Above is an Eastman Johnson painting. I included it here because I have been doing all of these American art historical posts and I wanted to be sure to impress upon you readers that I am cherry picking the landscapists from the greater history. I have skipped over a number of fine and important painters as they are not particularly associated with the landscape tradition. This blog tends to be mostly about landscape painting, however much that is here would be applicable to other genres.
I have continued to brood about what steps an adult with a real life and its responsibilities can take to improve their painting. Here's the nightly disclaimer, if you can, find one of the traditional painting ateliers and study there. But if that is not possible, I suggest that you ;
- Frequent museums and galleries to study fine painting.
- Read books about painting, particularly those written by artists. I will post a suggested reading list sometime soon.
- Join the best art association in your area.
- Befriend and "shadow" artists who are professionals, that you think have good technique, and from who you can learn.
- Take workshops on painting.
- Join a figure drawing group.
- Copy old master drawings. I wrote about that here.
- Do memory drawing exercises.
- Enter local shows and galleries.
- Paint, paint and paint some more. Work at it everyday, if you can.
- Find a few friends who are working towards the same thing and try to encourage one another and share the new ideas you are learning.
- Subscribe to art magazines and keep clipping files. I wrote about that here.
- Stock your work area with good quality materials, brushes and equipment, art is hard enough to do with the best of materials.
- Put butter in your shoes.
I have known a few good painters who were not terribly bright, I have known none who didn't work obsessively.