Artful inspiration, studio notes and interesting blog bits 
that may inspire your creative muse!
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Watercolor by Ray Campbell-Smith

What Shall I Paint?

From inspiration to composition and several steps in between.  Professional Artist Ray Campbell-Smith discusses the importance of being selective when composing a painting.  

"Most artists are naturally inspired by subjects with strong visual appeal which almost cry out to be painted, but there are occasionally times when we want to paint but have no particular subject in mind and may even suffer from the artistic equivalent of 'writer's block'."    In this article, Campbell-Smith points out landscape composition changes that can turn an unimpressive scene into a more interesting composition.

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Oil by Johannes Vloothuis

Tip of the Week from Johannes Vloothuis

Visualize your painting first:  If you buy canvases at your local art store, chances are they already are wrapped in plastic. You can use a magic marker and draw the main masses on that wrapping before doing it on the bare canvas.

Johannes Vloothuis is a Canadian born artist who specializes in landscape painting in watercolor and oils. Besides painting, he has been teaching for over 20 years and feels proud for having helped so many amateur artists turn into professionals. He doesn't believe talent is necessary to become a good artist. Correct guidance and constant practice will achieve great results.   Johannes, in cooperation with Wet Canvas and North Light, frequently holds online classes and paint-alongs.  Some are free and some aren't.  website

Johannes has finally published a book containing his secrets to painting beautiful landscapes.  "Landscape Painting Essentials" is a cherished one in my own personal library and I totally agree with publishers statement: "Johannes Vloothuis makes the process a whole lot easier with the essential techniques, key concepts and expert advice he shares in this book."

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Russell Black "The Old Barn" 

On Being Creative...quoting Russell Black

Knowing what you want to paint and why are the most important considerations in planning a painting. Be creative. Be different.

I often speak about doing something different with your work and not painting exactly what you see out there. It comes down to this, we tend to copy and report instead of interpret or express. This often happens to beginning artists (and some long timers as well). It is easy to copy from a photo. ....our job as artists is to be creative, if for no other reason than for our work to be different than everything else out there.

My Personal Philosophy:  I am a painter. I take a brush loaded with bright, clean color and make marks on white paper. The brush marks, if correctly done, will suggest a subject. My thoughts, intentions, and emotions go into each stroke to communicate my feelings about the subject to you, the viewer. This is the essence of art.

By it's very nature, art is a translation and not a transcription. Nature cannot be copied, only suggested. The world around us is three dimensional and my paper has only two dimensions. I see color and texture with my eyes, but my palette has only a few colors on it and my brush can only make a limited number of strokes to convey texture to you. What I experience, therefore, must be translated into the language of art.
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"A Gentle Breeze" by Kimberly Kelly Santini

Working thru the Uglies

Have you ever had a painting that sunk deep into
"The Uglies" ... that stage where the artist is still working things out, and nothing quite yet meshes or works visually?    Reading this blog post from Kimberly Kelly Santini (Painting a Dog a Day) as she struggles with "A Gentle Breeze" may lift your spirits and inspire you to keep going!
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"Lighten up, laugh at your mistakes today, 
'cause there's more waiting for you tomorrow."


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