Painting is the earliest, most primitive and yet exalted form of art. At times meditative, other times violent, always sensual, it requires no electricity or screen to make or enjoy.
When we paint, time stops. And unlike other art forms, we experience the results in a single instant. Then, the hours of creative energy become suspended, as if in amber, far beyond our own lifetimes.
Like every art, and unlike any art, painting is a continual journey of bettering oneself, one’s skill, one’s mark. In our rushed and harried world, where we are assaulted daily by everyone’s needs and wants and updates, painting brings us to a true place. It uses our arms, legs, hands, eyes, hearts and minds. Every part of one’s being is in the moment.
Most people think they have to be labeled “talented” in youth to consider it, but to paint, knowing how to draw is not a requirement. Young boys, whose fine motor skills commonly develop later, are deprived in particular. But if we give a child a set of paints and watch him or her create, we witness a frenzy — a freedom, like Howard Hodgkin, Joan Mitchell or Jean Michel Basquiat– to which most adult painters only aspire. Thinking in color has the capacity to put the mind into a fourth dimension. No one should be excluded from its brilliance.
When creators in other media take up painting, unexpected bursts of inspiration spring forth, like Zeus’ Athena. Painting loosens up the mind and brightens streams within no matter how we normally spend our time. A known cure for writer’s block, painting makes all our thoughts vibrate anew. If only physicists were required to paint dark matter or architects their structures in a landscape. If you want to stop time and change the way you see the world, learn to paint.
I have been teaching oil painting for years both at the Otis School of Art and Design and the Anderson Ranch Arts Center and I want to share what I’ve received awards for with the world, and not be limited by location. I am excited to announce that I have created a comprehensive curriculum online with live video sessions launching this summer 2019.
In my program, students will learn the foundations of oil painting and all without solvents, which means the ability to paint anywhere. Pigments are the same regardless of media, pastel, acrylic, gouache and watercolor, there is no reason oil painting needs to be harmful to anyone.
This course includes:
- A detailed list of materials to get started.
- Everything you want to know about the materials and mediums, and how to paint without solvents.
- Best practices, from setting the table to thinking in three dimensions.
- Aiming towards building a body of work
When I add up the hours I have spent creating paintings for others to enjoy over the last twenty five years, I also reflect upon the positive impact painting has had on my life. There can be no greater gift than to also share the ability to oil paint with the world.
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