A Touch of the Whimsical

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In the words of Pablo Picasso … “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”

Too true!

I mentioned in my last post about being inspired by one artist in particular whilst researching some online whimsical-style art classes. Her name is Tamara Laporte of Willowing Arts, Tam for short.  I’ll let her tell you about herself:  https://www.willowing.org/about/

As you can see, quite special. Not to mention, extremely talented.

I found Tam’s art style very appealing and, whilst I am aiming to evolve my own whimsical style, her classes are just what I was looking for to help find my way.

Having very much enjoyed the classes from Willowing Arts which came as part of the Art Bundle (as mentioned in my previous post), I pondered whether to enrol on Tam’s Life Book 2018, a series of classes that span a whole year. It looked so exciting, but my main concern was whether I would have enough time to devote to it. I needn’t have worried, as you can do the classes at your own pace, and they are sent to you on a weekly basis so it isn’t overwhelming so it fits in very well with my photoshoots and edits.

I’m so pleased I decided to go for it! Each Monday I get some new challenges in my inbox. Not only do you get the classes by Tam but also tuition from over 30 other artists and crafters as well as wellness and self development experts. So much more than just an art course! At the end of the year, or once you have completed all the lessons, you get shown how to make a journal of your year’s work. Hence the name.

My pictures so far from some of Tam’s classes:

Montage-1

For these lessons I followed her work as closely as possible, as it’s very early days for me in this style. It was therefore really fascinating to see other folks’ work in the private Facebook Group – jaw dropping in fact – there are some amazing artists who put their own interpretations on the pictures they produce from the classes with some fantastic results!

Seeing the incredible work of other participants might well prove a little daunting for newbies like me … but it isn’t! The encouragement and lovely comments you get from the other artists in the group is very reassuring and this mantra is very much instilled into you as you work your way through:

“Don’t compare your beginning to someone’s else’s middle.” Jon Acuff

Some of the artists have participated in the Life Book courses every year since the first Life Book 2012, and others like myself very new to it all. But it doesn’t matter a jot. You get much more out of it than just to learn to paint and draw.

Oh and in case you’re interested, until 16 January 2018, there’s 20% off:

https://www.willowing.org/product/life-book-2018/?affiliates=104

(By the way, the above is an affiliate link, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link).

But hey, I don’t want to make this sound like a sales pitch, I just had to tell you about Tam’s classes as I am so impressed I wanted to shout it from the rooftops!!

Tam has a free class on her website https://www.willowing.org/product/art-heart-and-healing/ which you might like to try.

Whilst she and the other teachers I’ve seen so far work on paper using various mediums such as acrylics, watercolours, pens, etc, you may remember, I prefer to do all my work using my Ipad Pro and IPencil within the Procreate App. This amazing App can transform your IPencil into just about any medium you can imagine, from pencils, inks and charcoals to acrylics, oils and watercolours – it’s very clever!

Creating using the Ipad Pro, means I have to adapt a little in certain areas, such as not being able to use collage materials, which Tam incorporates into some of her work.  I don’t personally find this an issue, although I may well do an occasional class using paper and paint so I can give collage a whirl!

For me, just one of the advantages of using Procreate is that it records every brush stroke you make, so you get a brilliant time lapse of your creation meaning you can look back and remember how you put it all together – not to mention and all the mistakes/changes you made along the way lol!

The beauty of art is there’s no right or wrong, it’s great to get stuck in anyway you choose, just go with the flow, relax and enjoy it!

If you do any of Tam’s classes, I hope you get as much pleasure from them as I have. Her enthusiasm and happiness are seriously infectious! Wonderful.

And don’t you just love this Erin Hanson quote on her About page …

There is freedom waiting for you,
On the breezes of the sky,
And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling,
What if you fly?

Well I think that sums up beautifully that we should never be afraid to follow our dreams.

And as if this and my studio work aren’t enough to keep me out of mischief, I have also enrolled in the follow-up training to the recent Photoshop Artistry course I completed, which again takes place over a year. More about that soon!

 

 

 

A Little Artiness

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So two weeks in to the Photoshop Artistry course and I’m really lovin’ it!

My pictures, as you can see, are a bit diverse, but that’s the fun of it, experimenting, throwing things into the mix, finding what works and what doesn’t (at least what I think works – art is very subjective) and just seeing what transpires.

There is no must in art because art is free.”  Wassily Kandinsky

Here’s some of my creations to date …

Photoshop Artistry creations

Before I started the course, I reckoned my Photoshop skills were pretty much OK, having used the software to edit goodness knows how many pictures over the years!

As with a lot of things, I guess you learn the bits you need and use all the time – so much so you could do them standing on your head, and although of course you’re aware there’s a lot more to it, you don’t delve too much into other functions when you’re managing perfectly well with those you’re familiar with and use all the time.

Until you DISCOVER more!!  As I have done via this course.

Putting aside for a moment the abundance of arty inspiration gleaned (which has been absolutely fascinating), the PhotoShop Artistry course has also opened my eyes to much more! Loads of things I hadn’t learned/understood before re the complexities of Photoshop, but now I’ve seen them in action, I wonder how I ever managed without! So these tips and tricks have been a real bonus. 😊

If you’d like to know more about the course here’s the info and an offer they are running (at the time of writing this post) https://prophotoshopartistry.com/specialoffer

The man behind the training is Sebastian Michaels and he explains everything with great clarity as he demonstrates in a number of videos and articles the various techniques within Photoshop which he uses to create his amazing pictures. His wonderful work and ideas alone are truly inspiring, but all the “lightbulb moments” that came on for me as I have been watching his demonstrations, are going to be so useful in my day to day work.

I allocated a few hours in the first week so I could get a good start on the training, it’s very addictive, so it was great to be able to do that. Since then I’ve been working on it whenever time allows.  I’ve now completed all the modules, and have been practising the different techniques as I go along, making use of both the myriad of textures/elements included within the course (kid in a sweet shop springs to mind!) and working with some of my own images too. Whenever I go out I’ve been on the lookout and photographing textures in the great outdoors to incorporate in my work (concrete, gravel, wood, sand, stones, you get the drift) – it doesn’t sound very exciting eh, and I did sense one or two funny looks from passers by as I was photographing some things … drains, anyone … but it’s amazing how overlaying one or two of these as textures in the picture can really bring it all together! And no, it won’t resemble a drain (or whatever) once it’s in the final composition!

The artist’s world is limitless.  It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away.  It is always on his doorstep.” Paul Strand

I’ve worked through the training quite speedily as I was excited to see what there was to learn next! Perhaps having experience of Photoshop has helped to get through it a little quicker than had I not. A few of the earlier videos covered some of what I knew already – apart from the “lightbulb moments” as mentioned – but that’s great if you’re starting from scratch of course.

I’ll be going back over several of the videos to refresh my memory on some of the techniques and I’m sure I’ll pick up even more – it’s tricky to take it all in first time round.

I’d thoroughly recommend this if digital art is your thing too. It’ll really get those creative juices flowing! It certainly has for me – it’s unleashed a mountain of ideas, and I know that some I will be able to use in your pictures too, as I’m constantly on the lookout to bring some innovative creations for your galleries.  I’m hoping at some stage to sell some of mine as wall art and cards too.

I shall certainly keep creating – there’s always something new to learn and keep ideas fresh. The course also points you in the direction of loads and loads of excellent resources for use in your creations – you can’t fail but to be inspired!

Good luck if you decide to go for it – I’d love to see some of your works of art too 🙂

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.” Kurt Vonnegut