May
12
2010

Painting Inspiration by Wilson Bickford

 


I'm very often asked, "How do you get the inspiration or ideas for all of your paintings?"

The truth is that I'm not really sure. Inspiration is one of those things that you don't always see coming and can be triggered by just about anything.
Every artist has subjects which are of particular interest and appeal.
For Monet, it was his water lilies. Van Gogh had a penchant for hay fields.
That's not to say that these subjects were all they painted, but they appear to have held a certain fascination for them, as they rendered them so frequently.

For me, I'd have to say that my favorite subjects are birds and old barns.
I don't know why exactly, but I never tire of those themes.

Now having said that, I also love doing landscapes, still life and florals.
I have found that as the years went by, the scope of my artistic focus has broadened. There are very few things that I don't enjoy painting. Each and every subject has its own challenges, which is an invitation to test yourself and your skills. As an artist, the only way to improve is to keep going a little farther each time you pick up a brush. I've heard the phrase, "You have to go out on the limb, because that's where the fruit is." That is the truest statement I've ever heard, whether in regards to art or just life in general.
As for true inspiration, it's all around us. Keep your eyes open and you'll know when something grabs you. Inspiration simply means that something has struck a chord within you and you feel "connected" to it to the point that you want to capture it on paper or canvas. (Or perhaps with clay, for you sculptors.)

It can be something as dramatic as a spectacular sunset, or as simple as the soft shadows on flower petals. As I've already said, you won't always see it coming, but you'll feel it when it does arrive.
It can knock on your door at any time and that is what makes art such an unpredictable pleasure.

www.wilsonbickford.com
May
12
2010

Art is a Universal Language by Deb Bartos

In addition to being an artist (a painter of oils and watercolors) I am a nursing instructor.
I love teaching. I love learning. I love caring and teaching others new skills in caring.

I also believe that every profession (and every life) has 2 sides. There is an art and a science to everything. The science is doing things right (left-brain.) The art is doing things well (right brain.) Every painting, every snowflake, every person, is a unique individual. Every situation is unique, and deserves our unbiased attention in the moment. Just because you know someone with a similar disease or problem doesn't mean you can turn off your right brain and treat them the same as the situation you already know. Just because you have painted a landscape before doesn't mean you can put your brain on automatic pilot. This is not just too easy; it's not honest to yourself or anyone else.

I had a wonderful mentor years ago in a nursing preceptor program at a community hospital. He was an internal medicine physician who had practiced for many years. In spite of all of the new diagnostic tests, computer-age information, etc., his urgent message was "90% of the information you need, you will get from listening to the patient and their history." Listen and learn. In this age of computerized diagnostic testing and infinite knowledge on the internet, it is too easy to think we, the (medical) professionals, know everything. How awful that would be if it were true. Labels do not convey understanding or knowledge; they are just categories and boxes. Sometimes useful, sometimes they are not.

The world needs creative solutions now as always. Artists learn to be creative, it is a skill that can be developed like any other. Creative thinking and critical decision-making skills are important in any profession. Self-discipline and self-expression are important skills for anyone who wants to accomplish anything good or new in life. Practicing an art form gives you this experience.

Robert Henri in "The Art Spirit" says, "Art when really understood is the province of every human being. It is simply a question of doing things, anything well." His book is timeless and his words from 1923 are inspiring. I recommend it to anyone who wants to live an artful life.

I tell my students that their education is self-directed. They need to ask the right questions at the time they need the answers. It is an on-going, life-long process. As Robert de Niro, as a patient (and a mentor) says to Robin Williams (who is playing Dr. Saks in the movie "Awakenings") says, "Learn, learn, learn, learn. Learn!"

My response to comments that I think "outside the box" has always been "what box?"
There is life outside the box when you learn to color outside the lines. Like Nike says, "Just do it!" and then you will be one of us. You will be an artist in the best sense. You will be living your own best life. Whatever you do!

www.yessy.com/debbiebartos


May
12
2010

Staff Review of the Monterey Easel

Last Weekend we had a Super Sale on Easles and Furniture offering up to 84% OFF List Prices which included alot of our exiting easels like The Paris French Easel, Monet Fench Easel and much more. In addition to the large line of easels and furniture we already carry, we added some new arrivals and put them on sale as well. Some of the new items on sale were the Saint Remy Studio Easel, Eagel Rock Studio Easel, The Art Quest Desk and a few more.
Some New Arrivals:
Art Quest Desk St Remy Easel
Art Quest Desk: The very first desk made for video and web based art instruction. This beautifully finished all wood construction unique desk can do it all. Check it out!

One thing we decided to do and will be showcasing more of is a "Staff Review". Not only do we carry the largest selection of discount art supplies, but we are artists too and we use the same products you do. We have many artists employed here at Jerry's and we focus on bringing you the best products to use at that best prices.
The "Staff Review" was provided by Caroline King on the Monterey Multi-Angle Studio Easel.
Like the many here at Jerry's Artarama, Caroline is one of our designers here who works hard on many things web related (you get to see all the fun stuff created by the web team) and you guessed it.. she is an artist too. The Monterey Easel was on sale for that weekend and she provided our unsuspecting shoppers with a nice surprise and her experience with using it... She like many spent some time researching and trying out different easels and found this to be to her liking.

Staff Product Review - Monterey Multi-Angle Studio Easel

"I absolutely love the Monterey Easel! Before I bought my easel, it took too much time to set up a proper painting area in my studio. With the Monterey, I can have instant access to my work, leaving more time to paint and less time spent setting up.The main reason I bought the Monterey is because it easily adjusts to many different angles, even for someone short like myself.
I can use it horizontally to prime or varnish canvas, vertically for drip techniques, or any angle in between. This easel is very sturdy and I know it will last a lifetime."See Monterey Easel Now
Caroline King, Artist & Graphic Designer

If you do not already own the Monterey Easel go ahead and give it a try and let us know your comments and experiences with it, as well as any other product we carry. We are always open to suggesstions, comments or concerns and we listen to our customers.

We anticipate adding in more staff reviews with our sales and on the prodcuts we carry. We will have to gather them all up, once we do that be on the look out on our website.

Have A Great Day!
All your friends at Jerry's Artarama

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