Find Your Tribe
Your local community art organization is a great resource. Most likely they host classes, opportunities to showcase work and space to meet other artists. Artist work can be very isolating and it's important to get out and talk about your work with other artists as well as be open to what others are doing. The Fremont Art Association is that place for me. I started by participating in the annual art show and then over time assumed different roles that I found interesting and a
Brushes-What NOT to get
I have yet to discover a good, affordable brush. I can, however, tell you what brand NOT to buy. Don't buy Blick's acrylic brushes because they are terrible. As soon as you use them they completely lose shape and the hairs get all frayed and look as if they've been used for years. The quality is about the same as a set of student brushes I bought for a children's party. But the Blick brand was much more expensive. In fact one of my favorite brushes to use is a cheap flat brus
Tiny travel paint kit
I stumbled on Heidi Annalise's tiny art out of old Altoids tin boxes and became completely enamored. I was intrigued with Annalise's method because she uses oil which is similar to acrylic, the medium I use. She shows how to make one of these tins in this article, where she also gives credit to the amazing artist Glenn Dean, where she got the idea from. Using an Altoid tin for a travel paint kit is a pretty common concept for watercolorists. You can find tons of information o
Jane Davies-Great Free Tutorials
When I have some free time, I like to watch art technique videos on YouTube and one of my favorites is Jane Davies. She offers paid online workshops as well but, her long list of free YouTube videos are extremely helpful and cover a wide range of topics. She focuses on everything from mixing colors to collage techniques to mono printing. Her medium is mostly acrylics and her style is very free and abstract. I like how her videos are simple and easy to follow. Even if your sty
Costco-An art resource?
If you have a membership to Costco, it's a great resource for artist who want to sell cards of their paintings. I used it to make a batch of cards that I can sell during the holidays as well as at the Fremont Art Association. It's very simple and the quality of the prints are pretty good. Go to Costco Photo Center and create an account. I know, I know, another account! But, it's worth it because you can then save your projects. You can use their service to create a variety of
"Photos"-a simple editing tool
If you use photos as a reference to paint, it is very helpful to do a little editing with the source before you start painting. You don't need Photoshop to do this, you can use the Photos app on a Mac to do some simple changes that will make a big difference. Start with an image that you are interested in painting and then go to the Edit button on the top right corner. In the editing window, I almost always do three things right away, crop, enhance and filter/adjust. Cropping
A great place for an art date
If you've read the book The Artist's Way, then you know the idea of taking yourself on an art date. One of my favorite places in the Bay Area for an art date is the San Jose Art Museum. I love this museum because it's small. The main exhibits are on two floors and there are usually only three or four exhibitions going on at once. Because it's small you can see the entire museum in a couple hours and then treat yourself to a nice meal in the museum or at a nearby local restaur
A great reference book for painters
When I first started painting, mixing colors was one the most frustrating challenges. I didn't know what I was doing so, I was wasting a lot of paint. I understood the basics of the color wheel but, I couldn't get the more elegant and sophisticated colors that I wanted. Especially when working on a landscape, a particular shade of green or brown could really change the intent of the painting. I started looking for books and classes and over time, every little bit of advice he
Go Ahead, Scratch the Itch.
I'm taking a break from the portraits because I have an itch to scratch. I've really been wanting to rework some of my old abstracts so, I put the portraits away for now. I started with this original 30" x 35" painting that I did about a year ago. I liked the simplicity of it at the time but, I was ready to change it completely. So, I went in on a Saturday to just play and this is what resulted. It was interesting but, something about the left side really bothered me. I didn'
On Monday I'll be restarting an amazing course with Mati McDonough called Daring Adventures in Creative Biz. It's more like having a community of coaches than a "class" and has been very influential in helping me strategize creatively and economically as an artist. I'm a long way off from becoming a full time artist but, for me that's not really the goal. Anyone who knows me well, knows that all my goals begin with becoming financially independent. Once you have your ducks in