Art Posts

Car Posts



2100: What I’ve learned

Such an excellent assignment it has been! Soon it draws to it’s close, proving more valuable than any course I studied in college though probably at greater cost. There were field trips, much research, labs, and acquisitions aplenty.

Since I assigned myself to create this art I have learned the answers to questions the effort was designed to clarify.

What sort of art am I suited for? What am I capable of producing? Of imagining? How long does it take to paint a landscape, a portrait, or an illustration? How is it done? How much new art can I produce and will I run out of steam? Does it really become less fun when it brings in cash?

Leaving aside sculpture and any type other than flat art for walls and illustrations, I find that I love cartoons, landscape paintings, drawing and painting particularly of youth, and drawing and paintings of machines. So cartoons, children, women, cars, and landscapes fill my inventory thus far.

I lean toward so called realism but find that the occasional abstract image says it best. So that’s in my tool kit. I can paint my own vision, but don’t do so well at painting some one else’s specific inspiration.

Children are excellent subjects. Not individuals, but as a subject children are positively heartwarming. It’s my preference to depict women and young adults the same way.

Cars, boats, aircraft, and other machines that transport people are exciting to paint and draw. They fascinate me and I love them in art.

Landscape paintings can put the joy in art like nothing else, so I like doing them.

Portraiture is something I am very particular about. If a portrait is to be right, then I have a process that must be followed. It’s not hard, but it is specific and going outside that process is frustrating and yields poor results. Portraits have to be right. Emotionally right, visually compelling, and accurate. This may limit my adult portraiture, because any client who wants themselves portrayed in a way that I can’t see in my heart, or who will not cooperate with the process that works for me will not get good results. Excellent results reliably attend portraits when the subject is cooperative, wants it to work, and just lets it be fun. Lousy results follow the uncooperative subject. “Cooperative” means showing up for photo shoots, following direction, having fun with it, and not over-posing. Phoney looks phoney.

And I do realize that a portrait is inaccurate ten minutes after it’s painted because people change. We all know that a picture of your yard can be complimentary and easily identifiable to those who know the yard. Weather, the light of the day, growing plants, dying plants, and the amount of care tendered the plants all change the view from day to day, but a single photograph can still capture the essence of the place. The difference with a portrait is in the expectations of the buyer. This is not a problem when they’re acquiring a finished work, but commissions are different, I suspect. Now, I believe that I can do superior portraits if I know what the image is supposed to say and can have the artistic license to tell that story.

You will not find me seeking portrait work from your photographs. It can be done, and sometimes it’s the best and only way to tell the story and I’ve had some excellent successes doing it. For the living and the available though, I’ll take my own photos and interview or live sketch the subject personally before I’d work from supplied photographs.

This assignment has also showed me how to get and use inspiration – artists inspiration – to create new compelling images. That’s an art unto itself, I have to say.

For this batch of flat art I have stuck to graphite drawings, acrylic paintings and oil paintings. Also, I’ve used photoshop and a digital equipment to build images from scratch on the computer and for some types of art it works exceptionally well. However, there is no substitute for paper, pencil, canvas, and paint. I certainly prefer digital production to create cartoons and some illustrations.

So now, I know what I can do and what I ought not try. I know about how long it takes and what is needed to create a suitable image for the desired concept. I also know how to originate a completely new idea and make it happen.

Before this assignment, I had very little equipment or supplies to make serious high quality pieces. Now, I’m ready to go  because I know my limits and skills far better than before I started.

How long before I run out of steam? Easy answer: I will run out of steam like a redwood stops growing. That doesn’t happen till it dies. It just keeps getting bigger.

Does it really become less fun when it brings in cash? I don’t know. It never has brought in cash. But this I have learned, when the entire motivation is cash, it’s not fun. When the love of making each piece drives the work, I have to imagine that making money from the effort will only make it better because not only did I get to make something beautiful, but someone else loved it enough to affirm it’s value.

Unexpected side benefit: I’ve become closer to people who have been part of this. That part is uniquely wonderful : )

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

Fenimore Central



Washington, USA


Phone No.

Upon Inquiry. Otherwise - spammers




24 / 6


Contact me

Form submitted successfully, thank you.Error submitting form, please try again.