New Utrecht Avenue
2008, watercolor, 25 x 35. Private collection.
I need personal time in the studio to reflect, journal, and work. I experiment, draw, play, and entangle myself in the nitty-gritty of working on my own craft. It is never enough time, but it is something. Something I can look forward to and walk away from believing the growth has taken seed.
Besides practice, for many of us, reading books and articles, watching videos, attending workshops, or even enrolling in long-term schooling makes a big difference in our development. Finding time to join an art group, either live or online, can also lead to positive interaction with other artists, encouragement, and valuable peer critiques. In short, there is a myriad of resources that can help you grow in your art. How do you choose?
First, you need to develop a sense of the way you learn best. Many of us artists are visual learners, of course, but that could mean we learn best through video, book illustrations, or live classes. The material taught in a book that is recommended by one artist might work better for another artist in video form.
Second, you have to consider how much time and money you can invest. Live workshops are an ideal place to get intense training—just talk to anyone that went to Weekend with the Masters this year. But sometimes learning in the privacy of your own studio is better, especially if you are unable to travel or if you want to own the content to watch again and again. There is no better reason than that to purchase a workshop DVD. I’m excited to let you know, too, that we’ve just gotten some new DVDs in our store covering John Salminen’s watercolors and Craig Nelson's drawings. These DVDs offer detailed art instruction, demonstrations, and materials explanations. And they are inexpensive compared to venturing into a workshop.
Of course, there is nothing to compare to practicing your own artwork, but what better way to do that than with an expert in your own studio? And tell us, how do you prefer to improve your artwork?