Explore Colour and comfort zones

Hello everyone,

I've been "hiding" my progress with my painting online course Explore Colour to post here. It finished last weekend, but the Facebook Group is still very active and people keep posting their paintings. The goal was to have 4 still lives works finished with the method that Este McLeod developed for over 25 years of experience as a full time artist. How about me? I only finished one painting and I'm in the middle of the second one! It's been very challenging to be pushed out of my comfort zone. So let's talk about it...

It's been years since I touched a brush to mix acrylic painting colours. It used to be my passion, painting... I was in the university getting a BFA degree, I had an studio, I use to pay my vacations selling my big scale works, well, I was MEANT TO BE a painter. Sometimes when the whole world expects you do to something it can be very scary, and you fight AGAINST that. I don't know exactly what happened (because things happens) but I quit the university, I had no more studio and I stopped. Years later I restarted everything again: I sold paintings, I had two art galleries representing my work and I stopped. Like that. A good friend told me: "Lavinia, it's so easy to know when you are really happy, you just make art!". I think this is probably very true.

So again here I am: painting, with a new studio, searching for my style, testing new materials and opened to the many novelties in the Art field that I wasn't aware of. All I can think about are the endless possibilities of effects and textures with the use of mediums and drawing plants...

Finally, my conclusions with the process are:

  • 1) The botanics theme (plants, flowers, still lives...) are maybe not what I'm interested on keep painting but, as weird as it sounds, drawing it in a regular basis. I always struggle with themes. 
  • 2) The mini exercises proposed were an amazing Nature eye opener and I think I'm much more aware of the outdoors surrounding me. 
  • 3) Patience. I'm learning to give time to each work. Waiting for a layer to dry, analyse the work and enjoy it.
  • 4) It's good to have two or three paintings going on at the same time. It helps a lot with the patience issue.
  • 5) Style. I'm far, far away on finding my own style. Practicing is the only way and I'm enjoying this  creative "quest".
  • 6) Painting a still life is definitely not easy as it seems.

There is nothing better than testing your limits.

The early stages of my painting... I didn't like it at all but I kept going!

The early stages of my painting... I didn't like it at all but I kept going!

When I asked for help to Este and she showed me the possibilities

When I asked for help to Este and she showed me the possibilities

The painting finished

The painting finished

About online courses and why I'm addicted to them

Hello everyone!

I decided I'll be posting regularly on my blog on Wednesdays and I'll also try to keep my site updated with my latest projects. Anyway, if you want to check it out or suggest something, please drop me a line whenever you want.

That said, my life has completely changed after my little "atelier". I feel so grateful with the opportunity given by my studio mates (I'll talk about them later) of sharing that space. Getting out of my house to work has increased my productivity a lot and, with the goal of improving my skills, I can finally follow my online courses much better. Yes, I confess: I'm addicted to online courses and I wish to have much more time available to watch and practice!

For me there's nothing more practical than that, not to mention the community, which is the best thing you can achieve, a cool connexion with people who have the same interests as you. It can really changes your life, like it changed mine as I posted before. The content available out there is so cool, there are so many different things, that I made a selection of the courses I'm taking now, going to take soon or wish I could take:

Explore Colour: This brand new course is the one I'm taking right now. It got me back to practicing acrylic painting and I couldn't be happier. I haven't painted in acrylics for about 15 years and I'm re-discovering a huge passion. The content of the course is posted in two weekends and you make 2 paintings with her guidelines each weekend. Este's is a very skilled painting artist, her method is very unique and her availability and tips are precious. I believe she'll have a new class in January 2016. More information here.

MATS A + Bootcamp 2016: In October I'll be taking the last live reviews courses from Lilla Rogers ' "Make Art That Sells (part A)". It covers five different markets that an artist could approach and sell their art (like children books, scrapbooking, paper goods, etc.), the Part B is another 5 markets. The previous home décor course I have taken was packed with lots and lots of info and I believe I wasn't really ready to take it. Summer trips, kids at home, lack of concentration... I needed much more time and experience because the level is really high. But, I'm excited to take another one once Lilla is an inspiration and keep us very busy with many exercises, marketing and business tips. Anyway, I'll be busy with her a lot because I signed up to Bootcamp 2016. Can't wait! 

Skillshare and Creative Bug: These two platforms are similar in the way they work: you sign up and pay a monthly fee to access their content. Creative Bug is more arts and crafts oriented and Skillshare is great for design and tech skills update. There are so many options, sooooooo many content that you have to filter what interests you the most. And those platforms are REALLY addictive. Creative Bug features Lisa Congdon, Molly Hatch and Yao Cheng, some of the few artists that admire. Skillshare has Jessica Hische, Elizabeth Olwen, also Lisa Congdon and many other to discover.

Koosje Koene: Top of my wish list. The co-founder of Sketchbook Skool has beautiful designed courses for improving drawing skills and art journaling. I love the way she teaches and the exercises she proposed... I think after MATS, I'll be going back to the basics. I gave a break from Sketchbook School, that I love, but I think I'll take January courses as they'll have Felix Schoenberger as a teacher.

Liz Steel's Sketching Now courses:  I found about Liz in Sketchbook School and she's a very well known artist in the Urban Sketchers community. I love her style and her techniques on drawing observation, my friend who took Foundations told me she learned a lot.

Carla Sonheim: Some of the classes offered are in my wish list, like Word Play. I never took any of them but I hope I find time soon. Few of my online friends totally recommend it. 

Long post isn't it? You'll have fun checking out about all of those courses. Let me know if you get inspired and enroll to any of them. See ya!

Few exercises for Explore Colours course

Few exercises for Explore Colours course

4 Design Blogs that I follow and I think you should too

I've been very busy with my MATS Home Décor course, connecting with amazing artists that I admire and learning A LOT. It can be very stressing and overwhelming but also very inspiring. I couldn't post my homework for Fabric (last week's subject) because I went on a short trip to a beautiful farm with no phone or Internet and I pretty much got disconnected of my daily life. For now, it's clear that I have to build up a strong portfolio if want to go somewhere in my career.

Now I'm back to Paris and my son is on vacations. So, finding time to study, take care of my kids and keep up with my assignments is very challenging. But to be a part of such talented community is a daily gift.

Well, I was planning about this post before I started this course so I can continue with my "sharing knowledge" mood. So, this time is about art/design blogs that I've been following for years that I wanted to talk about! They're a real source of inspiration for me and reading them regularly is how I try to identify what's trendy in the creative world, find about new artists and, if I like a post subject, go deeper in researching. For someone who loves information like me, there's nothing better.

Here they are:

  1. Design Milk: Everything I love - Art, Architecture, Interiors, Products, Home, Jewellery and more. The content is so well selected. I check it daily.
  2. Fubiz: Daily dose of inspiration and contemporary creative culture platform. Very diverse and interesting.
  3. Swissmiss: I really respect what Tina Roth Eisenberg does in sharing content in design, creativity and inspiration. I check it as much as I can and she has a Friday Link Pack full of interesting things to see in the Internet.
  4. Dezeen Magazine: A magazine as they say. I love the way they mix subjects like Architecture, Product Design, Art and Technology. It's very trendy and full of cool content.

I have in my Feed reader many others more and I'll be soon sharing them. I hope you like it.

Wasn't I right to disconnect? I could not resist to share this amazing view.

Wasn't I right to disconnect? I could not resist to share this amazing view.