One session (or two or three) with an artist whose work you admire, or whose lifestyle is one you'd like to hear more about, emulate, or even soak up in person (if you are wildly blessed), is often enough to impact your own art practice forever.
I know it to be true. I've lived it.
About two years ago, someone who I have yet to meet in person, and who I am sure wants to be anonymous (otherwise I would gladly tell you her name - giving credit where credit is due is one of my strengths, actually) gifted me with an expensive online class.
It was, as I remember, a three month journey, a deep dive into many art mediums and techniques, with an emphasis on expressive portrait painting. It has changed my practice of art ever since.
Since I cannot thank her publicly, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank three of the teachers who have most impacted my art - as well as share a couple of artists (of a very small handful) from whom I hope to learn in the future.
(You'll have to watch the video to see which artists have influenced me most in the last two years. Come back after the video to see who the artist is, at whose feet I hope to sit in the next two years...)
Right now, this moment, I am loving getting to learn from a new-to-me artist, Julie Johnson (whose Instagram feed is a must follow, if you love art). I am taking her new class entitled "Making Art Sing" and have already learned so much I can't wait to sit down with my Inktense pencils.
In coming months and years, I hope to learn from my own son-in-law Jonathan Howe.
He has a unique style - one that I don't want to copy. I have my own style - and I'm proud of it and I have worked hard to establish my own artistic voice. But I believe Jonathan could teach me a thing or five about oils and color theory and values...and perspective and drawing and pretty much everything. He is the sort of teacher who would respect my own unique style, and could teach to it.
I've already taken one of his live classes, and it lit a fire in me for oils that is entirely incompatible with the flammable nature of the medium. But there you have it.
I want to take all I have learned, and the style I have established with mixed media and acrylics, and translate it into oils.
links to the artists featured in my video:
Gillian Lee Smith