The Sudden Artist: What happens to you?

The Temple Mound Recently I was called to paint 3 larger paintings for the Caddo Musuem in Paris, Texas. They needed them in about 12 days… the artist that was to be on display during their opening had had a death in the family and could not meet their obligation.

   The director told me anything i might have on hand would be fine…since they knew it was so sudden for me to be exhibiting….

   What was I going to do? The paintings I had on hand were small. or totally not appropriate for and Indian Musuem.  … plus I hated the idea of  “not so great” paintings  of my work being on display for the public.

So I decided I would paint something that I knew about…. and would be “fitting” for a Caddo Indian Musuem. It was ironic that the creek that bordered our family’s land was a known [ and documented} encampment area for the Caddo’Indians.

 I had painted and taken photos of the creek on many occasions. So HI HO HI HO it’s off to work I go.

 12 days later I had three paintings that I was pleased with… and I was successful because I knew how I could do the work.

  Why I knew was I have experience in direct painting and  painting on location .  That means

 I have learned to use as few  strokes as I can… place colors where they go from the start… and I know where everything should fit>and I try not to repaint anything.

 [When you are trying to get something on the canvas before the lighting changes you learn to pre plan the composition with a sketch or quick draw… and then you start with what time of day you are painting…[ if it is morning it will mean the colors will be  cool lights and warm darks on the subjects within the painting composition.}

  I mix up all my values and colors before I start painting … and I mix up large amounts of the colors I am using…

I am then ready to go.

Knowledge is key. If you think you can paint well without drawing skills or a deep understanding of color… you are going to only be  frustrated

  We really do not become SUDDENLY SUCCESSFUL  ARTISTS.

It is a process of training. discipline,  and lots of practice.  Then take a chance… risk some time and canvas ,and go outside and paint… take a workshop, or order some online classes. It’s worth everything to know what and why you are painting.

 SUDDENLY… you are in the habit of thinking like an artist..

 12 days to paint 3 large canvases… just give me the chance. I will take it.

Scene from Pine Creek a known Caddo Indian encampment area.

Scene from Pine Creek
a known Caddo Indian encampment area.