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I believe that art enriches and informs our lives everyday in many positive ways. Sharing those experiences, whether as an artist or as an appreciator, is part of the pleasure. I welcome your comments and hope you find something of value: a laugh, an insight, a new idea or just a happy moment. Enjoy art!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Do Artists Practice Scales???

My sister and brother are musicans and I've listened to both run the scales in practice sessions: over and over again the same thing, working towards perfection, clarity and warming up their fingers and brains.  So, they might ask: Do artist practice their scales?  The answer is a resounding YES (altho for some of us, not often enough).  I admit that when I tackle an area to practice and work on it with no regard or care of the outcome, I am always rewarded (just like the teacher says).  But I also confess that the thrill of jumping right into the full monty (without aid of a sketch or a thumbnail or color palatte) seems to call to me and distract me from the practice I will later prove I so badly need.

So much for confessions.  What I wanted to share today is my equivilant of scales.  This is an exercise prosposed by Carol Marine in which you take one object and paint it 8 times allowing only 10 minutes for each rendition.  My painting group tried this last week and believe me, we were all exhausted when we broke for lunch.  I had an adorable little red pepper and while we could turn the object between sessions we could not paint one stroke past the buzzer ringing.  I made it to 7 editions and while I can't say that #7 is much better than #1 I did get better at a system for tackling it.  I never did get a full background finished.  This certainly trains the eye and the brain as well as pointing out your personal demons (indecision, lack of confidence in strokes...).  And so I share....enjoy!
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