Ironically enough, the reason I started painting was because I wanted to make something faster than I could with fiber art. Naïvely I thought “how hard could this be?” And proceeded to start painting. My cross stitch pieces take months to realize and I wanted to have more pieces to sell. I knew that I could have prints made of my paintings and sell them as well. I’ve been drawings my designs for a long time, leading me to underestimate how difficult painting would be. I never took a painting class in art school, so I decide to teach myself by doing. That’s not exactly true, I did take 2D concepts class and there was a unit on painting. Anyway, I had all the supplies from then, plus the paints and brushes that my grandma gave me, which is a story for another time.
So here I was late spring/early summer of 2015, painting. I didn’t document my work well enough, from now on I’ll take more pictures as I paint. You can tell my early work by the sloppy brushwork and the white backgrounds. They are also on boards. I actually cover the boards with white paint before painting. I didn’t know much about mixing colors or transitioning from one to another, they are very flat and two-dimensional.
I thought I was doing well and was proud of them, looking back now, I’m really embarrassed. What woke me up was my mentor Della Wells. In the summer I met with her monthly for the MARN (Milwaukee Artist Resource Network) mentorship program and she gave me great advice.
Della is someone who tells things like they are, she doesn’t sugarcoat things. I showed her the paintings I had made up to that point and she said that I wasn’t ready yet, I forget her exact words, but she said that I needed to learn more, take classes, continue working on my technique and refine my process. I was little devastated at first, my ego really took a hit, but it was exactly what I needed to hear at that time. After that, I started watching tutorials on YouTube and I became more open to learning. I discovered that there is so much more to painting than I had thought before. Painting is one of those things that takes a little time to learn, but a lifetime to master.
Some of the things I’ve learned since then:
– Put a wash/ground on the background for the first layer
– Different brushes have different names and functions
– Paint is really expensive
-The more time and effort I put into painting, the better I get
– You can layer colors on top of each other to create a richer tone
– If you put dark on the edges and a lighter color in the center it creates a 3D effect
– I enjoy painting
There is so much more I would like to learn, I’m glad I started painting and feel as though I’ve come a long way in just a few months, I wonder how far I’ll get.
Works in progress