I haven't done a blog post in while, but I feel like now's a good time. I've been experiencing a lot of development in my personal and professional life recently. My professional life is going really well and I'm so thankful that I get to teach art to a wonderful group of students; it's really an amazing experience to be a full time teacher and artist.
I've also been personally developing a lot in terms of my own artistic outlook and philosophy. My main artistic goal now is to create paintings and drawings that reflect my own world in the present moment. I don't see any purpose to creating paintings that reflect a world perceived through a camera. And I know my own work is strongest when it's not just a copy of a photo.
I'm gravitating away from a lot of online sources of entertainment also as a result of these feelings. I still post on my instagram, but I foresee myself moving far away from that also. It's a hard realization to come to because there seems to be a lot of benefit to having an online presence. But I think it's only a vapid phantom and nothing more. My only true success and growth has come from personal connections that I've made. A lot of modern sources in my life feel just end up feeling shallow when I try and embrace them. I know I'm the outlier here and I'm totally fine with that.
I've got some big news to share with everyone for 2018! I've recently been hired full time (tenure track) to teach studio art at Ridgewood High School. My students are great and I'm extremely honored to be teaching at RHS, where I graduated in 2009. Everyone has been so helpful as I begin teaching and I look forward to a great year!
While I teach, I'm also attending Fairleigh Dickinson's School of Education. It's really cool to be in grad school and I'm learning a ton about education and teaching strategies.
I'll always be painting and drawing and I will continue taking commissions through Instagram and my STORE. Please feel free to contact me through my CONTACT page anytime!
Putting a nice frame on a finished painting is an amazing feeling and can really make a painting look even better. Anyone looking for custom frames should check out Art To Frames, which has great custom sized frames in a wide variety of styles. Most of the frames pictured below came from Art To Frames, except the last frame in gold, which I got lucky and found at a local goodwill.
I used to make my own frames so I really enjoy the hands on aspect of framing also. It's pretty simple to put a canvas in a frame, you'll just need some basic supplies, such as hanging wire, hanging hardware and some offset clips (sometimes called mirror holders); these are important to hold the canvas into the frame. I've seen some people drive a nail through the stretcher bar into the frame, DON'T DO THAT because it weakens the stretcher bar and cause some serious problems.
Have a great week everyone!
I think every artist knows the feeling of overworking a painting or a drawing. And this is something that I've wanted to write about for a while because I think it's the difference between professional work and amateur.
If you like the freshness of the work by artists like John Singer Sargent and Sorolla, then I'm going to share some of my own insight about how to avoid overworking a painting.
1. It's better to leave a painting slightly unfinished, instead of working something to death. The painting will look worse if you get finicky with the color and overall painting. It will lose the freshness and spontaneity that you want.
2. Stay far away from your subject! What I mean by this is to not get too close to whatever you're painting. This is easier when you're painting from life, but if you're using photos on your computer or phone, then DON'T ZOOM IN. I know it's tempting to zoom in and see every detail, but trust me when I say that it will only make it harder to paint. Details in a painting are always secondary to the larger value structure and composition.
3. Don't mess with it. This is always easier said than done, but you must learn to leave the painting alone. This is especially true when you're working with watercolor because watercolor painting is very fragile. Never use two strokes, when one stroke will suffice.
So this is what I've been thinking a lot about recently, and I hope that it helps shed some light on this really important topic. Remember to keep painting, keep practicing and have fun!