Friday, July 14, 2017

Another Successful Pen & Ink Workshop!

On the evening of Thursday July 13th, I taught another fun pen & ink with watercolor workshop at Finer Frames in Eagle, Idaho!   

     Ten ladies showed up to have some fun and learn some things about watercolor.  

Plus, painting those colorful roosters was just a blast. 

Nice job ladies!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Book Review of “Conscious Creative Retirement” by Suzanne Shaffer...

I recently reviewed a book on creativity, “Conscious Creative Retirement” by Suzanne Shaffer. Suzanne the author sent me a copy and asked me to give my thoughts on her book. I am delighted to share some of my discoveries.

As many of you know in my on-going watercolor classes we have been focusing on creativity this year and how to recognize, encourage and grow as artists. I found this book to be inspiring promoting some new ways to move on in our quest.

Each of you who purchase and read the book will find different nuggets of gold for your creative adventure. I will share what I found resonates with me.

This book is primarily about the starting of creativity in retirement. A number of artists can identify that the creating art has been a lifelong desire and now is the time to put action to the process.   

The book talks of discovering reasons to create and how to start the process of deciding to go forward. There are exercises in each chapter that help you determine how to allow yourself the energy and time to create. Included is talk of “Tech Free Time Out.” Again in class we often talk of setting personal studio hours to have a set time and place to do art.  

I especially like the chapter on celebration, the excitement and experience of creating something you feel good about. 
Quotes from the book: “Are you enjoying watching the growth develop?” and “Are you wondering what the next project will be?” These are great questions to keep you motivated.

I would recommend the book for its ideas and the exercises at the end of each chapter. You will find great motivation to get you into your studio!

Thank you Suzanne, for sharing your insights and your enthusiasm.

You can purchase the book from the author or on Amazon. 

Submitting to Shows- Artists Have 3 Possible Awards!

Last newsletter I wrote “Who do you paint for?” and one of the reasons was to paint for shows. This time I want to focus on thoughts about the awards at shows.

I just returned from judging the SWWS show in Vancouver, Washington and it reminded me what judges and jurors go through to make the choices for the awards. A serious endeavor that will award some artists and have others feel “left” out or worse “rejected”. 

I personally think a little different about the process. When I receive an award I am thrilled and when I don’t, I still feel a bit rejected. The judge took time to evaluate my work but it may not have caught their “award giving eye” this time. But I have done well to enter and will learn from it.

I invite you to entertain a new way of looking at entering shows. 

Award number one- Submitting our artwork
It takes a life time of observation, study, research, experiment to achieve our skill. It also takes courage to put our work into the public eye especially for judging. I say as     Artists we give ourselves an “award” for having entered the show or competition.

Award number two- Getting into a Juried show
I know the privilege of getting into shows as there are so many talented artists to choose from and as a judge the decisions are difficult. There are just not enough spots for all the fine art in a show, choices have to be made. If you get in that is your second award.   

Award number three- Artists who get recognition from the judge    
When a judge places an award on our painting it is our third award. This is the most difficult award to receive. Often it takes another judge seeing the same painting. My top award was rejected from two previous shows. Continue to put your best work out there.

So in my world every artist entry wins when they compete whether they get in the show or not...they put their art out there to be judged. As artists it helps us refine our work which is fine education to aspire to our next level of expertise.    

Entering shows is another way artist proves they are serious about their commitment to fine artwork and their personal journey. It is difficult to share our personal works of art with the public. We risk disappointment. 

Creating fine art is a lifelong process, entering competitions is one way to expand our experience. We as artists may reassess our art or find we are on the right path, in the end; we are the final judge of our work.

Allow what is unique to find its way into your work to tell who you are, your voice, your signature, your personal message, your narrative. Keep working to strive to the next level, allowing yourself to make mistakes on your way to discovery. Take the viewer on a journey with you. 
Paint then paint more and you will catch the judges’ eye! 

© Linda Aman – May 2017