- Arts and Design
The Artist Painting
Starting with Painting
Having done some Pottery and Drawing in the past I had the urge to start painting and so I started in my late 30's. I have been painting with oils for the past 17 years and have enjoyed the journey thus far.
Painting has become a passion for me although I'm not one of those artists who paint all day every day.
Painting is therapeutic and helps me to forget about the cares of the world; I get absorbed in the process of painting and sometimes have difficulty stopping.
There are a few tips in this writing for would-be oil painters, please take a look.
Painting with Oils
Being blessed with a bit of a creative nature, I decided to take some painting lessons way back in 1996; my first few lessons consisted of doing some pencil drawings. I'd taken a few drawing lessons years before but had not continued them. Now I was back at the drawing board - I didn't have any paints at the time but soon purchased some so that I could get stuck into painting.
I soon started with oil painting; I purchased some paints, brushes, turpentine, linseed oil, canvasses and started my journey with painting.
One of my first paintings that I did was of an old farmhouse with a windmill, these type of pictures appeal to me. Well, to be honest, with my teachers help I used a tracing method to do this painting to make it easier to apply the different colours in the painting.
I've done only one other painting using this tracing method; I decided that for my painting to be authentic I should rather work freehand from a reference; no more tracing for me!
For those who are thinking of becoming artists the materials needed are: an easel, either a sitting or standing one, some good quality paints (oils, water colours or acrylics), a few different sized paint brushes, some turpentine for oil painting (preferably genuine turpentine), a few canvasses, some lint-free cloths, paper towels, some linseed oil, a palette, a palette knife, a few small containers to mix your turps and linseed oil in, and a bag or basket or something to put your painting apparel in.
It's probably best not to buy too many brushes or expensive painting equipment, you'll soon find what you really need once you've started with the painting process. It's really up to you if you want to take painting lessons or rather learn from books and the internet; I took lessons so that I could learn different painting techniques and also to paint with other people.
Some of my earlier paintings were very amateurish, I could see it myself, especially when I look at some of them years after starting with art.
I think I've progressed somewhat and have attended classes with a few different teachers at various times. I can see the influence different teachers have had on my work. Last year in 2012 I was attending classes but health problems caused me to discontinue taking lessons so now I'm working on my own again.
The Journey Continues
I've exhibited a few paintings over the years but have never had a big exhibition. I'm not as prolific as I'd like to be, I take a month or two to finish a painting and I don't paint every day. I read of artists like Monet and others who did numerous painting in their lifetime; I realise that I can't pretend to be like them, my method of working with paints probably won't change.
When I do paint then I enjoy it and get ideas for new subject matter that I want to take on. I've given some of my paintings away as presents and even sold a few. I have some displayed in a coffee shop which are for sale.
Some years ago I took 13 painting to a craft shop to display them there for selling. Unfortunately the shop went under; I found out about this too late because when I went there to check on my paintings, the shop was closed and empty. I enquired at the local city sheriff about the shop; they told me they had removed all the shops wares and put them on the pavement but had not empounded any items.
I tried phoning the owner numerous times on her cellphone but just kept getting the message that the phone number no longer existed. I was unable to trace her in any way. This however, did not stop me from continuing to paint.
Drawing and painting are excellent ways of expressing oneself, it's very absorbing and at the end of the day you have something to share with others. If you're an established artist or thinking of taking up a brush and canvas, happy painting!
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From a photo taken by a friend in China
Cape Town Waterfront, Table Mountain
Any comments are welcome - do you also enjoy painting?