Begin the Journey

Taking Your Art to the Next Level

Published on July 16, 2009 under All Posts
Taking Your Art to the Next Level
Stefan Baumann landscape artist PBS TV Painting National Parks, Plein Air, oil painting, paints Rhododendron Bloom DVD's Grand View alla prima wildlife

Last of the Rhododendron Bloom

Taking Your Art to the Next Level

Last of the Rhododendron Bloom

Working and maintaining a ranch is time consuming and hard work.  As I am doing my daily chores, I see hundreds of ideas for paintings, like the wildflowers that call to me wanting to be painted, along with those commissions that are due to collectors.  I often have to just stop and take note of the fantastic abundance that I have at The Grand View Ranch.  Today was the last of the Rhododendron bloom, and with this in mind, I put aside the tasks at the ranch to paint these magnificent blossoms.

For some people, art has been a part of their life since an early age and these artists are lucky, because for them, art is a way of life.  Many people gravitate toward becoming an artist later in their lives because they are looking for an activity to bring relaxation and meaning into their hectic lives.  Others are looking for something to do during retirement.  Most people become artists because they enjoy the creative freedom to paint what inspires them, and find that they are encouraged to express their deepest ideas, visions, and desires as well.  Some artists want to create something from their own experience to share with others, with their family, and with the world.  They may have a moment when they see an amazing, morning sunrise and say, “Look at that!  It’s beautiful.  I wish someone could see how breathtaking it is.”  If they take their time to paint what they see and feel, and share it with others, they discover the magical ingredient that compels artists to create art-  the connection of sharing one’s self with others – which becomes the power that can take your art to the next level.

I painted this painting of the Rhododendrons for you because I wanted to share the moment when I discovered these beautiful and delicately colored flowers as they gave their best in the last days of their blooming season.

If you wish to accomplish anything extraordinary in art, you must do everything necessary to paint effectively by including some simple elements such as a central focal point, subtle values, and accurate drawing in the painting.  To be successful, you must grab the viewer’s attention and be able to hold it.  An artist is like a great conductor or director who knows how to focus the attention of his or her audience on the art at hand.  By contrasting light and dark colors, the artist captures the viewers’ eyes and leads them around the canvas from hard to soft edges, from detailed to loose brushstrokes, and with the addition of counterbalanced values, gives the finale that wows them with a crescendo of light.  Creating great art is no accident; it is as deliberate as an Agatha Christie mystery novel.  It takes knowledge, hard work, concentration, and dedication to create a masterpiece that looks free and feels expressive.  When choosing your subject, let the subject come from within you and let your painting be a simple act of sharing.  It does not have to be complicated or heroic, or have some great meaning or message.  Great art touches us deeply in a way we cannot forget.

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