Tag Archives: Scott Waddell

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!

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

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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 2

I started this painting earlier in the week, and have continued to work through the underpainting according to some of the methods taught by Jacob Collins and his wonderful group of teachers and students at The Grand Central Academy. You can see the work done on Day One as well as the initial sketch.

The Artist's Daughter - Work in Progress, Day 2 by Janice Tanton
The Artist’s Daughter – Work in Progress, Day 2 by Janice Tanton 14″x18″ February 10, 2012.

Light and the Changing Seasons

I find it challenging later in the day to work in my studio when the sun streams in from a large south facing window. At some point in the day, I always get visually tired. This usually happens around 2:00 in the afternoon for me. I start early in my studio, around 5 am and sometimes before the sun rises.

In the winter, the light changes dramatically in a very short period of time and from November to the end of January, it’s tough to fit in some quality lighting time in the studio.

The summer…of course…has a huge timeframe for me to work in excellent natural light. You can see how much the light changes in the second leg of this video.

I’m interested in artistic process and would love you to share your thoughts on your own process here.

Palette

I’m working with a different palette than I would normally use to execute a portrait, as well as the different technique so this is very much a learning process for me.

I use M.Graham Walnut Oils. Love their pigment concentration and I’m not allergic to them, which is a huge bonus. I don’t need lots of crazy turpentines in the studio, and the workability of the paint is to die for.

The palette is one suggested by Scott Waddell in his video and as this is sort of my own self-directed learning workshop, I thought I’d go with what Scott uses in his demos. The only thing that I have added is a cobalt blue.

Here’s the palette:

  • Titanium White
  • Ivory Black
  • Cadmium Yellow
  • Yellow Ochre
  • Burnt Sienna
  • Raw Umber
  • Cadmium Red
  • Alizarin Crimson
  • Cadmium Orange
  • Cobalt Blue

I’m finding the palette a bit of a challenge, as I have never used Ivory Black or Burnt Sienna before, and have opted for a time-consuming glazing and over-glazing technique in the past vs. a more direct use of mixed paint in this technique. I’m beginning to see how this could speed my process a bit and how I might use the glazing to really augment the depth and feel of the work once I’m in the later stages. This will take a few days to dry now, so look for another progression post perhaps next week! Here’s the video for Day One and Day Two that has brought me to this point:

 The Artist’s Daughter – Day Two, Work in Progress by Janice Tanton


Related Posts:

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