Art, drawing class – tapping into our inner artist

FEAF1040-3ADC-4C9C-AA23-31734AD893B6When I was young, drawing and painting were not encouraged. My parents didn’t go to College, they wanted “better” for their children. Anything to do with art was frivolous, would get us “no where.” Focus on studying to get a “real job,” they said. We had to support ourselves. It’s a tough world out there. Sound familiar?

Fast forward, zillions of years later…

I decided — it’s time to have fun! Treat myself to an illustration class, see what it is all about. Is it true that I have no artistic abilities? I needed to find out.

I was AFRAID, none of us want to embarrass ourselves with the worst drawing ever.

What have I learned? First, drawing can be done anywhere and it is fun! Artists practice, a lot. The more you practice, the better you become. I had no idea. This sounds silly, I know, but I thought being an artist was EASY. It’s actually hard work! Second, being an artist takes determination and dedication. To be good at anything, we need to be passionate and put the time in to practice.

I’m sharing some of my sketches with you.

Last year, I was on the train in Italy. I noticed a woman writing in her journal the entire hour. I thought how dedicated she was. When I got up to leave, I walked by her. Guess what, she wasn’t writing, she was sketching a portrait of a man on the train — unknown to him. It looked beautiful.

Yes, practice makes perfect. My instructor said, “Everyday, you must sketch. As you sketch, you become faster at sketching anything (draw the perfect circle, the perfectly straight line, arms, hands, cars, houses, etc.). Through practice and mistakes, a head that seems too large, might turn out to be your nutty professor.

That is the beauty of art, what seems like a mistake, might be your next masterpiece!

Next, painting with watercolors.

Art, any form of it, does make us HAPPY!

This is the just the beginning…

The Australian Brush Maker (home made paint brushes)

While I am not an artist, I’ve always been inspired by painting and various forms of producing artwork. The other day, I came across a story about an Australian artist named, “Lorna Crane,” who creates home made paint brushes.

On her beach walks she finds materials that she uses to make her paint brushes. I grew up on the beach… well, I mean near the beach, so I know the feeling of walking and finding rocks, feathers, dried grass, driftwood, wires, and more that wash up on the shore.

Crane’s paint brushes are works of art BEFORE they are even used. This was a brilliant idea. If you watch the video, you’ll see how beautiful and unique each brush is. Based on the brush she chooses, when she paints she uses a different painting technique. Painting is really freeing.

It’s the start of a new year. She’s inspired me! I’m going to make a goal for myself of producing one piece of art in 2018.

Hello fellow artists, how are you challenging yourself this year?

African animals come to life in “Beast,” by John Banovich

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© John Banovich, Giants of Kilimanjaro, 2016, oil on belgian linen, 24 x 24 in.                        Limited Edition Giclee on Canvas.

My father loves Africa, he has been there over 35 times. He was especially fascinated by elephants, lions and leopards. I believe they gave him strength to persevere, fight and drive himself to success. He is a self made man, ferocious reader and watches many documentaries. In fact, as we were growing up, he’d call us in to watch, “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” with Marlin Perkins. This show studied wild animals in their natural habitats, we learned the importance of conservation from Perkins’s stories.

Fast forward 35+ years and conservation efforts are stronger than ever. Years ago, my father and I came across an artist out of Montana named, “John Banovich.” We were immediately mesmerized by his larger than life paintings of African animals. Clearly, Banovich had the same passion for African animals as my father had with the ability to bring them to life. For example, take a look at this elephant painting by Banovich. It’s incredible, we can see the precision with which Banovich paints the wrinkles on the elephant’s skin, brings fierceness to his eyes, the tusks perfectly positioned with just the right color. What amazed my father and I was the “feeling” that we were facing the elephant “head on, eye to eye,” like a fight scene. He gives life to all of his paintings in this way. They are very powerful!

Banovich’s love of animals/nature runs deep. In 2007, he started the Banovich Wildscapes Foundation, a nonprofit organization created to conserve wildlife, wild places and the people who live there. Right now, he supports twelve projects in seven countries with a portion of artwork sales going to the Foundation. A few projects are saving lions in Africa, Siberian tigers in Russia Far East and brown bears in North America. On his Foundation’s website you can read specific information on each project.

In 2009, he published the book, “Beast.” This banovich-book-beastbook shares his life story and collection of paintings. It’s a beautiful book, one that should be put on a coffee table and shared with others.

Visit Banovich’s Facebook page for the latest news on his projects and events. His next event is in South Carolina. If you’d like to learn more about his work, this is your chance to meet him in person AND to support wildlife conservation!

NEXT EVENT

THE ART OF CONSERVATION
Plantation Grille, Brays Island Plantation, SC
Guest Speaker: John Banovich, Artist/Conservationist
March 13, 2017, 3:30-5:00pm

Be an Artist

imageThere seems to be an art craze going on right now. I am not an artist by trade, but I have always wanted to learn how to paint using water colors in particular. So, I was pleasantly surprised when a friend recently told me about a company called, “Corks and Canvas Events.

Apparently the owners, Lisa Cryder and Stefanie Hare, came up with a great idea of combing painting with visiting different wineries and wine bars in the Seattle area. Visit their website and you’ll see you can choose a painting you’d like to paint and then find the date for that event. Art supplies, instructions and one glass of wine are included in the fee. You socialize with new people, learn how to paint and as they say, “go home with a masterpiece.”image

On another note, have you noticed that Adult coloring books are sprouting up everywhere? I don’t know how I missed that one. It seems like the coloring books have popped up over night. I noticed they are on all sorts of topics and you can choose to color in markers, colored pencils or crayons.

Somehow, I think my attention span might get a little bored with coloring… not sure. I think I would prefer putting a puzzle together or playing Canasta. Although, I’d have to freshen up on the rules of Canasta, I haven’t played in a long time.

The good news is, if you want to be an artist, you don’t have to sign up for a 6 week long art class to learn how to paint anymore. Just find a painting event in an area near you and “presto” you can be an artist in one night! Move over Picasso!