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Blog University 5

October 24th, 2012

Follow up on drawing
I once offered to pay a professor to teach me one song that I could play any time I saw a piano. No scales. No finger exercises. Just a pleasant tune to amuse myself. I knew I was not concert material.

Needless to say she did not keep her bargain. I did not pursue it. This is similar to many who feel they cannot draw.

Do you feel that you must draw before pursuing any other art form, such as painting?

Are you familiar with the many variations of style in every art form?

If you are satisfied that you cannot draw to your own satisfaction, that is OK! Do you want to know more, as I did, just to please yourself? Then go for it. Keep finding challenges as your experience opens to new vistas. I found I liked pushing myself to know more about the work of an artist just from an introduction to oil painting.

Who knew?

There are many opportunities for guidance online, community groups and classes, even private lessons with an artist whose work you like. Don't struggle. Feel free to try other options.

The link below has a long list of lessons that are free. (I did not read them to be sure my writing is from my own experience.) See if you get some ideas you want to try. Then START!

Link to classes:

For more about drawing and painting techniques, follow: Blog University

Related article
Drawing competition! (

Blog University 4

October 12th, 2012

Blog University 4

Recent Studio Work

Amsterdam acrylics on canvas

Two studies using acrylics that have a creamy consistency and vibrant colors. The smaller image, Nightscape, shows the way the color adhered to the gesso underpainting.  It is not as noticeable  on the painting itself. The artist can make choices to leave the texture or sand the canvas and repaint it. Read more of this post

le artiste boots | September 27, 2012 at 5:05 am | Tags: Art, education, inspiration, Painting, Visual arts, Who knew? | Categories: Art, Uncategorized, Who knew?
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Blog University - 3

August 27th, 2012

Blog University - 3

Blog University 3
Can't draw a straight line? This may be the most dangerous idea for understanding what a visual artist does. It stops conversation with the artist. Except for technical drawing, there is little artist's do with straight lines.

How should the artist respond? Was it meant as a comparison with her work? Is the emotion expressed caused by an old pain? We have a history of critiquing early efforts from childhood. The effect discourages future exploration of the arts.

Truthfully we can't all paint or sing, instrumental music escapes talent. We have to teach from childhood that there are many ways to participate in the joys of all forms: theater, music or visual arts. The desire to learn can be encouraged at any age. The teacher learns as the student learns.

A young lady who had no previous training came to my watercolor class. After the students had been painting, i noticed the most amazing use of color and technique. Her brush was turned so that the handle made dots of brilliant colors! The subject was a lake surrounded by trees. The fall foliage was reflected in the still surface of the water.

The teacher is obligated to suggest what is a positive direction even when it differs from her own work. Creativity is fragile and very personal.

For this student, I suggested not taking classes until she had explored this gift. I suggested artists who used watercolor in innovative ways. There is a lot you can learn by doing and seeing the work of others in museums or books. I was afraid she would become diiscouraged by a teacher who used more traditional methods.

There are many motivations for exploring the artist's skill. Some may want to do something 'just for themselves" or all the way to a profession. Those who go on to other arts exploration will be better informed collectors.

Have you had a supportive teacher who encouraged you to like your results? Did you share something you liked before being critical?

Blog University Note

August 19th, 2012

I want to thank all who read and repost Blog University content. You can post comments to me on this website or my twitter account.

If you do not see a comment button, go to any image and find the link to inquire about original work. (We do not ship outside of.the USA!)

Again, your responses have been great. Let me know if you have questions or suggestions. The whole point is to share..

Blog University - 2

August 12th, 2012

The  decision to go public

Wordsmiths and artists of all disciplines reach a point where they want to share their work beyond family and friends. For each, the reasons are personal and varied. Finding the right venue to meet your goals is one step. But not the first.

Any route you take requires a body of work. Roger Curtis, famous for his seascapes, told his students not to enter classwork in exhibitions. He would embarrass anyone caught doing  it. He would ask a student before demonstrating on her painting. Thus it was not completely your work.

Presentation is the key.

Do you have your painting properly framed for exhIbition. Works on paper require mats and glass. Now wider stretcher bars allow Work on canvas to be unframed. Still the edges must be painted. Is the subject matter suitable for a general audience?

OnlIne  galleries

You may have a full gallery on a website or just a few paintings.  Use the best images to showcase your work. If you are not a good photographer, ask someone to do it. Today digital images are most desired.

Review your submissions with a critical eye.  Others will judge you and compare your art to others.  Now that you are sharing your art and writing with the world, are you satisfied with  the presentation?

Read full post on website April 12, 2012.

Blog University - 1 (
New Artist in the Gallery: Shawn Deitch (

Blog University 1

July 9th, 2012

Blog University – 1
July 5, 2012 by le artiste boots

By Bettye W. Harwell

Learning from bloggers

Marketing, marketing and more marketing requires as much creativity as the artist’s output. The term ‘artist’ should cover any creative discipline.  We know there are people working in who have no desire to go public. The doing is enough.

Then there are many who want and need to share. The reasons vary.

Do you want to communicate to get feedback?

Are you interested in critique or to get a mentor?

Do you need to test the financial viability of your work?

Writers will find interest in a blog tour to promote a book.  It has been tested with success. Visual artists use all or part of this plan if helpful.

Have you tried promoting through an online event? Please share (comment or post). Did you get a boost in sales directly from your efforts?  Would you repeat? What worked the best? Failed?

Read this post for inspiration on marketing:

Resource for oil painters

A new blog to me is soooo good! Today the post tells all about paint made by just one man in North Carolina. The blogger tests and compares quality and costs brilliantly. He tells the story of Indian yellow. The old version caused artists to want to eat it with a spoon. (not really.)

Who knew?

We found two tubes in a dusty old store in Kentucky ten years ago.  Three paintings show the brilliance and depth of this old version.  Check out his comments on turquoise and black.  It will make former oil painters  give it another try.

Related articles
Abstract Landscape Painter Brightens Internet with Launch of Colorful Web (

Bettye Harwell Blog

June 26th, 2012


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