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  • artbyeileen

Never Stop learning

That’s my new motto! While I’ve always done this as an artist, I want to be more intentional about it and remind myself not to get stuck in old habits. This idea was reinforced by a few workshops that I took last year that were especially impactful, and helped me break through some creative blocks.

I am a very frugal person and I hate the thought of wasting paint, so two of the workshops helped me be freer with my paint. (The transition from watercolor to acrylic is still hard for me -- You mean the paint won’t come back to life when I add water like it does with watercolor? $%&*!) These workshops let me see that I need more play in my art, and that I need to recognize I don’t always have to create a finished piece. I have to repeat to myself: it’s only paper/canvas and paint, right? If it’s truly terrible, I can just paint or collage over it!

One exercise in one of the workshops was to actually create an ugly painting. I broke out some colors I don’t usually use or like and just started slapping stuff down. The painting (below) is pretty hideous if I do say so myself, but the composition and the free way I painted it inspired me to create another one that I really like (titled Second Time Around, shown at the top).

Another workshop focused on value and design and over the course of a few days, I created the piece below that I call Big Air (it was painted during the Olympics and I loved watching the snow-boarders). Again, I found myself freed up to use unusual color combinations and symbols or shapes.

And now that I’ve taught my fair share of workshops (I have another one coming up on March 11th – see, I find I learn even more things from my “students.” Sometimes it’s a technique and sometimes it’s just a great color combination, but these workshops are always a two-way street for me. In any case, I hope that between what I learn from taking and giving workshops, I’ll always be learning!

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