Workshop: Professional Practices

In this extra-length special issue, American Artist takes you through the business of being an artist, including advice for securing commissions and information on how you can use the internet to reach your professional goals. We also visit master workshops from artists such as Bo Bartlett and Donald Demers.

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6
Editor’s Note

10
The Well-Equipped Studio


Mastering Materials and Techniques

18   
Tools of the Trade: Brushes
Knowing what brushes to purchase can be a daunting task, given the volume of brush types, sizes, and manufacturers on the market. Here is a brief introduction to some of the factors that you should keep in mind when selecting the brushes that are best suited to your practice.

22   
How to Get the Most From 
Copying a Masterpiece
by John A. Parks
Artists looking to paint in the manner of the Old Masters should consider copying in museums or from reproductions, both of which offer invaluable lessons about the craft of painting.

28   
Dynamic Theft: Borrowing From Paintings of the Past
by Austin R. Williams
As the artwork of Shelley Reed shows, paintings that explicitly reference art history can provoke us to reflect on earlier eras as well as our own time.

34   
A Holistic Approach to Achieving Mastery
by Naomi Ekperigin
Bo Bartlett employs a multifaceted approach to painting that explores not just technique and tools but also the 
emotional, intellectual, and philosophical underpinnings 
of being an artist. In his three-day master class, he teaches participants how to integrate art and life.

42   
Plein Air Paradise
by Michael Gormley
A tropical paradise was the setting for a Signilar 
workshop with Judith Carducci, who led a group of 
students eager to learn how to paint en plein air.

48   
A Contemporary Approach to Portraiture
by Eric Sutphin
Portraiture is a popular genre of study for artists of all
levels.
During a recent workshop, David Jon Kassan showed students how he creates emotive, lifelike portraits.

52
In Living Color: Learning to Master Light and Form
by Michael Gormley
To address the challenges of painting color, Steven Assael
explores with his students the properties and effects
of light, as well as ways in which past artists have approached these all-important topics.

62
Donald Demers: Enlivening a Tradition
by Naomi Ekperigin
Artist and instructor Donald Demers has developed a 
reputation for emotive marine paintings that take a fresh approach to a time-honored genre.

70
Welcome Home: The Artist as Resident
by James Duncan
Artist residencies, such as those at Chesterwood and Vytlacil, allow contemporary artists to honor the past while also handing down traditions and concepts to a new generation.

Building a Network

78
Top  Picks: Clubs, Societies, & Organizations
by James Duncan
Few things can enhance an artist’s exposure and career like becoming an active member of a professional arts association. Here we present a listing of several distinguished organizations to help you broaden your artistic horizons. 

86
Accelerated Instruction: Pastel Landscapes
by Austin R. Williams
Local and national art organizations provide abundant
opportunities for learning, including workshops that offer valuable instruction within a short timeframe. In a recent workshop hosted by Pastel Society of America, Robert K. Carsten taught students his most important priorities
for building a pastel painting.

92
The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance: Supporting and Cultivating the Arts at a Community Level
by Naomi Ekperigin
Through an array of programs and services, this rapidly growing nonprofit offers local artists opportunities for fellowship, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary exchange, and support.

96
Advancing Illustrative Art for More 
Than a Century
by Allison Malafronte
For more than 100 years, The Society of Illustrators has provided professionals in their industry with opportunities to exhibit their work, participate in educational events and community outreach, and be a part of some of the most colorful events in New York City.

102
The Putney Painters: Painting and 
Growing Together
by Allison Malafronte
Joining a painting group such as the Putney Painters can help break up the monotony of solitary studio work and provide opportunities for both connection and career advancement.

106
Your Virtual Compass
 by James Duncan 
When your search for online resources becomes overwhelming, don’t feel like you’re alone in a dense jungle of information. There are numerous online artists’ communities you can turn to for expert advice, peer support, and other opportunities to help you reach your artistic aspirations.

Developing an Audience

112
Specialty Sculpture, Steady Commissions
by Allison Malafronte
Babette Bloch has been sculpting since 1980, and in 1993 she discovered the process of stainless-steel sculpture. Since then, she has been creating limited-edition works that combine traditional materials with modern technology. In this interview, she talks about the business end of her enterprise, including how she obtains
and maintains a steady stream of commissions.

116
Percent for Painting
by Austin R. Williams
Garin Baker creates large public artworks that tell stories about the communities in which they are located. Here, the artist explains how having the right experiences and a mastery of painting fundamentals can lead to winning commissions for public art.

122
Set Up a Website That Works for You
by John A. Parks
Two web designers share their tips on finding a designer and developing a site that is easy to work with.

128
Walking a Sacred Path With a 
Monumental Commission
by Michael Gormley
Peter Adams undertook a challenging commission: to re-create a traditional Stations of the Cross series for a newly constructed church. The results show the power of art and religion acting together.

134
Juried Exhibitions & Competitions: 
Chances to See and Be Seen

138
Advice for Sustaining an Artistic Career
We surveyed dozens of professional artists and asked what advice they would give someone looking to build and maintain an art career, and their responses constitute a trove of hard-earned wisdom.


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