Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Red White and True

Here is my latest little yankee girl. I think I am still sad at selling the one I did last year, lol! or maybe it's the fact that I love all things Americana. There is another one coming soon, that I planned out in my sketchbook. I find it strange that as much as I may love an idea I have sketched out, it could take days or weeks to sit down and do it. And yet, the minute I put paint to canvas, I don't want to stop until it is done. I wonder why the resistance?

Maybe I should re-read 'The War of Art' by Steven Pressfield , which I would highly recommend to any of you artists, or writers who may find yourself blocked. He said something that rang true for me, that the thing that you most need to do is the thing you resist the most. I know exactly what that is for me: anatomy. I dread studying this, and keep postponing it, even though it must be done if I expect to become a better artist. I made a promise to myself that as soon as the weather gets better here, I will take my sketchbook and instruction books outside, and get to work.

I will never be a realistic artist, it's not my style. I love whimsical and folk art too much! But any time you improve yourself, it can't help but show up in your work.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this, as I have discussed it with a fellow artist and friend. She disagrees with me, and says to throw away the books and learn by doing.
Do you think it is better to jump in, paint, and let your art go where it wants to? Or do you like using books and classes to learn new things?
I believe your style evolves by 'doing' however, I also think it is always a good idea to be aware of certain techniques that you will only learn from other sources.
What do you all think? Feel free to share your favorite books too :-)


Marlene said...

Betty, I think you should do what feels right for you. I love to learn new techniques and methods, I have never lost myself doing this as my "style" still shows through no matter what I do, it just sometimes looks better (lol).

Renee said...

Of course I am not an artist, but I think that every one is so individual that what may inspire someone may not inspire you.

I like how you are making your own path.

Love Renee xoxo

Fotf said...

I guess there is something to be taken from both but for me especially in this day and age with copyright issues and all it's best to do your thing, expression is everything and you should be free to find your niche but at the same time you can find inspiration in other things, books, mags, blogs,nature, if you stop searching you will find yourself led like i did with my owls :-)

Judy said...

When I first wanted to try watercolor, I figured I could just experiment and learn myself, but after I finally took a class I realized there were certain technique to learn and good tips on paint, brushes and paper. The class really helped, and it sped up my process of hit and miss. After 12 years, I still take one class a year at least. I learn things and also experiment with things myself. Life is a balancing act and Art is no different.

readingsully2 said...

I don't think it matters whether you are self-taught or trained or a combination of both. The important thing is to create.

Some like to plan ahead using sketch books. Some like to start and see what happens.

I believe that developing your own style is the key. And, Betty, you have certainly done that. I love the beautiful faces you paint. They are really beautiful

I ,for one, can tell you that I have that same thing happen to me about a kind of procrastination...really....but when I start I finish even if it is over a couple of days. Also, too I think part of the procrastination is just mulling things over in our heads until it forms more clearly...in fact maybe it is a mental sketch book. :)

Julia Finucane said...

love it!

Mandala Michelle said...

I know I like to use a combination. Sometimes I play but other times I like to have instruction so that I can grow. I don't enjoy realism either but I think being able to do all sorts of art will make mine better and help me find my style.

Rebecca Lynch Photography said...

I do some of each. I have had the formal training(BFA from Ball State)and to keep learning and growing I read a lot of instructional books and get ideas and experiment with stuff. I also just do things and see how it turns out. I have also done a couple of workshops. I also belong to an Art Guild and that helps me learn things as well.

You have your own style and what you learn will be incorporated into that style and may or may not make it better.

Nobody has the same opinion and everybody learns differently. You have to do the way that best fits you.

Good Luck

Rebecca Lynch Photography said...

Also it is a lovely image.

Julia Finucane said...

Hello! You have an award, please free to grab it at my blog www.juliafinucane.blogspot.com

The Vintage Sister Studio said...

I'm a learn as you go kind of girl but I loved art school so I'm not sure what that means. I just know that I'm happy not everyone is a realistic artist. How boring would that be?

Linda said...

Your Yankee Girl is so cute.

As far as learning techniques from and outside source, I say if you can learn something from them to add to your style, then go for it. I love learning new things and the easiest way for me is books. My current favorite is Exhibition 36. It's a wonderful book.

slommler said...

I am in agreement with you. Take some classes and enjoy the process. It can only add to your own style and techniques. Your painting is gorgeous!! I too experience blocks and I just ride them out. I do other creative things while I am waiting. Then I plunge head first into the next assemblage or painting! LOL

Julie-ann said...

Lol, uk rain, yeah so true!
Your america girl is wonderful. I can understand you being upset a little still over your last one.
She certainly shines out so much. This does the same, she shine america so well. I think it is the colours and your beautiful faces? The pattern along with the uk are the best flags. Mindyou I may be bias. They both have the same colours and are strong and happy flags. The american added stars, well this tops the lot. Lovely stars. You can make so many patterns out of the flag.
Oh, I am creeping now,lol!
Looking forward to your next american girl.
Oh, my other blog is in my profile.
Click on my 'About me' picture at the right side bar and it will take you to my listed blogs.


Pam said...

Betty - What a beautiful Americana painting! I know what you mean about not wanting to do something that you want to do! lol I think learning new teqniques can only improve us as artists!