Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Don’t Think It…Just Do It

In my recent three-day Scottsdale Artist’s School workshop “Still Life From Start to Finish” with Susan Diehl, I became the still life. Then my brushes played dead. I toyed with brush burial ideas (a fireplace match box?) along with my aspirations of becoming a painter. But I returned the second day to be with the fun friends I’d made and enjoy the excellent instructor.

I searched for quotes to inspire me for that second day but the best and simplest was Nike’s “Just Do It.” So I threw out all my expectations for a masterpiece and just had fun smearing paint. With the pressure off some of the lessons “osmosed” in and by the third and final day I felt I could achieve any painting goal I set for myself. Amazing turn around!

Painting is not like riding a bicycle. Mastery is a mindset, requires I paint acres and acres of canvas and going in I know I will never know everything…. fortunately. And on this note I did find a quote, “Only when he no longer knows what he is doing does the painter do good things.” Edgar Degas.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Preparations for my Scottsdale Artist’s School workshop

After I gather the paints, brushes and support requirements on my instructor’s supply list, I wonder what do I need that’s not on the list?

A good artist friend offered Woody Allen’s quote, “Eighty percent of success is just showing up” to rev me up and to fight my fear. I like Shakti Gawain’s quote I found in The Artist’s Way, “We will discover the nature of our particular genius when we stop trying to conform to our own or to other people’s models, learn to be ourselves and allow our natural channel to open”.

So whether it is “good” art or “bad” art it will be my art. I begin tomorrow after being away for ten years, a perfect time to shut off logic brain and just have fun!

A thing or two I do know for sure: I may be a “begin again” novice artist but my RayMar canvas panels say professional. And all the inspiration I will ever need is online at www.raymarartcontest.com.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Product Testing of a Different Kind

Memorial Day weekend heralds the unofficial start of summer. Oh… the trips to plan and the scenes that will become stories to capture in paint.

At RayMar we especially enjoy the unplanned painting stories. It’s difficult to contain our joy when our artist customers share their “accident” stories about our products. We mentally turn cartwheels and grin like Cheshire cats when we hear tales I’ve come to refer to as RayMar lore.

So enter Robert, a long time customer from the North East who called to tell us about his cat painting. He deemed the painting unexceptional. And when his cat died soon after he completed the portrait he just wanted to rid himself of a sad memory. So the feline on the RayMar panel was tossed outside by the shed and forgotten.

Eight months later after some exterior spring cleanup Robert’s wife rescued the painting. The panel was hard hit with all the elements an upstate New York winter can muster: snow, ice, sleet, rain, freezing temperatures plus the spring thaw.

The panel was straight and undamaged and Robert’s wife thought the painting was pretty good. Framed in gold it now hangs in their house…. a reminder of the cat they loved and of a rugged painting support artists could easily love!

Then there’s the artist who went to Venice and her panel carrier flipped out of the gondola and floated because it was lightweight and waterproof. Her painting was saved. And we heard from the tired day painter who forgot she leaned her carrier against the car and backed over it. The carrier is very strong under normal conditions but was damaged. Miraculously the painting survived.

And okay I’m on a roll. One more. Justin “said” it best in his blog that our panels are tough. Tough? Yeah. So there.

So just paint and don’t be concerned about your RayMar painting support. Feel confident that your RayMar panel has been through extensive field-testing.

Till next time….Cathy