Before I launch into my artistic musings, I have exciting news to report: “Shoes and Shadows” got into the American Academy of Equine Art Fall Open Juried Exhibition & Sale! This means that I’ll be shipping it back to Lexington in a few weeks and it will be in the exhibition for about a month… including during the Breeder’s Cup which will be taking place just down the road at Keeneland!

shoesandshadowsThis is very exciting for me. This is the same organization I went to take a workshop with last fall. I’ll be exhibiting with some of the artists I admire most! So exciting!

Of course, this means that this painting can’t go into the fall WSO show, but I’ll try putting it into the spring show instead.

Okay… that’s out of my system. I’ll attempt to get back on point.

Technique vs. immitation

On Sunday I attended a poppy workshop put on by one of my favorite teachers, Patricia Schmidt. Patricia puts on a very details, well-paced workshop with a concentration on technique.

As I saw it, this workshop was focusing on masking techniques and layering techniques to create light effects. I was less interested in recreating Patty’s painting than on incorporating these ideas into my own paintings.

straightThis was a “straight” watercolor painting I did using close to the same colors Patty recommended.

samplesI didn’t have exactly the same colors on my palette, but with a little experimentation I got some nice tries.

I also used some liquid watercolors that I picked up at a garage sale. They are very bright, but staining.

inkIt was a good day. While the paintings aren’t great in and of themselves, they allowed me to try some new things, which is the point of these kind of classes.

I was amused to note, however, that most people in the class were more interesting in recreating Patty’s painting in every detail.

It got me thinking about the different stages of art. I think there are a lot of people who just enjoy painting. The recent surge of coloring books for adults is an indicating a lot of people just want to apply color to paper. I love this and feel like this a lot.

So what makes an artist different? I think coloring or copying other people’s works is good, but I am not sure it’s art. But artists borrow ideas all the time. Where’s the line?

If you have any thoughts, let me know. I’d love to start getting some comments on this blog (I get some on Facebook, but not so many right here.)