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July 2013

Through the door, gladly

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It's been awhile since I've blogged, so I think it is time to reflect on how things are going.  When I first shifted from a career in education to a career as an artist I did not calculate what it would mean to me.  Art was always my "go to" place to let down and relax.  I worked for decades in the classroom or as an administrator of a school.  My students ranged from toddlers to Master's students.  It was a really fulfilling career with lots of people to people contact.  Learning to work in isolation was a real life adjustment.  Generating my own energy and purpose and staying focused on the task was another one.  But I learned how to do it and I loved painting and making art.  Truth be told, it wasn't enough. Training to become a Working Artist for Golden Artist Colors, Inc was the turning point.  It was scary at first to step in as a "professional" because I'm a self-trained artist.  But I dove in and learned as much as I could and shared whatever I learned with whomever I could get to listen!  What an adventure.  When I look back over the last 8 years I don't recognize myself in my early work.  What I do recognize is my sense of color and form.  That has remained a constant. The reason I love teaching so much is that the students ask me the questions that make me want to know more, they are the ones who challenge what I know and push me to become more knowledgeable and expressive.  I strive to be a good role model.  I love making mistakes because I learn so much more that way.  I have gone through this door of opportunity so gladly.  I hope that you are willing to make the myriad of mistakes that must be made so that you learn your lessons well.  Who is willing to share what those have been?
Artfully yours, Chris

Cooking up something special...

 

One of the very best things about being an artist today is the opportunity to meet (both in person and through cyberspace) and collaborate with other amazing artists from all over the globe.  I am a big fan of collaborative projects.  Working with other artists to fulfill a dream project is an investment in all of our spirits.  Julie and I have been working collaboratively with each other for years and interact with dozens of other artists every day in our online classes.  Blog hops are another amazing way to connect.  I've been asked to participate as a contributor to a year long art adventure that I think is going to be so much fun.  Here are all the details and I hope you will consider joining us.  It's a bit like an art buffet with all of us throwing in our "favorite" recipe for both food and art.  Sounds delicious, doesn't it?

 

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                                                    Click here to join us on this adventure!!


Artfully yours, Chris

Investing in the process...

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Time and again people say to me, "I want to paint like you paint."  It is a curious statement for me to respond to.  As an artist I am flattered, yet as a teacher who stresses process I am aghast at the the thought that a student wants to copy me.  I am self-taught (outside of a single design class in 1967 and the training I received from Patti Brady of Golden Artist Colors, Inc. as part of my Working Artist prep) and I strongly believe that as an artist the need to discover and explore is our strongest tool.  PROCESS the process!  I am a very open-ended teacher as a consequence of my own learning style.  I rarely take the entire class down a single rabbit hole!  I may occasionally demonstrate how to get paint to behave in a particular way, or how to brayer and print an image, but the application of techniques belongs in the hands of the individuals engaged in making art.  Because I work in layers I have the freedom to correct and adjust as I move through the layers.  What doesn't work does not scare me because I know that I can always add another layer.    I want to understand your fears and hesitations when it comes to art.  Can you share???  Who knows there may be another book or DVD that comes out of this dialogue.
Artfully yours, Chris

Half-time show...

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The first half of 2013 has zipped past me with lightening speed.  Mind you, lots of great and wonderful things happened during the past six months, but still it's in the past and now I get to see what the next half-year holds.  I just returned from Spokane, Washington where I had a 2-day Mixed Media class that was totally fun.  The set up at Spokane Art Supply is just fab and what a great resource for everything you could possibly want art wise.  We just had a great time all around.  Next big gear up is for Art Unraveled in Phoenix.  I'm teaching a few of my favorite classes and could use a few more students, so if you are on the fence about what to take, check out my offerings .  I'm trying to spend some personal time in the studio moving into new arenas.  This year was a lot of florals and color explorations and this year I'm feeling more abstract.  We'll see what emerges.  Right now I'm having fun playing with shape and color and feeling about adventuresome.  Golden Artist Colors has just come out with a revamped product that is called "Hi Flow" and it is like ink.  I've pulled out all my pens and refillable markers and am exploring line and mark-making with these colors.  I'm loving the new "Sepia" and the Gold and Silver Inks are pretty awesome too.  More on these later as I get more savvy myself.  Acrylic Solutions is still holding its own in the Acrylic Painting category and has stayed at or very near number one since it arrived on the scene. I hope you got your copy.  

I hope your summer has some adventures in store for you.  Mine are going to include a bit more travel, but the real adventure comes later in the year as we plan our trip to Italy!  Take care and let me hear from you about your artful adventures these days!

Artfully yours, Chris