Thursday, May 01, 2008
Linda Blondheim Art Studio Landscapes of the South
oil on canvas
Improving your work
If you really wish to stretch and grow in your painting you will need to do research and study. You need to take the time off from your regular painting schedule and have separate time to read and paint for learning.
There are a couple of good ways to do this. Some painters do some study first thing in the day, when they arrive at the studio or on location. The have a plan or an exercise ready to start and they use it as a way to warm up before serious painting time.
Another method is to take longer periods of time like weeks or months to study and research; an in studio artist residency or retreat if you will, taking yourself out of your usual studio routine.
I use both methods. I like to do a lot of exercises before I teach workshops and classes. In the summer, things are slow in the art world and I am home in the studio. If I have a sufficient inventory to last the summer, I will often spend the summer doing research, writing about paintings and doing various painting exercises to improve my work.
In addition, I will have a study topic for the year. This year I am studying the art of NOTAN. A couple of years ago it was painting architecture. Generally, I will study areas I am weak in,so that I improve and progress in my painting skills. I make a list of areas I need to develop and choose from that for my summer study or studio warm ups.
However you decide to study, do it consistently and take a lot of notes. You can make an excellent notebook about each topic to keep and reuse over and over again. You work will improve as much as you are willing to work. It you apply yourself with discipline you will improve. If you make little effort, you will get little in return. The best painters I know are always studying and working very hard on specific areas of painting.