Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Don't Fear the Pack [feedly]

Don't Fear the Pack
// Artist Daily

Painting in a group means gaining insights from others and solidifying your own point of view.
Painting in a group means gaining insights from others
and solidifying your own point of view.
As much as the stereotype of the solitary painter working alone and shutting him- or herself off from the world makes artists seem mysterious and cool, I've found that artists tend to be fairly social creatures, and their cool factor isn't lessened by their sense of community. Sometimes this is situational—you are in an art class or drawing workshop, and you swap stories and commiserate and encourage your fellow students because you are working through the same art lessons and assignments.

But I think it is mostly about enjoying each other's company. Working creatively takes a lot of personal perseverance and being able to come together as a group with friends and fellow artists makes the struggles seem less insurmountable and the successes a lot more worthwhile. And there is always the opportunity to learn from each other—that's what I enjoy the most. Open and honest dialogue on what we are all passionate about, and art instruction that is organic to the task at hand. I first learned about putting a palette in the freezer to keep it from drying out when I was with a bunch of artists who were just working together.

Sometimes you compare and contrast working methods and come away with a better understanding of how the process can work for you and how you can achieve your own vision knowing what others have tried. I learned way more over a weekend session with a bunch of encaustic and mixed media artists than from just my own experimentations with the medium's art techniques.

You can also get exposed to new ways of working and share discoveries you have made about your medium of choice or working method. One of the most challenging parts of the art process is color. We respond to color, we want to recreate the colors we see in front of us or in our heads, but how to paint and mix colors in order to do it? I think one of the best ways is in a group painting session. When you are all looking at something similar and everyone is experimenting to get there, moments of discovery and insight naturally come about. It's the same with learning the techniques associated with an unfamiliar media, like acrylic painting is for me. That's why I think of Acrylic Painting with Passion, as the culmination of a really fulfilling group painting session. All of the details on paint texture and surface treatment and the details on color pairings and mixing is more than I could ever discover alone.

Sometimes painting in a "pack" reinvigorates you because you link up with like-minded artists who share many of the same goals. But I think the best takeaway is always leaving the group steadier and more confident in your own work and your own choices. Whether you decide that means meeting up with artists or continuing on your own independent path and making the most of resources like Acrylic Painting with Passion, I wish you much success however you choose to find it.

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