “where are recipes”?
Joy in Arizona
I’m glad you enjoyed it. And here is my bread recipe (I don’t know if the smoothie recipe exists, Bill’s like a mad scientist putting it together:-)
Kristie’s famous Whole Wheat Bread
(Makes 4 regular loaves)
Easy to make in about an hour!
5 C warm water
½ C + Olive oil
¾ C Honey
3 tsp salt
4 heaping Tbls wheat gluten (In Indiana I’ve only needed 3 Tbs)
4 C WW flour
————————-mix above ingredients together, let it sponge,then add…
4 Tbls yeast
Around 10 C WW flour (or enough to make the dough pull from side of bowl)
On an oiled surface divide dough into loaves, put into pre-oiled loaf pans, and rub a little oil on loaves, let rise 30 minutes. Than bake 30 minutes @ 350◦.
I started following the youtube painting videos Bill does, and am on the email list. How fun to find out that you are the same faith as me! We’ve also been trying to cut back on meat intake, and I also grind my wheat, as well as bake my own breads. We have a huge garden, fruit trees and berries, five hens, and are getting rabbits soon for our meat source. They are much healthier than chicken and also provide great fertilizer. I look forward to reading more of your posts, and growing as an artist. Thank you!
(this is Kristie) Welcome Sheryl! Sounds like you’re living the dream. Someday we hope to find a place out in the country. My daughter wants chickens so bad, as pets and for eggs.
Hi Bill, Well I absolutely love Plein Aire. My difficulties are, !. Composition. Deciding what to put in the painting. 2. my values are sometimes not quite correct. 3. the shifting light. Once I have the values in then comes the color and I am a little timid at putting in the color. I think I get attached to the study too soon. not becoming frustrated and confused is key. I prefer to finish right there on the spot on a 6 x 8. Occasionally an 8 x 10. Most times, ( because I am still learning ) I finish or rather perfect it in my studio, but I have to say I do feel like a cheater when I do that because things are more controlled in a studio. Anyway I have replicated my studies onto larger canvases with the help of a photo, as going bigger sometimes means more detail that people see. Being outdoors id spectacular and I am learning to see color. But, I am getting there , so very exciting everytime I go out.
Completing small studies is a great way to learn and capture the essentials Sue – sounds like they are working out well for you. The controlled studio environment, for me, can definitely be a hindrance if I’m not careful – one of the reasons I don’t pay too much attention to photo references because it often causes me to stiffen up and my work seems more forced or rigid. I have to work hard to maintain the more fluid spontaneous nature of the plein air study. All the things you mention are universal struggles, from beginner to professional and everywhere in between. Composition can be challenging because we see so much it’s tough to decide what to focus on – what to keep or exclude. The sight/size method used by artists like Joseph McGurl seems to eliminate that distraction – I wouldn’t know for sure because I’ve never used the sight/size process – it might be helpful to give it a try sometime though – I just have so much fun pulling from different elements around me, that I’m not sure I would enjoy being confined like that. Then again, sometimes certain boundaries help us grow faster because we focus our efforts on the more important principles and don’t get overwhelmed by too much information and choice.
Bill, I watched your video when you painted this, and loved your process! I belong to an art group here in New Mexico that meets once a month to talk about art and then critique our current works. In addition we go out to paint together as often as we can. Every year we spend four days up at Ghost Ranch in May painting the wonderful ” Georgia O’ Keene country.” Having said all that, I have learned not to expect a masterpiece every time. Instead, I just enjoy the wind in my hair, the sun on my back, the sounds of the birds and the crickets and the absolute joy of painting outdoors.
That sounds idyllic Judy! Painting is meant to be a joyous experience – that’s part of why painting outdoors is amazing, whether we finish a painting or not! Clyde Aspevig is one of the best painters in the world and he said there are some that just don’t work – but it’s all an opportunity to push beyond our present capabilities – to keep learning and having fun doing it.
What type of umbrella do you use? I live in sunny windy Florida. I have a Guerrilla Shadebuddy Umbrella & Stand. It did not last long and need to order a new one. Thanks for your advice.
I don’t consider myself a plein air painter. But in my world, a painting is not really finished until it’s sold.
No doubt Linda – and maybe not even then…I heard a story about a famous artist, can’t remember the name, who went into a museum with his paints and touched up one of his paintings he thought was in need of correcting.
I have tried both the and Coulter and Strada easels. I wanted to order a Daytripper but couldn’t get them to answer messages so I figured their customer service was nonexistent. I sent both the Coulter and Strada back for different reasons and both the manufacturers were very helpful with the returns. The easels are nice designs for those more interested in light weight and easy to assemble easels. I found that I am more interested in a stable surface to paint on so I replaced my 40 yr old Frenchie for a new Mabef Frenchie–it is made in Italy and does have a quality feeling. As heavy as ever–but it does keep almost all my supplies in it and keeps me organized. My painting group of professional artists have many different tripod set ups and were dumbfounded when they saw my new Frenchie. I have to say, though, that there were some real deal breakers with the tripod easels I tried. The Strada doesn’t hold a 1/4″ panel–I couldn’t jam it under the upper lip no matter what I did. I moved to 1/4″ from 1/8″ for stability and didn’t fancy wasting all those panels. Also–the palette is noisy–rattles because it doesn’t sit flat in the box. Both move a lot when in use. I’ve been burned enough with shipping costs so until another easel comes on the market with an intelligent, quality product I’m sticking with my heavy, but stable Frenchie.
Great feedback Elizabeth, thank you! That rattling would be distracting and I also use 1/4 inch panels – I need an easel that will accommodate about any size I throw at it which is an advantage of the French. I have also had trouble with some easels that moved around while painting, or let my panels slip out and that will not work at all – the panel needs to stay in place no matter what the weather is doing or how vigorous I paint. I love the convenience of a tripod, but the pure practical painting possibilities of the French style still stands supreme I think. I am optimistic and excited about the new easel/palette/tripod combo Michael is designing, but if the palette doesn’t quite work with the tripod, I may experiment with attaching tripod legs to a French box for greater stability in wind and uneven terrain – that way I can still set my large palette on the French box.
I thank you and Bill for all the help I get on those webinars.. Even when I don’t have a painting in the line up.. I always learn something.. Sometimes Bill gets talking and teaching and answers questions I never thought to ask.. But just wondered about..color temperatures is so hard to understand.. But durning all these webinars I think everyone has picked up on it..I thank you.. Both are in my Prayers.. dawn
thanks bill for the lecture about critics
A great blog Kirstie – very interesting in what you both do ‘behind the scenes and funny too! I love the image of Bill waving his number 8 filbert and the ‘splattered spider’! Great stuff. I, for one, love being in the community and appreciate enormously all your imput, the critiques, artist interviews – and what I have learnt – and also all the lovely members. Thank you. Elizabeth Williams.
Thank you, Kristie. I agree with everything you said. I took watercolor lessons years ago from a lovely talented elderly woman who I considered a national treasure. She would end every class with a 20 minute critique. We set up our watercolors in a long row. She would ask the artist to give a little background and then she would make comments and invite each of us to comment. It was so helpful. I loved those moments. Our teacher is gone now but I remember her with love and admiration. Bill shares many of those qualities as you so well described. I will echo a comment from above. I love being part of an art community.
When I was in grade 8 the teacher decided to pick two pictures of salvia One was mine and one my sister’s Mine was the epitome of all that was wrong . I think of that day every time I pick up a paint brush or a pencil to draw anything. I am 87 an still it haunts me. I took a couple of Bob Ross style of painting it was really fun.
Bill and Kristie, I enjoyed your plein air blog through N.Y. state. I loved Niagara and especially the country people. May I suggest taking a trip to the Indiana Dunes area. My one and only plein air experience was at the Dunes. So much to see there. In fact Michigan along the Lake is very beautiful too. Keep blogging and painting for us.
Thank you Kristie, it’s been such a priviledge to know you and Bill. I alway’s learn from watching the critiques . Love to you both!!
I am very glad to be here, please I wanna be a member
If you could email us at email@example.com we’ll help out in any way we can. We’d love to have you join us!
Nice! I especially loved the “field of dreams” ! Lovely use of color!
Love , love , love , painting and Your paintings of trees . Because they bring beauty and variety to the face of the earth .
What a gorgeous array of paintings! I have always been a tree hugger – each one is a work of art, different from any other, like snowflakes. I wish I could kidnap the “Breakfast is Ready” painting! Or better yet paint something like that! Someday I’ll be able to afford to join your monthly membership.
I too have a love affair with the trees, and you paint the seasons so wonderfully
Where I lived trees were scarce. My friend and I used to cycle miles to a small wooded area. I have always been drawn to them and loved them. Respect is a added now since I read “The Secret Life of Trees”. Your beautiful paintings Bill are thrilling and inspiring.
Bill, I wonder if you offer a video or lesson onthe Picture shown titled. SUN SHOWERS? I really appreciate the atmosphere and light . It is beautiful. If you offer that lesson I would appreciate knowing the cost and can it be downloaded on my laptop. Thank you Bill. I am a relatively new painter and new to you beautiful page. I get inspired by you work. Thanks again.
Thanks for the inspiration! I would aspire to eat clean like this all the time, but I have a problem getting my family on board. I personally gave up pork, shellfish and the other unclean foods listed in Leviticus. ( not easy! We raise pork for a living. So I still cook it for others) people shake their heads at my decision. I juice vegetables, and have fruit smoothies almost every day. We live on a farm and I have chickens and a big garden. (Get your girls some chicks, It is great project!) Blessings, Jaci
Bill, I love all of your beautiful tree paintings. ! Marlene. firstname.lastname@example.org
Wow, as a serious new artist, I found this article very informative and helpful. It certainly as encouraged me to spend not only more time growing as an artist, but to cultivate relationships as well. Thank you so much for sharing and the insight to being a successful artist.
Thanks Bill for interviewing Jason and writing up this blog. I have the greatest respect for Jason’s experience in the gallery field and the wisdom he shares with artists.
I appreciate the fact that Jason has always been open to sharing his insights as a gallery owner.
Wow.. Thank you.. That aS great Bill..
Thank you Bill and Jason,
Insightful analysis from two seasoned professionals is truly appreciated. I’ll be sharing this with my fellow artists .
I have taken classes with another former Hensche student but have never had the pleasure of taking one with Camille. I appreciate the comment that her work has changed over the years and progressed which speaks to taking what she learned about color and fitting it to herself, and then continuing to take workshops with others to improve areas where she felt she was weak. Thank you for this opportunity to hear her words.
COMMENTLástima que estemos tan lejos,me gustaria ver los trabajos de otros alumnos y tus correcciones,cuando puedas mandame un video donde pueda ver cómo hacés tus pinceladas,cada maestrillo con su librillo,es un refrán español,y no tuve suerte al anotarme en el curso de pintura de encontrar aqui en Mar del Plata cuadros de algún pintor que me gustara,para,si podía económicamente,anotarme.Los óleos y las tizas pastel están fuera de mi presupuesto.Tengo la suerte de tener muchos colores,tantos como tienen los paisajes,quizá si supiera mezclarlos y encontrar el color que busco no hubiera comprado todos los colores del muestrario,pero guardo todos,pensando rejuvenecer,ya cumplo 94 años y no puedo estár mucho de pié y compro bastidores de 80,largos como algunos de Sorolla,mi favorito. Perdón por entretenerte tanto tiempo pero cuando escribo mis cartas parecen de soldado,contando todo a su familia.Saludos.
Thank you so much for being so open and honest about what it’s like to be the wife of an artist. I am also a wife of an amazing artist and it is such a challenge to help support him while balancing family/ 3 little kids and my own life. A LOT of sacrifice goes into great art. And a lot of times it is not seen or talked about so it was really nice to read your story. Your words are so encouraging and full of love. Thank you and God bless your heart! 🙂
wow thought it is diffficult
Painting is never easy Ina, but some paintings seem to flow more easily from start to finish. I do love flowers, they give me a chance to really have fun with color.
I just love the colors you used in this painting. So alive!!! Enjoy your videos very much.
Thank you Carol, this was a fun one to paint! I love to hear that you are getting some benefit from the videos.
Thank you Driss!
I loved this. It is so true. My sweet husband does not even question me any more when I yell stop the car. He just looks at my photos and asks how did I see that. Likewise when we go hiking he will wonder off ahead of me and then have to come back looking for me. I am somewhere off the trail take pictures of the light on the leaves or some strange fungus growth or the texture on a tree. He waits for me and smiles and asks me what did you see, show me.
Good husband you got there Christy! What a blessing we’ve been given as artists – to see the world as something beautiful and then to help others see it as well.
I enjoyed your blog on your travels and photo taking i love to take pics as we travel and want to paint some. i want to someday paint just using interesting parts of the photo and make my own picture painting like you do.
Sounds like you’re well on your way Shirley – the most important step is what you just wrote – deciding you want to paint with parts of the photos. Once you decide that, then just go for it and let your imagination have some fun. In no time it will become second nature to you!
Loved the article. I love photography, which gives me a reminder of the beauty that surrounds us each day. I have thousands of photos of rocks, trees, sunsets, waves, etc. that I will never find time to paint. Each photo inspires me to attempt in all of my paintings some aspect of awe or wonder. Back in the 35mm days, the cost was more than my budget would allow, but digital photography opened up a new passion of preserving memories. The hard part is to place these digital memories on a medium that will last the ages and keeping up with technological advances. Like you, I combine images from several photos to develop my painting into a image that only exists in my mind, searching for the feeling of being a unique artist, if only in my mind’s eye. Well done Bill!!
Thanks Spike! Digital photography is incredible – I remember all too well hesitating to take a picture because we had to make our couple rolls last, and then printing them only to find that the exposure was off or the roll didn’t feed correctly or somehow two images got on the same clip (some of those were actually pretty interesting). I have more photos to use than I could paint from in 100 lifetimes, but that won’t stop me from taking another 100 lifetimes worth! I like your sentiment about ‘searching for the feeling of being a unique artist’ – when we paint what inspires us we’ll be unique.
Thank you Louise.
Hi, Louise! I’ve noticed you are taking workshops and studying. I’m doing the same. It fun and invigorating isn’t it!
Thank you, Bill, for these thoughts. I, too, take photos constantly of things to paint in a la dscape. I once asked a professional photographer friend, in the days of 35 mm cameras, if he ” wasted” a lot of film looking for the perfect shot. He told me he might take a hundred photos and end up with one good one. Now, with digital cameras, there is no waste, so I shoot everything! Living in New Mexico, there is lots to shoot!
New Mexico is a treasure trove of photo and painting material Judy – a lifetime could be well spent painting just New Mexico landscapes! I’m with you on not holding back.
I am also a New Mexico artist. There are never ending painting ideas here from ghost town, old mines and rustic buildings to beautiful wildflowers and majestic mountains. I also take a lot of photos!
First of all I love your posts. Now about photos, I am not ashamed of using them. Sometimes your memory cannot remember all intrigate details, I often use different things from one photo in 4 different pictures like a tree or a great shapec rock, whatever facinates me. As example near us is a shed that is ready to collaps, further down some cute goats and I decided it would look cute with some sheep added, so I found some pictures from sheep. All of this together became a painting. I love.
Thank you Yvonne! The last thing you said ‘a painting I love’ is what these tools like photography help us accomplish. I believe in using anything that will make our quest as storytellers with a brush more beautiful and memorable.
Love your pictures. I also use photos as a memory jogger and as a reference for something in the image, even though I may never use it. I also cut out photos I see with something I might need – like, what does a duck look like in flight? Can’t imagine how the old masters were able to draw and paint some things without a photo reference. Or maybe they settled for what they could see directly. Still life comes in handy for those of us who want a direct experience of seeing but are trapped in a cubicle every day.
Thanks Linda! We don’t know all the methods of the old masters, but many of them used some type of image rendering tool to at least get them going in the right direction. Vermeer, one of my favorites, they believe used Camera Obscura to create his paintings. It doesn’t diminish my love for his paintings. As you can see from my videos I don’t use tracing or projection or even stick closely to a photo reference, but I’m definitely a fan of any tool that will improve my painting.I figure between direct observation as much as possible, imagination and photo references (with a sound knowledge of photography’s limitations) we have a huge world of possibilities and endless painting material.
One of the greatest things an artist can have is a photo file. Before I throw out old magazines, I go through and cut out all pictures I think I can ever use in a painting. Then I put them in categories: fire plugs, street lamps, flowers, trees, etc. When I am painting a scene, I can go in my files and find the perfect rock, flower, tree, bridge, building, etc. to add to my composition. That is in addition to the hundreds of photos I take. Living in the hot, humid south, it is not always easy to go outside and paint from nature, although I love that too when the weather is right. Love your posts Bill!.
Great post!…I enjoy reading all your posts because they always have such a positive tone and very encouraging for a beginner, self taught painter like me. Thank you.
Love reading your blog. I enjoyed the posts on the photography vs plein aire. I think its great we have the advantage of the camera and can enhance the painting because we were at the site to take in the atmosphere. Best of both worlds.
If you can make a great painting from a mediocre photo, why not try painting from a great photograph? Shoot early and late when the contrast is lower. Watch for light direction. I’m a photographer…?
Wonderful Blog! I too take photos that some people wonder why. Consequently I have thousands. I also see images that spark a thought that reminds me of a photo that I had taken years ago. An “aha” moment; now I know what I can do with that photo! Although I know that I should paint everyday, I don’t always do so but now your blog has given me the incentive to pick up my brushes and get busy painting. Thank you.
When I read your blob it inspires me go there and search for more even at my age of 70 still want to learn more from people like you
Watching the videos and listening to your comments: there is a joy in your work. I look forward to the videos and Webinars every month and try to incorporate some of your suggestions into my paintings. Thanks Bill(and Kristie) for all your time and hard work.
Thank you Richard, that’s exciting to hear! We were worried a bit when we started all of this because of the amount of time it takes to edit videos and put it all together – I don’t get to paint nearly as much as I used to. Hearing comments like yours keeps us going knowing it’s actually helping other artists.
So fascinating…love the evolution of your work!!
Thank you, thank you. Your pictorial journey has inspired me and reminded me that playing is the path…and that no painting I do is a failure if it teaches me something.
Wow, what a transformation! The one thing that hasn’t changed is your love for vibrant colors.
Thanks David for all of your hard work in producing and compiling this blog. Wonderful trip through your history Bill. I enjoyed the changes and challenges that you shared with us. I see the accumulation of your early styles and methods in your artwork today. Well done!!
Great piece and inspiring as we hit our various walls! I love the evolution and the switchbacks.
Loved seeing your experimental works leading up to the present. Especially loved your watercolors.
Thank you for sharing your talent there is so much to learn, colors are radiant love all paintings.
Thanks for sharing your history with us. It’s encouraging to know the joy is in the journey and no experience is ever wasted! Appreciate David’s help also.
Thank you to both of you! What a fascinating journey!
Sharing your painting-journey with us is wonderful. Thank you so much.
It is very inspiring.
It is so helpful to see painting style evolve or blend. That was just great!
Bill, I started following you on facebook and you website about 6 months ago. Now look for your work at the Indiana aheritage Art and Hoosier Salon. Thanks for showing how your work evolved over your liftime, It is always interest to see how an artist progresses over time.
Seeing your early work reminds me that I can continue to grow and improve. And it is a better lesson for seeing than if you just wrote the words. Thank you!
Loved seeing this demo. Its a glimpse into the mind of an artist.
Bill…do you let the titanium white dry to maintain the texture and avoid whitening out of subsequent before you proceed.
Could one apply moulding paste and let it dry rather than using all that titanium white? Interested in your thoughts.
I was thinking same.
Great question Janne – this was a fun experiment to see what mixing colors into the white paint, right on the panel instead of on the palette, would do to the colors, especially with so much white right at the start. I love the wet into wet blending strengths of oil paint – the way I can manipulate edges and mix colors together with either a light touch or a stronger pressure depending on how much mixing I want to have at that moment. For instance, with wet into wet (or direct or alla prima) if I am putting in a tree branch, I might start off with a thick layer of paint on top of another layer of wet paint, laying it on in the beginning of the stroke without mixing it with the under layer – just laying one layer over the other – and then part way through, change the pressure a bit and slightly blend the two colors together to change the look of the branch – like when a branch goes from shadow to more light, or to change the color a bit by blending the two layers together. If I was only going for texture, which with this experiment was not the case, the molding paste might be a better way to go. If you decide to use molding paste it would be wise to consider that molding paste is an acrylic product and could cause adhesion problems eventually. If you use molding paste for texture make sure you use it on a solid surface like a wood panel to help the oil paint remain attached to the acrylic (the same could be said for acrylic gesso). It’s helpful to remember that oil is not porous and eventually dries hard and much less flexible than acrylics – which is why we see so much cracking in older paintings, especially on canvas. Acrylic (plastic) is porous, so oil paint will form a mechanical bond with the minuscule holes in the acrylic. If the acrylic stretches from temperature fluctuations or the flexing of a canvas, the oil will not stretch as much and can crack and fall off. That’s why it’s better to paint oils over acrylics on a solid surface. Based on that understanding, painting wet into wet with straight white oil paint is a better option than using molding paste. Even if we use just oil paint, if we paint thick, it is still a good idea to use a solid surface like a wood panel to avoid future cracking since oils are not very flexible – although they dry so slowly that with some thick areas of paint the inside may take decades to fully dry to a solid state, so it may take a while before you notice any cracking on a flexible surface like canvas.
Bill, Once again you are so generous with your knowledge and time. Thank you for being a such a great artist’s mentor!
You’re welcome Lisa, and thank you for the kind words!
I went through the gamut with camera’s finally chose a Sony a6000, it has 24.3 megapixels. I bought mine at Best Buy was about $700, I am totally impressed with its simplicity and ease of use yet has a ton of features that in all likelihood I may not use them all, still learning.. It is a smaller bodied camera which saves a lot in lugging the weight around that some cameras have. I can’t praise this camera enough, I bought one for my daughter who is a photographer, she loves it and uses it almost exclusively, I highly recommend this one. Check it out.. google it and read some of the information on it, well worth your time.
Thanks for sharing another strong option Lynn. The a6000 came up often in the reviews as a great camera. Glad to hear you like it – cameras are a pretty large investment so it’s wonderful when our purchase works out!
Great comments and ideas – thank you for sharing your insights everyone!
I enjoyed your thoughts on the artistic life. Thank you for sharing them. Your paintings are truly awesome! It’s always good when we find what we love and can use that love as creative inspiration.
I second that Judith, wholeheartedly!
I learned a lot reading this interview. I am combining game call making with my art. Everyone tells me to narrow my focus but I enjoy the adventure of exploring new media and styles. You are the first artist that promotes painting what you like. Have you done any abstract painting?
Bruce, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. Your art is amazing.
Thank you Bruce! You are inspiring! I too agree with you and hope that others will see the beauty in this world through paintings.
The luminosity you talk of is very apparent even in the small photos on the cell phone. Beautiful work!
I appreciate your thoughts on the creative process very much. It affirms my own thoughts and serves as inspiration and encouragement. Thank you very much and all good wishes and compliments on your magnificent art
Wonderful interview. Very informative, insightful, and inspirational. Lately. I have found myself painting compositions that my heart wasn’t entirely into (for sales). And as a result, those pieces have not been my best work. I intend to follow Mr. Cheever’s thoughts and paint what I truly love. Thanks, so much for sharing this with us, Bill.
Great insight Gail. It’s a tough temptation to ignore when we know a particular image or subject sells well. It definitely takes courage to follow the route that strengthens our paintings in the long run, but I believe it is essential to a fulfilling career and to the ultimate mastery of our art. I also believe that when we love what we’re doing it will shine through and resonate with others much deeper than if we follow the commercial trend.
I love your comment about painting what you love! Your work is just beautiful. Your paintings draw the viewer in!
Thank you! Your work and dedication is inspiring!
Wonderful insight to you and your fabulous work. Thanks so much for sharing
Thank you for this insight into your thought process and the evolution of your training.
You’re welcome Ellen. Time sure moves along quickly – hard to believe it’s been almost 12 years since those first videos.
Thank you so much for doing the full length videos. These are the most interesting, most helpful, and are the ones I go back to regularly because I learn something every time I watch them. In the days of art books I always found it so frustrating that they were showing steps 1, 2, 3, and then steps 8, 9, 10 and then baoum! painting finished, but what went on in between, go figure, they would never show you. I was told it was a marketing trick, you’d feel like you’d learn a little bit from the book but needed to know more, so naturally you’d buy another book in the hope of finding out what you were missing. Well, it never worked because we never got the full story. So as far as marketing strategy, I don’t think it yielded the desired results.
I bought a portrait painting videos years ago and it was the same thing, the painter showed how she started, then said she would work off camera, and came back with the finished painting, it wasn’t even entertaining, it was frustrating, you felt cheated, like you wasted your precious $$. What I really wanted to know was the harp part, how one goes about developing the picture.
Whereas with your full length, detailed videos we really see what’s going on, we can watch over and over as you said, and try again and again in our own painting style. So I appreciate and buy only from artists who do full length, detailed demos in their videos. And if watching 3 hours is too long for one sitting, I watch it in 5 to 6 segments, taking notes, playing back the portions that speak to me, even experimenting with paint as I watch. And these days there’s so much good stuff for free on YouTube. So thanks again and my very best to you !
That is so heartening to hear, thank you! We spend literally hundreds of hours on these videos with the hope that they will sincerely be helpful to others. Thank you for letting me know that I have a kindred spirit out there when it comes to the desire to have more than just some tidbits in an art demonstration or training video.
Wow, your thoughts are as good as your painting
Thank you Anil, that is very kind!
I totally agree, seeing the FULL painting process is the best way to learn. Painting is my passion and I don’t care how long the video is, if it moves me forward in my journey. Thanks Bill and family ?
Thanks Peter – you’ve been with us for a long while – it’s wonderful to hear that what we are doing is working for you!. We do love to see the remarkable strides so many artists are making with their art and careers.
Enjoyed the thoughts and insight of this blog entry very much. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, or the perfect art rendition is an artwork that enlightens the emotions deep within the artist. If an artist creates a piece that says “Wow!” to others, plus himself, then perhaps the artist has created a masterpiece. My grown children created masterpieces, to me, when they were toddlers. Now they struggle to achieve that same greatness of art to this beholder. I struggle with each painting that I paint, but it is my quest to produce a masterpiece for the ages.
I have no doubt you will be successful in your quest Spike! Your paintings now are moving and beautiful.
Thank you! These are helpful thoughts to reflect on in my own journey with painting.
You’re very welcome Shirley! I’m grateful to hear you enjoyed the post.
I found your blog very encouraging………..and I loved your first landscape and wish I could produce something like It! Since giving up on myself and loosing confidence I am back to the very beginning……but I am now determined to paint every day, if I can, even if only for 30 minutes!
Thank you Patricia, I love to hear that what we are doing is encouraging others! 30 minutes a day is better than 8 hours every couple weeks – there’s something magical about daily habits over periodic marathons – we progress faster and with greater insight and clarity. With that first landscape painting – it’s amazing, but I still remember painting it and how excited I was when I finished at realizing what was possible with oil paints (I had been using pastels and watercolor before that, which I loved, but oil paints for me seemed to have even more directions I could take).
THANK YOU BOTH… Great blog.. It really made me think about my paintings and others who paint… But I come from a long line of kniters and sewing.. And the perfection they would strive for.. I think Art is in many things and we can live our lives seeing art and wonder.. Or anger and limits..
I agree Dawn! I’m grateful for the vast variety of different types of art. Creativity, even in seemingly mundane things like shoes or door mats, brings joy to life and living.
I loved reading this blog! I definitely feel that when I focus too much on the “rules”, I lose the emotion and the paintings are just not as good! This blog has inspired me to paint more with instinct and emotion. Thank you!
Thank you for that Silvana! Stapleton Kearns said it well when he spoke of painting with poetry. When I let my instincts and emotions guide my intellect the result is much more fun and invigorating. Knowledge is definitely critical for successful paintings, but the creative flow does not come from intellect alone.
Thank you so much for sharing this. I read it out loud to my husband, because in our household I am the artist. And I wanted him to know he was not alone trying to get me to come down from the studio for lunch and dinner he prepairs for me only to find out I cant come because I am in the middle of an intrigate partt, or that I just mixed paint and dont want it to dry out because it is so hard to get the exact color again etc etc. I paint basicly from 10 to 10 and sometimes longer, My poor husband often is alone, because I am always upstairs, but he is gracius, and understanding he gives constructive critique and beams with pride when showing my work. We artist need people like you and him and thank God for the blessings he bestowes on us.
Wonderful Yvonne! Maybe someday we spouses of artists will start a support group:-) ~Kristie
These small blogs written by you both are very helpful. thanks
Well thank you – I like to be involved with this amazing group of artists, it’s a privilege!
That was me (Kristie) commenting there – for some reason my computer only recognizes Bill’s account when I comment:-) Hmmmm, I netter be careful with what I say:-)
Hi my name is Maria Demosthenous..i am quite new here. i have been painting for nearly 40 years..selling some..i live in Durban South Africa..yes the subject here..painting the edge..What i like to do.. i paint right over the edge all the back….its got to flow.thank you fro all your advice and tips..love your vedeo..God bless take care
Loved the comments for when you paint in the small (3 x 4 inches) and the rabbit of the frame is 1/8 inch I become very timid about those edges. I even had one framer who wanted to float the paintings so not to lose the edges. I will try to rethink my compositions. Thank you.
(This is Kristie) Myra – did you end up floating your paintings? I have seen so many of those around now and wondered how you liked them? Is the cost much different than a normal frame?
Thank you, Kristie and Bill. Your comments about edges will stay with me. It’s so much better to slow down and study the work before deciding it’s finished. You have pointed out my bland nebulous edges on prior critiques. I finally got the nerve to imagine what lies beyond the edge and paint as though my scene extends into that external space. It works for me. It’s fun to do too. Years ago I took a workshop with Frank Francese, a wonderful watercolorist and teacher. He stressed the importance of painting to the edges. Really enjoyed reading your ideas as always. Best wishes for a beautiful Thanksgiving.
(This is Kristie) Thank you so much Margaret! I hope your Thanksgiving is wonderful as well!
I’m glad to hear your having fun painting to the edge Margaret – and to hear that another teacher expressed the same sentiment – that reinforcement helps cement the idea in our minds better! By the way, Frank’s paintings are excellent – very fun and colorful – I love his simplified shapes.
Learn moreeach time I read your musings and advice. An other artist I admire told me to paint not only to the edge but also the edge itself, and it truly made a diverence. Especially since I cannot always afford a frame, but cannot stop painting, I even dream about my paintings I hope to have enough soon to have a show…. how to aproch that is another matter maybe one time you like to discuss. Thank you Yvonne
I’m glad to hear you have some good instructors helping you along Yvonne! I know what that’s like – struggling to pay for frames and still wanting to paint daily. Just keep at it – paint now and let the frames take care of themselves later. Once the work is powerful, a good gallery might help you with the framing. We had an excellent interview you will enjoy, with Jason Horejs, who went into detail about how to get into galleries and sell our art: https://www.masteroilpainting.com/blank-canvas-an-interview-with-jason-horejs/
Bill: I feel so great full I discovered your site. I have been painting for many years, first in watercolor, acrylic, pastel, and now teaching myself oils. Your philosophy as an artist and instructor is so inspiring. Love watching you paint. I am most enamored by the way you use your brushes; so much to learn?
Thank you so much Valerie! Sounds like you have a wonderful foundation for oil painting. I’m so grateful I started out with pastels because I feel like I learned a lot about color and how one color looks placed next to another from using pastels. I hope you have a joyous journey as you learn to use oil paints.
Thanks for pointing out the obvious in your last Critique, Bill…that you have a blog! I am enjoying and benefitting from it. Christie’s comment about throwing the loop, and aiming right through the finish resonates with me, another cowgirl. Now I will remember that when I boldly paint to the edge.
Merry Christmas!! What a lovely painting!! The love of God is expressed deep within each of us, as well it is displayed throughout the universe, in my humble opinion. To capture even a portion of this on canvas is a tremendous talent that demonstrates the heart. Thank you for sharing and may the world truly find peace and true agape love.
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones Bill. You have captured the feeling of live in that painting.. something not many are capable of doing. May kindness and love for humanity be the guide in everyone’s life.
feeling of LOVE not live …
Wonderful painting! Wonderful story! Merry Christmas to you and your family!
I have often thought about what a man Joesph must have been,,, How tender she is toward him in this portrait is wonderful.
May God bless you and yours during this season of His love. Nancy
Your talent is amazing, and your reverence shows through in this beautiful expression of love. Well done, sir.
Your painting is wonderful! I appreciate your testimony to Jesus. It means a lot to me to me to be associated with a family of faith. My church maybe different From yours, but we share a love for Jesus. Merry Christmas.
It is just beautiful, Bill! I recognized that tender scene from “The Nativity Story” movie. Our cherished Christmas eve family tradition is that my husband reads the account of Jesus’s birth from scripture, then we take communion together, then watch that movie. Thanks for sharing your faith, and the wonderful loving heart of our Father God!
Tome this s the most inspiring painting I have ever seen of Mary and Joseph, You have captured so well the feeling and the event of that wonderful day when our Savior was born! The painting along with your testimony has moved me to tears. Blessings to you and your family this Christmas! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing this. You are a most giving person!
Thank you for sharing with us not just your art, but also your faith and testimony. I teach art at a private Christian primary school from grade 4 to 7. I would love to share this picture with them, especially the grade 6 and 7’s who have to do facial sketches and art from photos. May God bless your talent and sensitivity to the guidance and anointing of The Holy Spirit. A joyous Christmas to you and your family. Charlette Waldeck.
A most moving painting. You captured it beautifully. Thank you.
Lovely! Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Thank you for sharing your love for Jesus and Our Heavenly Father. Your painting of Mary and Joseph and your love for them is so real. Thanks for sharing the process, too. I long to be able to share God’s glory in my painting and pray a lot about what I do.
Advent & Christmas blessing to you, Bill, and to your family.
Bill, this is one of my favorite paintings. It reminds me of a friend’s home in PA where I often went with my children to visit. It evokes wonderful memories of times gone by, fishing, swimming and beautiful friendships!
A beautiful painting, Bill.I did a painting of Jesus a number of years ago,for my church Christmas program,but it does not begin to compare to yours. I have taken many courses, but never one like yours. Thank you for your generosity. God’s blessings to you and your family.
Thank you so much Bill. A painting of loving Parents at a very special moment. Happy peaceful Christmas!
Bill, I think your painting is very special and it has a beautiful feeling of hope. Thank you for your story of the technical aspects of painting an iconic image. Just wonderful. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family.
AS Joseph was to his family, you are truly a blessing, Bill, to our art family. And Kristie’s love and respect shows through for you and for your family in our webinars. Thank you!
You shared the most important message of all. I believe your work will go straight to the heart of many.
You have captured the love that Mary and Joseph shared in a beautiful and moving way! Having never consummated their union, this painting shows their deep and innocent love for each other and their precious holy child. There can be no doubt of that love as you have portrayed it. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas as you celebrate the recent birth of your own little baby granddaughter.
Thanks Stape… yes, very helpful. Love that you do t compete, you contribute. Thanks Bill for this interview.
your painting is beautiful and amazing,God bless you
Enjoyed the progression of your paintings.
Merry Christmas to you and your family, Bill. It takes courage to stand up for what you believe and I know God will bless you for it. I appreciate your openness. I just want to comment on one thing. You said, “Although my skills fell short”, let me comment on that. If God gave you the talent to begin with and the ability to use it to reach so many with your message, then don’t say He only gave you ‘half’ of what you needed. Give Him praise for it all! What a joy it is to be able to reach so many with your art. What a gift it is to have media to do so. What a compliment and praise to our Lord for every brush stroke he guided. Putting yourself down is putting Him down for not doing enough. You said it yourself…guided by the Spirit. I love that you use your abilities to help us all grow in many areas. Thank you!
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing so much with us! Merry Christmas to all!
God bless you for your dedication to using your gifts to glorify our LORD and Savior! I love your work!
It is beautiful! The love that they show took my breath away.
What a beautiful piece, radiating with loving energy!!! Sharing your gifts and this stunning painting is indeed a gift to all! Merry Christmas!
So beautiful. What a blessing. Merry Christmas
I am going to have to try this! Thanks, Bill for sharing.
As a New Mexico artist and a theme “Places Seldom Seen”, I find that by the time my husband and I have reached the old ghost town, old mine, or hiked a trail I have very little time to paint on location. I try to paint en plein air whenever possible, but good photos are invaluable to me. Yes, I usually add “something” to the photo later to make a more pleasing painting. I wish photos showed better light. It seems I almost always have to create shadows because the photos are taken mostly mid day. I love getting out into these unusual places though. They bring unexpected surprises! Blessings!
Bill: Thank you for sharing your beautiful nativity painting and your story behind it. I can feel the love and emotion that emanates from this moment; it makes me want to drop to my knees in prayer. I feel grateful to be associated with an instructor who glorifies our Lord through beautiful works. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Bill, thank you for sharing this painting and your story! It is breath-takingly beautiful! You truly have a God-given gift of art, and the humility of a faithful servant in His service. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Remember to breathe! Have fun and enjoy the journey….
I am excited for you. You might start by getting a sketch book and try your hand at drawing. Just 15 or twenty minutes per day. Copy anything and everything. Capturing the form of a thing or things is essential. Good luck
Great idea! We have a daughter who carries around a sketch book everywhere. I need to do that aas well. Thanks fo rthe advice!
Thank you Cheryl, I’ll have to bring my yoga breathing into my painting I think!
Hey Kristie I am terrified every time I get in front of the easel (with good reason). Another artist once told me to just paint some colour randomly on the canvas to take away the fear of the white and get started. Unfortunately that won’t work with pencil or ink but works beautifully with oil and pastel and acrylic. Just start then you work with it as Bill does so beautifully. I like the idea of the new course.
Good advice! I will keep that in mind. Thank you!
Thanks You I enjoy and lot of lern
I hope so Marta!
if you can ride a horse, you are half way to being an artist. You balance on a horse. You balance your colors, color temperatures, shapes, and values while creating a painting. You feed a horse to keep it alive and to grow strong. You feed the canvas with brush strokes, color, and shapes to build a strong story. If you get bucked off of a horse, you get back on. If you mess up a painting, you save it, start another, and then go fix the problems on the first one. If you walk a horse and never gallop, you miss all of the fun. Get on that easel and gallop!! Show us your progress, as we all learn from every painting we get to look upon. I have never met a person that did not have talent to express emotions. Put those emotions on your canvas and the rest is just plain fun! Good luck Kristie, post your work soon!
Well said Spike! We should have you be a guest blogger – you have a way with words! Nice thing about art, my teeth won’t get kicked out and my bones shouldn’t suffer any breakage:-) (would still rather be riding though!)
After breeding horses for 40 plus years, I sold my ranch. Riding was my therapy for everyday life’s issues. My favorite part–after a foaling–was to teach the young horses how to socialize, to watch their development with people and each other [all different personalities]. Bill is such a good teacher, with his Love and support and knowledge, you will be soaring across your canvas in glee. You already recognize beauty, so you are 80% there. Much luck in your development as a ‘painting’ artist!
Just go for it. Learning to draw what you see instead of what you think you see is the hardest part. Draw often and learn to look at nature in a different way by seeing the shadows and differences in shapes and colors
Thank you Jane! I should know that, Bill is always talking about the need for good drawing skills. So much to learn!
Just like anything else Practice makes perfect.Just relax and enjoy the journey.
Kathy, you are so right! And that’s a struggle I’ve always had. Maybe I can practice enjoying the journey:-)
Draw an apple while observing It. Paint the apple. Eat the real apple/evidence. Say to yourself, that’s a realistic ?. Enjoy yourself.
I like that Margaret – a great way to ‘internalize’ the work!!
Seems to me Bill said that there’s no wrong way to paint and interpret. I love that he is so positive. Maybe start with loose brush strokes and see where it goes. Maybe the master will rub off.
Truth be told: I think he’s a little apprehensive – I think he’s afraid I won’t like it. But he always keeps a positive outlook and that will be very helpful for me.
Kristy.. I started 2 years ago with roses..I wiped off lots of would be flowers till I finally got the rose painted.. The background is all the Trys I made.. I’ll send you a picture of it..my paintings are slow going now because.. I never new how to draw.. This summer I picked up a pencil and am learning to draw.. I love animals and trees.. The trees I can draw.. Animals are different.. Always live life to the edge!!! Just like painting to the edge don’t leave it have done.. Dawnmarie
Spelling is slow for me too.. Its supposed to read.. Life.. Like painting to the edge… Don’t leave it half done.. You got this girl!! Dawnmarie
Wow! 2 years and look at you! amazing! Thanks for the pep talk, I need it!
I am a 72 year old German grandmother of nine. Always wanting to be able to paint but told myself I had no talent to do such things. A friend told me “talent is overrated” and I should give it a try. From somebody thinking that I barely could draw a stick figure, I am doing alright. Bill just critiqued one of my paintings.
I am content with being an amateur. Looking forward learning with you.
What an example you are! Thank you for your courage. I remember your piece in the critique – you are gifted!
To learn how to ride a horse you need to keep putting your bum in the saddle. Keep putting yourself in front of a canvas or sketch book and you’ll develop into the unique artist you are. You’ve got one of the best teachers around. The motto of our special forces in the UK is “he who dares wins” Go for it girl and enjoy every mistake for next time you’ll be better.? Enjoy the ride. Pete
Pete – I think I may adopt your motto for the UK – maybe change it for me personally to “She who dares wins”. Thank you!
I have no formal training other than instructional art dvds and books. I started painting years ago and got caught up in my work/career. I let fear get in the way of trying to expand my horizons. No longer. The last five years I have progressively worked on my art, bringing back what I had learned and expanding upon it. I started taking chances and looking at the world closer. Using my artist eye and memory. Recently, I have tried stepping further out of the box and bring more impressionism into my work. What I am trying to say in a long winded way is go for it, be you, find your path as you learn the fundamentals needed to paint and believe me your style will come through. One of the most rewarding things in painting is when they recognize the painting not only for the quality but for the signature style that will be you. I have no doubt that yo will do well. Best wishes and Merry Christmas. Lee
Thank you Lee! I have to tell you we framed up the card and it’s sitting in my dinning room right now. It will probably go to the studio for it’s permanent home. But I love the simplicity you use to make a wonderful scene! Thank you!
As a old (89) newbee at painting I would love to have this training made available to us right from the get go.
Yes Douglas! You and many others. I’m impressed with those who have stuck with it and continued in the community! I could never do it! Great job!
Kristie, I started 8 years ago. I traveled a lot with work and just did not have time. Then I wrote my self out of a job and decided to take lessons from the local gallery. My daughter had painted there while a teen and I used to love the smell-of the paint and what the kids came up with. I have had some flops and some great ones. I had dabbled with pastels in high school, but I wanted to hold a brush and push the paint around like a conductor. What I found was it was my calmer, my realm. I get into a zone and I can be painting hours and not realize. I’ve surpassed my teacher and decided to find artists that I could learn from to be better.i now continue my class but for the companionship and the wonderful critiques. You may wNt to find a group of artists that you can paint with. It is exhilarating and I continue to learn from them.
(This is Kristie) That’s a great idea Debra. I love learning in a group – I get so inspired by the people around me!
The first week of November, I invited an elderly friend to lunch. When I arrived at her house to pick her up, she was wearing a sweater with bright red cardinals on it, so I told her that I had started painting a pair of cardinals a few days earlier. She said, “Oh, cardinals are my favorite!” After lunch, I showed her a photo of the in-progress painting. When she saw it, she started crying, and said, “My son!” I waited for her to regain her composure, then asked her to tell me about her son. Then she poured out the story of the death of her 3-day-old baby boy many decades ago, and of her great sorrow because she had never even gotten to hold him after giving birth. She had not been a believer in God at the time, but in her deep grief, she had cried to Him asking for assurance that her baby was in heaven. Almost immediately, a bright red cardinal showed up in her yard, and she received it as an answer to her prayer. Throughout the years whenever she experienced a feeling of sorrow and loss about her son, inevitably cardinals would show up and she would be comforted. She said, “Linda, the reason I’m wearing this sweater today is because I’ve been missing my baby boy, and and once again God has comforted me — with your cardinals!!” A week later, I was blessed to deliver a full size print of my cardinal painting to her. That I got to be a participant in what God did for this precious woman was an amazing, joyous experience!
What an amazing experience Linda and a privilege to be a part of something sacred like that! Thank you for sharing your story with us. Heavenly Father loves His children and watches over us – and usually answers our prayers by sending someone like you!
You are the first artist that I have had contact with that says their art is a gift from God. I do not take credit for any work created through me. The Holy Spirit guides my hand, and when I totally tuned-in, sometimes the paintings don’t turn out too bad. Thank you for sharing. I want to download and print the painting to take to show to our church.
What a beautiful expression of your faith. Thank you for sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings this Christmas season and may God continue to do good works through your talent and your art.
Thank you so much, Bill & Co, for this very thorough interview of such an inspiring artist ! I would strongly recommend JG’s blog, you’ll learn little tidbits here and there about every aspect of art making, and pretty soon you’ll have amassed a wealth of information, it will transform your way of thinking about gathering knowledge and artistic skill, how to go about building your learning experience, and acquiring new habits. JG’s work and career path demonstrate that representational art is alive and thriving again. He doesn’t hide how much work it takes, but really is it that painful if that’s what you love doing, what you enjoy most ? Happy Painting and Happy New Year everyone !
I agree wholeheartedly Dominique! James is an artist’s artist – and he is very generous with sharing insights and methods for creating stronger paintings and growing our skills. He really explores the depths of direct painting.
Remarkable insight from such a versatile talented artist! Thanks for sharing.
Thank you. So inspiring and inciteful.
You’re welcome! We are so grateful James took time out of his demanding schedule to share with our community.
Although we are into the new year, my heart is still ‘full’ from the celebration of Christmas … the peace and holiness of the season. When I looked at your painting of the blessed family today, I was once again filled with a feeling of peace and quiet. Many blessings to you and your family …
Thanks Bill! I started following James Gurney’s posts earlier this summer. Enjoyed the interview!! Happy New Year!
I have been a fan of his work since the early 90’s and was very excited to share this interview with everyone! Hope you get some great snow paintings done this winter Spike – this cold spell should be good for something.
What a phenomenal interview! Talk about value!? If I were a young art student again, I would print this article/interview out (with permission of course) and plaster copies in my studio,on my easel,next to the toilet – everywhere. Mr. Gurney has kept a childlike view and enthusiasm of the world around him, and when the world he wanted didn’t exist, he reimagined it, in his own, remarkable way. I’m sure it helped that he was fortunate enough to come from a background of “means” and creative thinkers, which I can only say that I did not (I joined the Army National Guard and became an Army Illustrator with the tuition assistance program = 4 yr degree, private art school, $0 student debt!). I’m in the same age range of James, so I understand where he’s coming from, from still owning (and using) an erasing template to using digital processes as a means to an end in traditional painting. Unfortunately the “pilot light” of enthusiasm for painting has flickered and all but has gone out for me. So few outlets for displaying representational art and the illustration market has become increasingly digital based. Subject for a future article?
Gurney does a fantastic service to representational painters in showing us how to look at the world with imagination and exploration! I’m sorry to hear about your flickering enthusiasm – maybe following James’ example and getting outside to paint and trying new approaches will fuel that flame again. There’s a lot of power in the doing of something – especially in the arts! Don’t give up – get creative – look up painters and illustrators on Patreon and see some of the fun ways artists are supporting their creative pursuits.
Interesting. I cannot recall any of my paintings that have ended at the edges, especially the landscapes and seascapes. They all tell a small part of a big story that has no boundaries.
The difference between painting and illustration is not so difficult to understand. You could start with the difference between a painting and a picture if you like. A picture specifically tells a story, that you could actually easily put into words. The illustrative nature if you will. It describes a so called ‘reality’. A painting doesn’t necessarily negate the illustrative nature, but it’s real value transcends the story line, and enters into an aesthetic space where the artist is expressing other aspects of the medium. What Mr. Gurney calls ‘making a painting look like paint.’ Sounds simple, but, how many Van Gogh’s are there? Cezannes? How many Monets? How many Sisleys and Gauguins? They certainly make paiontings that look like paint. They also express themselves as the medium in a way that very few are able.
Another quote to consider:
The artist must scorn all judgment that is not based on an intelligent observation of character.HE MUST BEWARE OF THE LITERARY SPIRIT which so often causes a painting to deviate from its true path – the concrete study of nature – to lose itself all too long in intangible speculations. (Paul Cezanne)
Also this idea that you were somehow doing ‘plein air’ before they called it that?? Where do you get that from?
Wow wow wow What a generous piece of teaching this is,
what a generous teacher you are. Thank you, Bill. xoxox
Thank you Sara, that makes my day! I love to hear that these posts are helping other artists.
Dear Bill thank you for an awesome inspiring video. I came across your website after my first hand surgery. Have had another one but am healing well and cannot wait to start painting again. Will definitely check in with you again and follow your painting courses.
Just lovely Bill! I love all the colors and really love when I get to see skies like that myself! Always takes my breath away at the gifts God gives us!
Thank you Diane – I hope you are getting plenty of painting in!
Very helpful, Bill, Thank you for sharing like this.
You are very welcome Earl! I love to see your beautiful paintings in the FB group. Happy painting.
What an awesome painting! A feast for the eyes – Love it
Thank you Donna, I really appreciate your kind words!
Thank you, Bill. I so enjoy your videos. As a beginner…started doing this in retirement with no training ‘painter’….I just love watching you work. I also love the Christian joy and spirit that shines through your work.
Thank you so much Teresa! Don’t worry too much about trainers – this is a golden age for learning with so many resources available – you will painting like a pro in no time. Christian joy is a perfect phrase – to me the Gospel of Christ is a Gospel of joy – I’m glad to hear that the joy it brings me comes through in my paintings!
Thank you Bill for this great demo. I can’t wait to do it “with you”.
Thank you Lord for giving us such great inspiration.
You’re welcome Ursula – thank you for the uplifting comment!
Thank you for the terrific lesson. What is the music playing in the background? I loved it too!
You’re welcome Danna! The music is from YouTube – part of the Creator Studio – I’m grateful for that because buying the license for music can get a bit pricey. I have to search through a bit to find music that seems to fit, so I’m glad to hear you liked it.
Where can I find this course you are referring to? I want to learn to paint.
Hi Margaret, the beginner’s course is in the creation stage. Since it is basically Kristie, David and I, and with none of us being professional internet gurus, it can take a while for us to complete a new course. My son David (while working full time for the Air Force) and my wife Kristie take care of most of the internet work to give me more time to concentrate on painting, video editing, blog posts, webinars and answering comments as often as possible, but that alone keeps me working long hours 6 days a week. We will definitely keep you updated on the course progress.
gracias por el aporte para acrecentar el conocimiento de tu prójimo.
You’re welcome Liliana!
Hi Kristen and Bill, and everyone else,
I was wondering if this “painting to the edge” also applies to top and bottom edges. I see a lot of contemporary artists leaving the bottom somewhat unfinished, intentionally in most cases, perhaps haphazdly in the case of a painting intended as a study which turned out to be so good that it can stand as a completed, finished work. Sometimes, thouh, I deplore the unfinished look as the painting would be so much more convincing if equal care had been given to the overall appearance. Perhaps it’s just my own biais for neatness that gets in the way here, and I should learn to appreciate the ‘unfinished’ look, which btw appears to be sort of trendy at times.
Thanks for your fantastic work
There is sooo much to learn here. I will read it again and again. I try to use hard edges to make the painting work for me. Lots of experimenting to do! Good artists to study! Thank you!
;Awesome! Now I have to find some quiet time to wrap my head around this. Thank you!