There are some in the art world who don’t think artists should share their secrets.
They think artists should be mysterious, and if you don’t “get” their work, that’s just your misfortune. Supposedly, you’re supposed to go out and find your little group of people who do get your work and stick with your own kind.
I’m not one of those artists. I enjoy telling people how I paint, why I paint, and how they can learn to paint too if they want to. I don’t think there’s any big secret to art, just like there’s no big secret to algebra. I just happen to enjoy one more than the other, so I’ve taken the time to learn how to communicate with my artistic skills. I think anyone who is motivated to learn to paint can do so. It might not look like my painting, or any other artist’s painting, but why would you want it to? Your art should show the way you see the world, not how you think the world wants to see your art.
I do think it’s ridiculous to try to market yourself to all art lovers, as each has his or her own unique taste. I don’t expect everyone to enjoy my art (I wouldn’t be able to sit at a festival and watch the faces people make at my work if I did!) I am happy, however, to share all my “secrets,” and price my work so people can afford to buy it.
When I first began taking pastel classes, I had a wonderful teacher who started by saying that he would tell us everything he knew. He enjoyed using his skill to help us succeed on our own. I think this is the true spirit of art– it may make us artists a little less mysterious and special, but it also gives us a place alongside our fellow humans, rather than apart from them.
If you’d like to share the spirit of art and learn or teach some lessons, here are some free ones I have published on Bright Hub:
To read my latest blog post on painting reflective water, click here:
To see my latest works, click here: