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Thread: The Year of Painting Badly

  1. #1
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    The Year of Painting Badly

    Artist Brad Teare gives a frank account of how he learned to paint


    "I paint because I love to cut mats" (Arthur Alexander)

  2. #2
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    Interesting. He sounds harsh on himself about having to power through the drudgery to get the result.

    I maintain that if one wants to paint, find the JOY in painting. . . first and foremost. Everything else expands out from that. All the analysis and time spent and expense are no sweat if you're digging it. If you're having fun you will put the time in, and the more you do it the more you'll see there is to learn and you'll want to own as much as you can assimilate within your tastes - it becomes like a game that brings that essence forward. You'll apply yourself in the manner that is consistent with your nature.

    There was a time when I was not that good. Yet because it rang my bell I never once though of giving it up. And after a while I got good. I've seen it time and again in others as well.
    Last edited by D Akey; 03-14-2013 at 06:02 AM.
    "Not a bit is wasted and the best is yet to come. . ." -- remembered from a dream

  3. #3
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    I find a lot of joy in it, I'm terrible but learning so I agree.

    The last time I kept an open mind,
    my brain fell out and the dog grabbed it.
    Now it's full of dirt, toothmarks, and dog slobber.
    No more open minds or dogs for me.www.gms9810.com/

  4. #4
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    As an older person I find great pleasure in Artrage and from the forum I have picked up so much.
    Now if only I could make more hours in a day
    Geoff

  5. #5
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    I'm retired and there still isn't enough time. I'm busier now than when I worked. Something is wrong with this picture.

    The last time I kept an open mind,
    my brain fell out and the dog grabbed it.
    Now it's full of dirt, toothmarks, and dog slobber.
    No more open minds or dogs for me.www.gms9810.com/

  6. #6
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    This really highlights what I have thought for a long time. So much of art is about skill and not talent. It is hard for someone to know if they have talent or not if they don't possess the skills of the medium they are trying to work with. I think this holds true even more so with digital art. You have to learn to be comfortable with working with a computer before you even begin to tackle software. There are so many software packages around and each is different. Then there is the whole raster and vector issue and the different file types for each of them.

    One of the things that is so nice about ArtRage is that you can paint right away, you don't have to figure much out first. I know there is a lot of depth to ArtRage, but you don't have to know how to use a lot of it to make really nice paintings. I taught a couple of great nieces and a nephew how to us it in a couple of minutes and they were off and running with it and they weren't very old.

    I have spent decades teaching myself how to work with vector graphics, it took a long time until I was comfortable enough to be really inventive and creative with them. I already had a background of art before I ever bought my first computer so I wasn't battling the basic concepts of art as well as the computer software much like this man, he already had a background in art, just not painting.

    I would think that this might be an encouragement to anyone who is battling both software and basic art. Work on the skills, you may have bunches of hidden talent just waiting to emerge.
    Aunt Betsy

    My Zazzle store:
    Aunt Betsy's Celebration Art

  7. #7
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    Mar 2012
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    He also has a great blog with lots of information.

    I think you must just continually hone your skills, experiment, and throw out everything you think is substandard. With AR you can often forget that clever technique you used because there are so many options. With natural media, it is not so confusing.

  8. #8
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    "This really highlights what I have thought for a long time. So much of art is about skill and not talent. It is hard for someone to know if they have talent or not if they don't possess the skills of the medium they are trying to work with. I think this holds true even more so with digital art."
    That statement taught me more than all of the articles I've read and all of the videos I've watched. I have the skill and am very good with computers and software. I pick it up like a fish to water, I think what I need the most are confidence in my abilities and the basic skills, such as the shading practice that Aunt Betsy sent me too. I've always been able to pick up any skill I wanted to do, which my wife reminds me of every time I find faults in what I do. A contributing factor is that I was pretty abused as a child and my step dad is a perfectionist. Whatever I did wasn't good enough for him, now I can't do anything that I don't see mistakes in. I have to learn to give myself a break, which I've been working on for ages.

    The last time I kept an open mind,
    my brain fell out and the dog grabbed it.
    Now it's full of dirt, toothmarks, and dog slobber.
    No more open minds or dogs for me.www.gms9810.com/

  9. #9
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    Wisconsin, USA
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    702
    Quote Originally Posted by Gms9810 View Post
    "This really highlights what I have thought for a long time. So much of art is about skill and not talent. It is hard for someone to know if they have talent or not if they don't possess the skills of the medium they are trying to work with. I think this holds true even more so with digital art."
    That statement taught me more than all of the articles I've read and all of the videos I've watched. I have the skill and am very good with computers and software. I pick it up like a fish to water, I think what I need the most are confidence in my abilities and the basic skills, such as the shading practice that Aunt Betsy sent me too. I've always been able to pick up any skill I wanted to do, which my wife reminds me of every time I find faults in what I do. A contributing factor is that I was pretty abused as a child and my step dad is a perfectionist. Whatever I did wasn't good enough for him, now I can't do anything that I don't see mistakes in. I have to learn to give myself a break, which I've been working on for ages.
    I am pleased that this statement was helpful to you. It falls very much inline with what Thomas Edison said about Genius, “Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration.”

    Talent like genius requires a well fertilized field to bloom, the fertilizer is the hard work of learning and practicing the rules of art and learning the tools and medium.
    Last edited by Aunt_Betsy; 04-01-2013 at 11:59 PM.
    Aunt Betsy

    My Zazzle store:
    Aunt Betsy's Celebration Art

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    601
    Judgement of your own artistic or literary skill is a very complicated thing.... I've slowly come to the opinion that the only real judgement that should matter is how you feel about a painting or a poem as you paint or write it-- to think of it almost as performance art, for yourself. That joy comes, for me, from being attentive and really engaged with the world as I build this object I'm working on. So D Akey's point about joy has a lot of validity, from my perspective, because whether it's "good art" is for others to determine as viewers- my purpose is to express what I need to express before I pop like an overripe grape.

    What complicates things is how an artist or writer becomes a viewer or reader of their own work, after the fact. It seems to me that it's basically impossible to not begin to judge your own work from the outside, once you've abandoned attempting to improve it more and decide to call it "finished". And I don't want invalidate that experience of viewing. Why should viewing a painting or reading a poem be any less real or true or interesting than making a painting or poem? Having said that, it's worth noting that it's very different, and not the same thing at all. That's the hard thing to do, for I often feel split in two.... One half of me relates to the art as I paint or write, the other half views it once I'm done, and the two perspectives often don't agree. That's where I think judgment comes in.

    The truth is we don't know really know enough about Brad Teare from just this video to really get a sense of how he's approaching painting, or how he's judging himself (or has judged himself in the past). For all we know, he experiences a lot of joy in the process of painting, and always has. He does comment directly on the fact that painting is really an emotional experience, that you "enter a different place" while painting, and that he's only being so analytical and logical to be more helpful, and better communicate the tools one needs during that emotional process to others. That sounds like a person who's gotten a lot of joy out of painting, perhaps even while he was experiencing his "year of bad painting."

    I think the experience of being dissatisfied with your work, and the lack of control you have over it, is pretty normal when you're learning a new thing. You have a vision that you want to communicate to others (and to yourself, as a viewer of your own work), and your skills are not up to the task. The vision in your mind hasn't become "real".

    That's why I think, somehow, it's possible to both experience true joy in painting, and yet be dissatisfied with you work as well.
    Check out and submit to the thread on Watercolor WIPs in Artrage-- lots of good tips and conversation
    My YouTube video tutorial series- How to Paint with Watercolors in Artrage
    Try out the free
    Artrage Pen-Only Toolbar to improve your workflow and reduce clutter
    List of other good tutorials on using watercolors in Artrage
    List of good sticker sprays for watercolor effects in Artrage

    My blog- art, poetry and picture books- http://www.seamlessexpression.blogspot.com/

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