Saturday, February 02, 2008

"Lady Shasta in the Snow"

(Bid On This Painting)

This will take you over to eBay

It’s still snowing…..

I would like to introduce you to the lady of the ranch, our 8 month-old Border collie named Shasta. She is the reason we are here in the first place. Between storms today I let Shasta out to play. She loves spending hours neck high in the snow. (I don’t know what she is going to do in summer.) If you know anything about Border collies, you know they do not sit still. But for one moment today she sat mesmerized listening to a mouse under the snow while I sketched her. She sat still just long enough for me to capture her pose.

The hardest moment of a painting is the first brush stroke. This week I had a student who wanted to paint a view that meant a lot to her. I recommended that she use a large canvas. After she spent much time looking at the canvas and then at the photo of the view, I sensed that she was caught in “the hardest moment”. I took hold of her photo, put it down, and said to her “paint from your imagination, not from the photo.” “Leap and the parachute will open” I assured her. The first few brush strokes on a blank canvas are the most intimidating. It’s at this point painters have endless possibilities. The development of an imagined piece into an actual painting is a progression of decreasing possibilities. As each step is painted, the piece could not be other than it is, and then it is done. Her painting was magnificent.

Artists who are having problems getting into their art must take hold of the moment and leap. Just start, don’t think. Paint from your imagination. There is not much cost to begin this way; just an inexpensive piece of cloth or paper and a few pennies of paint or ink. Don’t wait till you find the time because you may not find time. You have to make time. Don’t worry about what people might think because people will always have their opinion. And remember, the things we regret the most are the chances we did not take.

Leap and the parachute will open.

Please let me know what you think


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