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Plein Air Painting vs Painting in The Studio

in this video Baumann discusses Plein Air Painting vs Painting in The Studio. What should one do? In this conversation we ask the hard question do you have to paint on location, from life or from photos. Inspiring Millions to paint outdoors This video is about Touch Move and Inspire. Get a free Book at his website www.StefanBaumann.com. The paintings of Stefan Baumann reveal the true spirit of nature by transporting the viewer to distant lands that have gone unseen and undisturbed. With the huge success of Baumann’s weekly PBS television series “The Grand View: America’s National Parks through the Eyes of an Artist,” millions of people witness for themselves the magic Stefan portrays on canvas, his passion for nature and the American landscape. By distilling his love of nature into a luminous painting of brilliant, saturated color that transcends conventional landscape and wildlife art, Baumann has captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation. Each painting becomes an experience rather than merely a picture – a vivid manifestation of his special and personal union with nature and the outdoor world. Through his mastery of light, color and artful composition, Baumann invites you to experience nature in its purity. It is no wonder that for many years distinguished American collectors, including former presidents and financial icons, have sought out his work.

The post Plein Air Painting vs Painting in The Studio appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Its Not Your Subject Your Painting It is what you do to with it!

Its Not Your Subject Your Painting
It is what you do to with it! I Smell Something Fishy…
In this video Baumann discusses insights to how to take you painting to the next level using composition and light. Baumann also talks about changing your prospective about the subject
Inspiring Millions to paint outdoors This video is about Touch Move and Inspire. Get a free Book at his website www.StefanBaumann.com. The paintings of Stefan Baumann reveal the true spirit of nature by transporting the viewer to distant lands that have gone unseen and undisturbed. With the huge success of Baumann’s weekly PBS television series “The Grand View: America’s National Parks through the Eyes of an Artist,” millions of people witness for themselves the magic Stefan portrays on canvas, his passion for nature and the American landscape. By distilling his love of nature into a luminous painting of brilliant, saturated color that transcends conventional landscape and wildlife art, Baumann has captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation. Each painting becomes an experience rather than merely a picture – a vivid manifestation of his special and personal union with nature and the outdoor world. Through his mastery of light, color and artful composition, Baumann invites you to experience nature in its purity. It is no wonder that for many years distinguished American collectors, including former presidents and financial icons, have sought out his work.

The post Its Not Your Subject Your Painting It is what you do to with it! appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

The Secret of Painting from Life

The Secret of Painting from Life

If you want to see the world as spectacular as it is, take a walk in the forest with an artist. The painter’s eye is more sensitive and receives a vast amount more information than a normal person who is seeing the same view. When students first come to my classes, within weeks they report that they have never before seen the world “in color” as they are able to do now and that painting has opened their eyes to the beauty that surrounds them.

The first assignment for new students who come to my classes is to paint a white egg on a white plate that is sitting on a white table cloth. This exercise requires that they really look at their subject before beginning to paint. Most students look at the setup and only see white. Then, with coaching, they look deeper and see that white has little to do with painting eggs at all. At this point, their consciousness has undergone a small expansion and the artist has increased awareness about the painting process. Once the shadows are discovered, then and only then, can the student focus his awareness on the effects that light has on the subject matter.

After that, it is the composition that commands the focus. Gradually or suddenly, the realization that the artist is the one directing the viewer’s perception and that perception can be directed to only one thing at a time. We can not see light, shadow and color at the same time.  And we cannot see composition, temperature, and air with just a single glance. We cannot see the windshield and the road at the same time. Creating art is like juggler trying to keep 15 balls in the air.  It’s no wonder that artists begin painting from photos just to make the process easier. But when an artist paints from photos, something is lost, and the connection between the artist and subject is disconnected, filtered and dumbed down.

When setting up a still life in your studio, the setup must be created just as it you want it to appear in your painting. If you want your painting to have a dark wall with Japanese print wallpaper in the background, you must carefully set up the still life subject using the same objects, values and colors. If you are going to add something red, it must be placed into the composition you are working from before you begin your painting so that everything appears on the “stage” just as you want it to appear in your painting.

Also, when painting a still life, lighting the stage is as complicated and as important as setting up the composition. I am amazed that many artists who paint from life often don’t have a proper light to work with.  Having a light that can be adjusted to be brighter or dimmer, that is easy to move around the studio, and that has a stand that allows the light to be moved up and down is as essential as setting the stage. It is also helpful to have a light that has a barn door attachment that can dim and focus the light stream, or a light that can be dimmed or made stronger with a dimmer switch. Without the ability to adjust the lighting, you can not produce a masterpiece.

All of these elements and many more are important to your success as a still life painter long before you even lay your first brush stroke down. Imagine what it would be like to be that familiar with your subject before you start painting!  Then, you can enjoy experimenting and noticing what happens as you really see what you are painting; and once you do,  you may never work from photos again!

 

The post The Secret of Painting from Life appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

The Secret Key To Painting – Painting from life

in this video Stefan Baumann reveals The Secret Key To Painting ,
Painting from life. Baumann talks to a group of artist about his experiences to master painting in his classes. You can get more information by going to his website www.StefanBaumann.com The Secrets of Painting from Life
If you want to see the world as spectacular as it is, take a walk in the forest with an artist. The painter’s eye is more sensitive and receives a vast amount more information than a normal person who is experiencing the same view. When students first come to my classes, within weeks they report that they have never before seen the world “in color” as they are now able to do and that painting has opened their eyes to the beauty that surrounds them. The first assignment for new students who come to my classes is to paint a white egg on a white plate that is sitting on a white table cloth. This exercise requires that they really look at their subject before beginning to paint. Most students look at the setup and only see white. Then, with coaching, they look deeper and see that white has little to do with painting eggs at all. At this point, their consciousness has undergone a small expansion and the artist has increased awareness about the painting process. Once the shadows are discovered, then and only then, can the student focus his awareness on the effects that light has on the subject matter.

After that, it is the composition that commands the focus. Gradually or suddenly, the realization that the artist is the one directing the viewer’s perception and that perception can be directed to only one thing at a time. We can not see light, shadow and color at the same time. And we cannot see composition, temperature, and air with just a single glance. We cannot see the windshield and the road at the same time. Creating art is like juggler trying to keep 15 balls up in the air and it’s no wonder that artists begin painting from photos just to make the process easier. But when an artist paints from photos, something is lost and the connection between the artist and subject is disconnected, filtered and dumbed down. When setting up a still life in your studio, the setup must be created just as it will appear in your painting. If you want your painting to have a dark wall with Japanese print wallpaper in the background, you must carefully set up the still life subject using the same objects, values and colors. If you are going to add something red, it must be placed into the composition you are working from before you begin your painting so that everything that appears on the “stage” is just as it appears before you begin to paint it. Also, when painting a still life, lighting the stage is as complicated and important as setting up the composition. I am amazed that many artists who paint from life often don’t have a proper light to work with. Having a light that can be adjusted to be brighter or dimmer, that is easy to move around the studio, and that has a stand that allows the light to be moved up and down is as essential as setting the stage. It is also helpful to have a light that has a barn door attachment that can dim and focus the light stream, a light that can be dimmed or made stronger with a dimmer stitch. Without the ability to adjust the lighting, you can not produce a masterpiece. All of these elements and many more are important to your success as a still life painter long before you even lay your first brush stroke down. Imagine what it would be like to be that familiar with your subject before you start painting! Then, you can enjoy experimenting and noticing what happens as you really see what you are painting; and once you do, you may never work from photos again!

The post The Secret Key To Painting – Painting from life appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Rainbow Bridge, 12″x12″, oil on wood, Collection of the…

Rainbow Bridge, 12″x12″, oil on wood, Collection of the Artist

Number 7. The Heptad symbolizes the completion of a divine journey. The title
“Rainbow Bridge” refers to the Buddhist term for the path traveled from
the lower path the the higher path through the seven chakras. The
imagery of the painting is mainly drawn from The Pythagorean concept of
the Music of Seven Spheres, the musical vibration of the seven planets
in ancient alchemy.

Dream Symbols, oil on wood, 12″x12″, SOLDNumber six. The …

Dream Symbols, oil on wood, 12″x12″, SOLD

Number six. The
Hexad’s principle indicates efficient structure, function and order.
Every whole event occurs at the intersection of these three aspects.

Sky Burial, oil on wood, 12″x12″, $450Number five. The Pentad,…

Sky Burial, oil on wood, 12″x12″, $450

Number five. The
Pentad, or “Quintessence”, encompasses the four elements of matter,
infusing the force of life and representing nature’s fecundity. The
pentagram’s self replicating growth is reflected in the Fibonacci
sequence. 

Artist Block – Don’t Worry, Its OK; It Happens

Part Of Artistic Growth.

Experiencing a bout of “Artist Block”?  It’s OK, it happens to many of us and even some of the greats so there is no reason to quit!

I hope by sharing with you that this is a perfectly normal, of not frustrating, part of artistic growth, then you and I can get through the dry spell with our creative minds intact.

Contemplating Artist Block

“Kitty & Coffee Break in Warm Colors, Study” Contemplating Artist Block…

Maybe You’re Immune.

OK.  First before I get too carried away I’d like to say this: maybe you won’t have this problem of artist’s block.  Its not a foregone conclusion or inevitable.  Maybe you’ll groove through your artist’s life without experiencing “artist’s block” or a period of diminished productivity.  Perhaps your artistic process or natural inclination prevents this problem.  If so, ride the creative wave and have enjoy the experiencence!

Not So For Me.

Or, perhaps you are like me.  From time to time, I have a dip in productivity and nothing seems right.  It happens and its frustrating.  Which reminds me, I ought to define what I mean by artist’s block.

Artist Block Defined.

I looked up the definition of “artist block” on line, naturally.  The “Urban Dictionary” defines it as follows:

“Also known as an ‘art block’, a usually random occurrence in which one loses inspiration and motivation to draw.”  By MonElisa, September 15, 2007

Not So Random – Feelings of Inadequacy.

For me, its probably not so random.  If I were honest with myself, I might look to feelings as the source of the block.  I can be plagued by feelings of “not being good enough”, “I should be better”, “there is too much to learn”, etc.

Or Avoidance and Perfection Dramas.

Another problem for me is work avoidance and there is usually a cause.  Usually its because, well, drawing is hard pretty much all of the time.   Perfection is an additional issue that causes work delays for me.  You know, the attitude that if its not perfect then its not worth doing.  Killer attitude that one don’t you think?  Nothing like making it nearly impossible to succeed.

Commitment Issues.

So, I am working through a slow period.  I’m having trouble completing paintings.  I tease and chastise myself about having commitment issues.  The problem is that I commit to a course of action for about 30 seconds until doubt comes in.  When I think about it, I realize I’m looking for the “one true path” – a sort of perfection that doesn’t exist.

The question for me becomes what to do about the artist block?

Even Picasso Was Blocked – At Least Once**.

Before I move on answering the question about what to do, I’d like to share an antidote with you.  Did you know that even prolific painters, such as Picasso, have periods we might call artists block?  I was surprised when I read about Picasso having a crisis and not being able to paint.   The way he worked himself out of it was by writing.

Working My Way To The Other Side.

As I am working myself out of my artistic slump, I find the fact that Picasso also struggled re-assuring.  Though my inner drama queen was kinda hoping I was the only one who ever suffered in this way.  Darn…its so common.

So, now that I’m among friends, what to do?  The artist block problem needs to solve itself.

Work.

On anything, on everything but just work!  Its our job as artists to get on with our work even if it doesn’t seem to measure up to whatever expectations we impose on ourselves.  Oh my!  Doesn’t that statement say something about my current work situation?

Lets see; note to self:  work without judgement; just work and work a lot!  I’m thinking that ought to be a good personal mantra.

Draw and Paint Anything & Everything.

For me, that means drawing and painting daily.  It doesn’t matter if the results are creative or good.  What is important is practicing, discovering and learning.  And, yes, the results matter too because they can be learned from and lead to starting again.  And again, and tomorrow, again some more!

Perhaps there may be some other things you and I can do to get past the block.   I would imagine the source of the block may hold the key to breaking through to productivity again.  For example, sometimes my paintings take forever and a day to complete.  The process can be tedious and it can be hard to maintain interest.  What if I tried starting and completing a painting in one session, for example?  It would shake things up and get me out of my comfort (and sometimes boring) zone.

Take Aways.

Picasso had artist block at least once so we’re in good company.  And, he got over it and was prolific.

Recognizing that artist block is normal can be step one to overcoming the block.  Next is understanding what part of the process is the stumbling block.

What Next.

I’m laughing at myself because I started this particular blog post about a month ago.  Do you suppose my artist block has creeped into my writing as well?  Could be.

Today, I had a thought and last week I had another thought.  Maybe I’ll talk about what motivates us to draw especially since motivation or lack thereof can influence artist block.

Or, maybe I’ll write more about things to do to get over artist block.  I think its nice to have some ideas to work on in the near future.

Feel Free To Share.

What about you?  Please feel free to comment about your own situation.  Have you ever had to deal with artist block and how did you feel?

Contemplating Artist Block

“Kitty & Coffee Break in Muted Colors, Study”
Still contemplating Artist Block…but making progress

About the Paintings.

The two paintings were done back in 2011.  They were color and design studies based on a drawing done from imagination.  The person and cat could be anyone, though I think it captures how I feel sometimes.  I’m thinking about those quiet contemplation or “space out” moments over a morning cup of coffee with a favorite cat.

Please enjoy.

Selected Related Articles.

*Artist Block, Urban Dictionary

** Picasso, Master of the New Idea.  Marie-Laure Bernadac and Paula Du Bouchet, 1993; Discoveries – Harry N. Abrams Inc, Publishers. New York.  English Edition.  Page 91.

Art & Fear; Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Art Making.  David Bayles & Ted Orland.  1993.  The Image Continuum Press Edition.  Santa Cruz CA & Eugene OR.

“Advice From Artists On How to Overcome Creative Block, Handle Criticism, and Nature Your Sense of Self Worth”,  by Maria Popova, Brain Pickings Website, 2014

Art Blocked? The Anatomy of Art Block, by zack-sr on DevianArt, December 15, 2007

 

 

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The post Artist Block – Don’t Worry, Its OK; It Happens appeared first on Margaret Stermer-Cox.

Create Better Painting “But, What If?”

In this video Stefan Baumann talk to his class about Create Better Painting “But, What If?”Create Better Painting “But, What If?”

Inspiring Millions to paint outdoors This video is about Touch Move and Inspire. Get a free Book at his website www.StefanBaumann.com. The paintings of Stefan Baumann reveal the true spirit of nature by transporting the viewer to distant lands that have gone unseen and undisturbed. With the huge success of Baumann’s weekly PBS television series “The Grand View: America’s National Parks through the Eyes of an Artist,” millions of people witness for themselves the magic Stefan portrays on canvas, his passion for nature and the American landscape. By distilling his love of nature into a luminous painting of brilliant, saturated color that transcends conventional landscape and wildlife art, Baumann has captured the hearts and imaginations of a generation. Each painting becomes an experience rather than merely a picture – a vivid manifestation of his special and personal union with nature and the outdoor world. Through his mastery of light, color and artful composition, Baumann invites you to experience nature in its purity. It is no wonder that for many years distinguished American collectors, including former presidents and financial icons, have sought out his work.

The post Create Better Painting “But, What If?” appeared first on Stefan Baumann – The Grand View: Paintings by Stefan Baumann.

Travels To Asia; Paintings of Souvenirs

Connection To Asia.

I have traveled to the continent of Asia twice, once to Japan and once to Saudi Arabia.  In this blog post, I’d like to tell you about my travels and share some souvenirs.

Asia - Japanese Souvenirs

“Taka Geta” – wooden clogs and “Netsuki” replica (rabbit)

Converging Events.

You might think this an odd subject for the middle of December, but two events converged in my life.  Next week is my oldest sister’s birthday and I needed to create a birthday card for her.  My sister was a high school exchange student to Japan back in the early 1970s, so I usually create a birthday card using souvenirs she sent me.  This is my way of honoring her gift and sharing a connection.  I am including two “cards” that I’ve painted.

The second event in this convergence is a blog post by Candace Rose Rardon titled “The Geography of Connection: A Second Call Out for Your Stories”.  My brain saw “call out” in the title and it caught my attention.   Ms. Rardon talks about travel, connection, and stories.   In this call-out, readers are asked to share stories and connections if they have to the continent of Asia.

Oh, and, she creates cool, artistic maps!

Asia in 1990.

Well, in 1990 I traveled to two different countries in Asia: Japan and Saudi Arabia.  At the time, I was an officer in the United States Army and my travels were duty related.

Sendai, Japan.

I made my trip to Sendai, Japan in early 1990 with a team from the 6th Infantry Division (Light) out of Alaska.  We were to participate as part of IX US Corps in an exercise called “Yamasakura XVIII” with the Japanese Northeastern Army.  It was fun and enlightening.  During the day, we participated in the exercise.  During the evening and time off we participated in social events or explored Japan.  The intention was to foster good will between the two Army’s.

Regarding connections, I met many Japanese people.  We exchanged gifts, shared meals, drank Japanese beer and enjoyed each others company.  I didn’t speak Japanese and they didn’t confess to speaking English…though I’m betting they did.  When traveling, I have found that it is best to be polite and on my best behavior and Japan is no exception.  I would believe that most adults understand some English but are reluctant to speak it.

We did have translators, but during social time, they were over-committed.  Instead, all of us, Japanese and Americans alike, shared our smiles, photos of families and gifts.

Asia: Japanese Souvenirs

Asia: Japanese Hat Dancer Souvenir

No Photos, Just Souvenirs.

All of the photos I took while in Japan were destroyed.  I’m not a good photographer and the 1990s  was a time before digital cameras and smart phones were readily available.  OK, like the amateur I am, I accidentally exposed ALL of my film.

However, I did bring back souvenirs, most of which are in storage.  But I have left a few on display around my home.  Periodically, I like to get them out to use as subjects for a still life set-up. I am including a study I did of a “Japanese Hat Dancer” that given to me.

Such gifts were typical and I treasure them.  I was taken by the kindness of people who did not know me.  For the brief period of time we shared a wonderful camaraderie…and lots of good Japanese beer and Sake.

I was saddened when I heard about the Japanese earthquake close to Sendai in 2011.  The Sendai I visited was such a fascinating, cosmopolitan city.  After scanning the recent news on line, I understand the people have rebuilt their city.  It wasn’t the first and I imagine not the last earthquake or tsunami.

In the Desert, Saudi Arabia.

Later in 1990, I travelled to Saudi Arabia as part of a transportation unit out of Kentucky. We were part of the XVIII Corps (US Army) deployment to Desert Shield and Desert Storm.  During the deployment, I was a transportation officer and worked in transportation operations.  Our unit worked primarily in the northeastern part of Saudi Arabia.

Because of my work, I did not make a personal connection with the people of Saudi Arabia.  Were the situation different, I would enjoy connecting with the people of Saudi Arabia, particularly the women.

I did see a fair amount of the desert.  I grew up in the desert Southwest of the US.  Our desert is vastly different from the Saudi Arabian deserts.  Granted, I only experienced the  Saudi desert from October to June.  However, the vegetation seemed sparse in compared to the deserts of SW New Mexico, my childhood home.

Still, beauty can be found anywhere.  The colors of the desert have there moments.  And, oddly enough, I did notice the birds, particularly the shore birds.  I don’t know how prevalent they were, but there were some puddles and salt lakes – or at least I think that is what they were.  Stilts, avocets, and I think flamingoes were among the birds I saw, though the flamingoes were from a distance.  I did see camels wandering the desert.  That’s something I don’t see every day!

No Photos, Just Memories.

Oh, I did take photos.  You might have guessed, they’re all in storage.  And, they’re mostly about trucks and soldiers.  Come to think of it, another wonderful experience with camaraderie of fellow soldiers.  Lots of personal connections and memories, but not so many photos.

I did some drawings and, guess what, they’re in storage too.  My favorite was of an Army truck… perhaps you can imagine one.

Asia: Japanese Souvenirs

Wooden Dolls and Clogs

Travel to Asia – Excellent Experience.

Whenever I travel, I feel my life experience is so much richer for having seen and encountered people who live differently.  Realizing that I have only visited two countries in Asia, isn’t it fascinating that they bracket the continent?  One to the east and one to the west – or near east and far east.

What about you?  Have you traveled to Asia?  Please feel free to share your story in a comment.  I would also like to invite you to go to Ms. Candance Rose Rardon’s blog and read other stories about travels to Asia.

 

 

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