Based on my own experiences I believe you can learn how to paint and have a great time doing it for many years. All most people need is a foundation to build upon. The problem is that if you were to head out to the big box art store and walk into the painting section with all those brushes, canvases, canvas boards, easels, paints, and etc., I think it is pretty overwhelming. You can’t make up your mind. You don’t want to buy a bunch of the wrong stuff. You can’t really find someone to ask and you don’t know what to ask because the help is not always comprised of artists who use this stuff. Their job is usually to find something for you and to put more product on the shelves.
Some of those places offer starting art courses which can be free or at nominal cost, but the problem I find is that you are in a larger metro area. You find out how to begin. You go home to your kitchen table with your new kit and what the heck do you start painting? It’s probably a really nice kitchen in your home, but it is not conducive to painting scenes on canvas from memory. You feel like chopping celery or beating up a poor, defenseless, egg. I find it hard to draw inspiration from a beaten egg or celery. That is why we are Into The Brush in northeastern Minnesota.
Out in the Wilderness – inspiring minds want to know how to capture it in paint
Into The Brush is a learn-the-basics painting program out in the northwoods of Minnesota at Northwind Lodge. With every breath you take, every step you make,
I’ll be watching you you’ll be watching something new to lay down on canvas. Now, I know you can get subject matter in the city as well, but you really need to enjoy angular, linear, and round things. There are many artists who paint architecture and do a really great job of it. It also serves as a wonderful source for practice painting and study. But, OMG, is it boring…. Pretty difficult to beat a beautiful lake, a creek and a waterfall white, bathed in lush green leaves and blue sky back drop. That is our property right here. Wake up to that every morning and tell me you don’t feel like painting something. Take one of the lodge kayaks from our beach and paddle around Jasper Lake. Tell me that you can’t find anything to paint after 2 hours on the water from a duck’s eye view. Listen to Jasper Creek as it travels to Jasper Lake and see what the sound can inspire you to paint. Pretty difficult to find that in a metro area. I mean, beauty exists everywhere, but it’s easier to find if it’s REALLY obvious. Takes all the work out of finding inspiration and you can go home and paint a portrait of your pots and pans anytime thereafter. My favorite was in one of the two art classes I took in college. I got to stare at a huge pile of old shoes and boots and a smashed up tuba. Try to draw garbage and find the will to keep on drawing. I can’t believe I had to pay money for THAT! I learned nothing of value for 10 weeks. I didn’t pursue art in college as I would have had to smoke illegal substances to survive it. How can anyone make something SO dull? The wilderness out your cabin door here is anything but dull. The most lowly blade of grass is beautiful here. I believe painting and art should never be an exercise in tedium.
If you want to take the time and energy, I’ll help you get started with your own painted rock and other surfaces as well including canvases and glassware depending on which which package you select. How about selling your work in the future. Often, I hear that artists don’t sell their work because they only want to create it. That’s great, but how does one buy more paint? Plus, nothing says paint another one like applause AKA money. Will you become a millionaire by selling your work? Gosh, I really do hope so. Nothing would make me happier! Will you sell some of your works? Maybe so, maybe not. Is that your goal? My recommendation is to “lightly” make it your goal. Dream about it in the back of your mind and don’t get all dejected if you don’t sell one right away. Actively selling your art is a whole ‘nother ball of wax, meaning a completely new and separate venture. Let’s keep that goal because a capitalistic spirit does wonders for learning but the “art part” tempers the entire personal experience with enjoying the path more than anything. The path in painting remains the inspiration to paint. One really can’t begin with “painting for dollars” in one’s mind. It does not work because thinking about what will sell first limits your thinking to guessing what somebody else might be thinking. It can be done, but you need to become one with the paint or at least get comfortable with it first. It’s the blending of colors, following shapes, and observing, interpreting and emulating the details that has to be applied in order to paint well. One also needs to draw inspiration and not forget that there will be moments of “blankness” just like writers (another artform) are so afflicted on occasion.
The end result of your painting is the end of the path for that piece. If you sell it – WOOHOO! The best part is the affirmation that someone else values your work enough to take it home with them. That is very inspiring in itself, but the competitive human spirit many times tells one to “beat” that last work. People tend to strive for a “better” end result on the next piece. And, if it doesn’t turn out, you can always repaint and try again! Determination and practice always aid in the development of any skill. Give it a good shot and see how it goes for you.
At Into The Brush at Northwind Lodge, the goal is to learn key points that separates artists from people who believe they can’t paint. Based on my own experiences, which I realize are different than everybody else, I still maintain that with proper attitude, a little bit of guidance, and exposure to wilderness, most people will be able to do something in a short amount of time. Lay down the foundation and the house will go up.