my journey through art

  • An artist learns to be creative by taking chances; the greatest breakthroughs come from working through the failures.
  • Study the work of all of the great artists not just the ones you currently like. Try to expandyour thinking and get inside their heads and look for new ways to work and create. To only look at the ones you like keeps you in a very narrow world.
  • You can’t be as good as some of the master painters unless you are willing to put in as much time as they have. Great paintings come from doing not hoping.
  • The secret of watercolor is understanding the relationship between the amount of water on the brush and the amount of water on the paper. You can always put paint on paper as long as you control the water in the brush.
  • There is no right way to paint — both transparency and opacity are great!  It is up to the artist to decide what needs to be done.
  • Spend more time on designing the painting. The time to make the major decisions is before the painting starts. Work out the big shapes, movement, and value organization in advance. No amount of detail and/or  cute tricks can make a bad painting good. Resolve the big relationships and the details will take care of themselves.
  • Don’t blame lack of talent — blame lack of effort. Genius is over-rated, work ethic is the key.
  • You should be able to draw the images in your painting — you are not fooling anyone by projecting a detailed image onto your paper that you can’t draw. If you want to be a hyper realist, learn to draw.
  • Paint the subject matter that you love and are inspired by and then keep painting it until you can paint it and design it with creative memory.
  • You learn color by using it. Experiment with color and explore new color contrast and find the ones that excite you. If you only copy what you see than your color choices will not be personal and emotional.
  • If you find yourself consistently happy with what your paintings, you are either in a rut, going blind or lying to yourself.
  • Practice the skills of brushwork and application of paint; be ready for the moment in time when you feel compelled to paint and really need exceptional creative skills.




August 13, 2011 - 10:30 pm

Peggy Hovermale - I saw Colleen Sabo today at the North Beach art event and she told me you have a blog and web site. I have used everything I learned in your class last year but unfortunately driving to Alexandria is a stretch for me. I enjoy your blogs and informational sites. Hopefully I will get back to Alexandria one day for another several days of your classes. Have a great summer. Peggy Hovermale

July 9, 2013 - 6:15 pm

Emma Lou Martin - Diane Faye recommended I look at your blog…I probably was her first teacher and am a good friend. Thank you for your encouragement and sharing your talent! I love your watercolors. I hope to meet you sometime…Ever get to Richmond? This is a sample of my current collage series, though I work in many other media including watercolor.

August 12, 2013 - 11:57 pm

Jean Smith Vivrette - Thank you for your words above. As a frustrated emerging artist I need to read your words over and over again.

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