Tag Archives: Jacob Collins

Top 10 Ways To Grow As An Artist

Work In Progress - Haida Gwaii

“The Portal :: Work In Progress – Gwaii Haanas Collection” ©2012 Janice Tanton. Oil on canvas. 72″x96″.

1. Ignore Every Single “Non-Artist” Authority.

Whether or not it’s your best gallery owner, jurors, grant authorities, your greatest collector, your mother, your spouse or your kids. Ultimately, you need to ignore what they say. Unless they are artists – ignore their opinion on the work. Good…or bad.

If they’re not creating, they’re not in the same zone you are regarding your growth as an artist. Be pure in your mission to create. You are the expert on you and you alone.

2. Eyes On The Prize :: Surround Yourself with Talent Better Than Your Own.

Take stock of your skills. With a critical eye, review where you are weak. Take workshops, study and apprentice with artists who are better than you are. Read art books, watch demo videos. Learn from them. If you enjoy an artist’s vision – tell them. Open up a dialogue and engage! If you’re a realist – check out American Painting Video Magazine which profiles some of the best contemporary realists.

3. Be Authentic and Transparent.

Put it all out there with confidence. If you don’t know something, admit it. If you do – share it. This requires a lot of bravery. Go for it. No one ever grew from being fearful. Let it go. You’ll still be standing tomorrow.

4. Create A Habit To Create.

Make stuff. Lots of it. If it’s not finished, who cares. Just make it. Surround yourself with a lot of work in progress. Have a dozen pieces on the go at once and commit to paint every day for 6-8 week periods or longer. Build it up until you are creating something every day.

5. Boot “Failure” and “Success” OFF the Island.

Ignore them. There is no place for failure or success in the life of the creative. In fact, there’s little space for quantitative measurement of either. There is only the act of creation – the process. Draw from everything you know, let it all go and make something new…without thinking. Don’t judge it – either way. There is no “good” or “bad”. There is just the thing you make.

6. Focus On The Process – Never The Outcome.

Enjoy every moment process in the creation of your work. From the second you wake and pour a coffee to head to the studio, you are creating. Consider that. Enjoy each step – don’t rush until you’re ready to go to the next step. Consider every action of “make” a beautiful, complete moment of creation in itself. Don’t think about the outcome. Just do.

7. Never Apologize.

Be pure in every statement of your work, from the action of the brushstroke to the articulation of the piece. Never “excuse”. If you are honest in your art-making in each step, you’ll learn, create and grow beyond your wildest dreams.

8. Get The Heck Out of Dodge!

Seriously – get out of town! Take a trip far away from your hometown and studio. Visit museums, art galleries and libraries. Find a culture completely different from your own and be curious. Ask questions – learn and challenge your own beliefs. Pick something so different from your “regular beat” that it scares you.

9. Share. Share. Share.

Share everything you know  – no matter what the topic – with everyone who will listen. You’ll learn, in return. Share your failures. Share surprise, success, your birthday, your family…share it all. It’s in sharing our stories, we discover our commonalities and our differences. This is the stuff “art” is made from!

10. Define Your Space. Raise Your Capital.

That means physical, emotional, social, psychological and financial space that will allow you to do 3 1-9. Set yourself up for success by having enough capital to totally commit yourself to your work in all these areas. If you’re looking for a helper, check out Alyson B. Stanfield. Lots of incredible art business advice and workshops here! Need help with your blog? Contact the amazing Kim Bruce. She just saved this blogpost for me!

______________________________________

Got any further ideas or resources? Remember #9 – Share, share share!

______________________________________

Folks Who Inspire:

Jerry Fresia – Authentic Impressionism
Alyson B. Stanfield – Artbizcoach.com
Kim Bruce – Artbiz.ca
Scott Waddell
Grand Central Academy
Jacob Collins
Bo Bartlett

 

The Artist’s Daughter – Work In Progress, Day 1

Earlier this month, I finished a sketch of my daughter Grace. My intent is to work through this painting in a method akin to the school of academic realists currently working in New York and around the world.  I’m a big fan of Jacob Collins and his contemporaries at The Grand Central Academy and I’d love to spend some time there with guys like Scott Waddell and Graydon Parrish.

In the meantime, while I contemplate the pipe dream of a summer studying in New York with these guys, I’m going to take a crack at working through this method and approach to classical painting.

With that in mind, here’s the start of the painting of “The Artist’s Daughter” that I worked on this afternoon. After finishing the sketch, I made a transfer outline onto a 14″x18″ belgian linen board that I hand finished myself. (More on how to do that in another post, methinks!) The board has been primed and sanded, and then received a coat of raw umber a couple of weeks ago just to tone the surface. I used raw umber to start this, and I’ll post more as I go along.

Here’s the initial sketch:

The Artist's Daughter: ©2012 Janice Tanton. Graphite on paper. 18x14.

The Artist's Daughter: ©2012 Janice Tanton. Graphite on paper. 18x14.

And here’s a quick one minute video I cobbled together this afternoon from some shots of the painting as I worked. I wanted to change the image slightly and tilt her head into the painting more. Nice to try something new! These are just the first stages of the painting. I thought it would be nice to share my process on this with you.

Please follow this blog for updates on the progression of works. Share your process with me. I’m interested in how you approach a painting or a work of art in any form.

Related Posts:

The Initial Sketch

The Artist’s Daughter – Work In Progress, Day 2

The Artist’s Daughter – Day 3 – Learning When to Stop Painting