Taking Time to Paint
Taking Time to Paint “Pansies” by Stefan Baumann
During this time of year, as winter ends and spring begins to awaken with new possibilities and gifts, we at The Grand View Ranch have to wait for spring to visit us because we are located in the mountains at a higher altitude. After months inside the house smothered by snow as the trees stand naked, their leaves stripped by the winter cold, I find myself lingering at the Home Depot nursery allowing the bright colors of the spring flowers to saturate my eyes. Pansies always make me smile. Their brilliant colors and delicate leaves make them fun to paint. I enjoy studying their colorful faces for hours, especially when the world is gray outside my studio window. So when I was at the nursery last week, I scooped up these colorful posies to paint in my studio.
Painting flowers from life is a very challenging thing to do. No matter how fast you paint, flowers change constantly either by following the sun that is beaming through the studio window or wilting from the heat of the light bulb. To paint beautiful flowers, an artist needs to have an agile hand for accuracy of brush strokes, an educated eye that sees the nuances of color and light, and confidence that the hours of painting day after day will produce a painting that sparkles with life. An artist needs to cultivate the practice of taking time to paint.
Whether your desired art form is music, writing, painting, or even cooking, it is the most important thing you can do every day. Most of the excuses seem silly when you look back over the week and ask yourself why you did not take the time to paint this week. Imagine how you would feel if you had painted five paintings. What insights would you have had? What discoveries would you have made? Painting is not just something that you do when it is convenient. If you wait until you feel like it or wait until you are inspired, you will never excel in the discipline of painting. Try taking time to paint first and then find the time to get the other stuff done. Believe me, the other stuff will still be waiting.
The next time you walk past a flat of pansies or a bunch of roses and think, “Wow! I would love to paint those flowers,” stop immediately and buy them. Then go home, turn off your phone, and paint, paint, paint!
Plein air and Alla Prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world. He has many international collectors acquiring his paintings as investments. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Luminism, and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly an American style used to paint the Western landscape. He can be seen painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon National Parks. Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs, filmed on location in the National Parks, are the very best on the art instruction market.