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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Things Every Artist Needs to Know

Painting is a process. We perfect our skill as we practice our craft: mixing colors, choosing the right brush, understanding the principles of drawing and composition, etc.

Here are some important things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Never put your coffee cup beside your turpenoid jar.
  • Don’t correct a small flaw in a painting before going out for the evening. A flaw turns into a major change, into an overhaul.

  • Don’t participate in an art show on a windy day. A damp oil painting attracts a lot of dust and gravel when the wind blows. Choose your infrastructure wisely: an easel turns into a toothpick under stress; even an expensive frame cracks and splinters when it hits the pavement.


  • If you’re into impressionism and paint outdoors (plein air), where you sit matters! If in a field or meadow, avoid the cowpies, the fire ants, the clusters of burdock. Trees make wonderful shade, but they also house a menagerie of problems. (use your imagination!)

There’s always a price to be paid for success. When you spend more time on your craft:
  • The house gets cleaned less
  • Meals are less appetizing and more frugal
  • You go out to dinner more and entertain less
  • Your closets are filled with painting supplies
  • Finished paintings are stacked in boxes under your bed
  • You have more painting clothes than regular clothes
  • Your friends tend to be artists
  • Your husband or significant other is becoming impatient
  • You wish you had more time, but you don’t

And so it goes……..