Thursday, April 28, 2011

Grid Painting vs. Freehand Mark-making by Eleanor Gilpatrick

Seeing Red by Eleanor Gilpatrick
I was just invited to join Art School Grad and accepted. I am an old hand, by now, having come back to painting around 1999! Here are some thoughts about starting a painting or drawing.

There are two ways of doing
a painting or drawing. One, the opposite of what I do, is to put a mark on the page or canvas, and then respond to that, and then to that, and so on. This is very free, and great for abstract work if one has a good sense of composition. I did that a few times and it IS very free. (See for example, Seeing Red.)

Step 1
The other way is to design the final image; yes, planning. I usually start with a photograph I take myself. See for example, Step 1.  As it stands, the picture is pretty, but ho hum.  

Step 2

My next step is to crop to the dimensions of the final image I want on the canvas or page. Step 2 was the image I wanted to paint, a vertical image that is a bit unusual in its proportions, and closes in on the subject. Then I decided that, using those proportions, the canvas would be 24" high by 12" wide.

As a student, I was taught to "grid" my canvas and the image I was working from. In those days we gridded almost to every inch, and that turned us into copiers. But, in fact, I find modified gridding very helpful.

Spring Yellow on Blue by Eleanor Gilpatrick

I work with my own photos and I grid my canvas. I was taught to grid the image with pencil or ink, and grid the canvas in the same way or with charcoal. I usually divide each dimension once in half, and each in half again. That is usually enough. But for these proportions I divided again for the vertical dimension. See Step 2 again which also shows the grid.

My secret is that I use thread to grid the canvas. That way I don't have to deal with pencil or charcoal messing up the color on the canvas. I also can ungrid and put the grid lines back if I need to. Gridding is a much more controlled way of working, good for a realist painter. The freedom for me is in the brushwork.

We as artists are naturally one way or the other, and teachers are making mistakes when they insist the artist go against that. Here is the final image.  If the painting is no better than the photo, stop painting and become a photographer.  What do you think?

Monday, April 25, 2011

My favorite work now!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

ASG Treasury Collections (part I)

HELP for the time challenged artist - by Brienna Pruce

Currently I am polling artists on our Facebook page about what is the most challenging aspect of being an artist. It seems that "running out of time in the day" is the most popular concern (as it has received the most votes so far). Time management is a major problem for all artists! Hah, I know because I am one and we most often times live in our own custom-made time zones. So, I'd like to help fix this with a few simple tips.

First, keep a calendar and actually write down your daily schedule so you don't float off into daydream land. Figure out how much time it takes you to do everything from eating breakfast to picking up the kids from school. You need to write in bold caps: ART TIME and work in time like it is your 9-5 job BECAUSE IT IS!
Second, don't kill yourself just to finish a project.  Instead, write down your ideas as they come to you, take little breaks to reflect on what you've accomplished and come back refreshed. You'll be more efficient (make less mistakes and waste less time) if you prioritize and take time out to take care of yourself.
Third, you're not an island. Make sure you connect with other artists and art collectors so that your work actually goes to a good home and you feel rejuvinated because you know you're appreciated. Actually, motivation and good vibes will energize you and give you the extra push you need to finish something in a shorter amount of time.

Fourth, go to bed (no burning the midnight oil).  Yes, this does sound counter-intuitive, but really this ties back into not killing yourself on a project and also keeping a calendar. You need to have a "normal" schedule, one that includes an appropriate about of rest so that your next day isn't shot to hell! Truly makes a difference, trust me... I know from experience.

Do you have more suggestions for other artists, please share below!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

CALLING ALL writers, musicians, songwriters, and poets!

Writers, musicians, songwriters, and poets, we want to PROMOTE YOUR WORK on our blog and to use it for our Art Competition Theme as part of an ongoing monthly challenge: Line and Lyric.  Even if you're not a professional writer, you can cut out words and rearrange them to make your own Found Poetry as the lovely co-leader Allie Thomas suggests!

We will select the best submission for use in next month's competition; if your work isn't selected this time, it might be used in subsequent months and feel free to submit more than one entry.  Please make sure your name is on your linked site so we can give you credit!

WANT a special ASG (Art School Grad) Badge?

You may USE this badge anywhere you wish (websites, blogs, Facebook, etc.) to help promote yourself and your colleagues.  We just ask that you provide a link back to this blog:

How to Get Badge:
* right click with mouse and select Save Image
* or (with macs) click and drag onto desktop 
* insert downloaded image into social network of your choice
* include link back to this blog

Benefits of Badge:
* looks cool (right, doesn't it!?)
* shows that you're part of a community of professional artists
* helps promote you and your colleagues

Your own personal art critique!

This is an opportunity for us to provide the much-sought-after classroom critique, with honest, constructive criticism from your colleagues. No more "interestings" or "nice" from friends and family, we need REAL feedback to improve.
Only post if you are willing to accept critique comments and only critique if you are trying to help the artist grow. Be considerate, but helpful!  Sometimes we have different opinions, but the best quality of a successful artist is our ability to appreciate advice so we can improve, whether or not we agree with it or use it.   

Work will be refreshed/removed weekly so check back often.  
THANK YOU for last week's posts, we are now beginning a new critique!

  • post below up to 3 in-progress fine art pieces for critique per week
  • you may link to your blog, website, or shop
  • type a question in comments that you wish to have answered
  • critique using thumbnail number to at least 1 other person


We want YOUR ARTicles

Want to submit an article to our blog and get extra exposure?
CLICK TO ENTER (members of Art School Grad only - all are welcome to apply)

* keep them short and sweet to pique our interest

* include up to three images links or listings

* write to help others, not to self-promote (you may use your own artwork as examples, but we want to learn new techniques, new business ideas, and other ways to succeed as an artist)

* we'll contact you if we publish and/or wish to expand on the article

We may become overwhelmed with submissions, so please be patient and reapply if we do not publish your work on the blog immediately. You'll also receive publicity just by posting to the Team.

We're looking forward to seeing what you submit!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Art School Grad is growing rapidly and in order to highlight the extraordinary talent of our members we decided to host an Art Contest in which the winner receives a personal feature on the blog complete with an interview and online promotion!!!

A big thank you to our lovely co-leader Allie Thomas for the innovative THEME Challenge which will provide a new monthly theme for the contest.  At the beginning of each month she will offer an idea which artists will use to inspire their application.  This month is: SUNSHINE in England

TO ENTER CLICK HERE!  I have included a sample in the first space which will be removed before voting (as I am ineligible to win as captain).

Good luck!

your ASG captain,

Friday, April 15, 2011

Art School Grad

Art School Grad Team
We welcome current art school students, graduates, self-taught professional artists, and even avid art collectors who take an interest in emerging artists. 

BFAs and MFAs in all art fields are especially encouraged, but not required.
I remember being told in school that only 2% of recent art grads actually making a living as artists! As a former college art instructor and a current freelance artist, I thought why not reach out to other emerging artists.  We cannot give up.

collaboration with floatingwoo
I created this team because there are so many art school students, graduates, and self-taught artists who are struggling to find their niche in the art world; I would love for those who already have succeeded in making a career in the arts to serve as positive role models for those who are just emerging. I also know that it's difficult to get noticed even if you're extremely talented, so I hope this group provides you with more exposure and tips on how to promote yourself. We can all benefit from furthering our education and what better way to learn than from each other!
I want this to be a place where everyone is comfortable, so please LET ME KNOW what you hope to gain from this team and what you're struggling with so we can help you!
Let this be our own "Art School" - the REAL world experience. We are your classroom critique, we are your peers and mentors, we are here to help you succeed!

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