Art in the Albemarle Area

Happy New Year!!! I hope your year is starting off well. This month traditionally is a time of new beginnings and resolutions. I hope many of the beginning artists received the materials needed to get started in art and the more advanced artists received a bit higher quality materials.

Whatever you received artwise, you need to play with it before trying to complete a painting. After all, this is supposed to be fun!!! Perhaps you received some paintbrushes in your stockings this year. Let ‘s examine how you should get started using those brushes. I take each brush and a separate watercolor or acrylic paper, one for each brush, and make different strokes on those papers. I make fine lines with the very thin brushes, called liners. With round brushes I will load them with paint and start out with a gentle stroke then press the brush into the canvas and get a wider stroke. I do the same thing with flat brushes. These activities will allow you, the artist, to see the various ways to make strokes. I will try each brush with the different mediums I use. I will learn to make one stroke paintings in this manner. Making these style of strokes will also let you know how your brushes hold paint. Some brushes will hold a lot of pigment land some will hold only a minimum amount of pigment. If you do this with the different mediums you will discover that some brushes hold water and pigment longer than the others and different shapes can be made on your canvas with the different brushes. My favorite brush to use is the “fan” brush. I can make clouds, grasses, trees and a multitude of other shapes with it. I also favor a “rigger” brush, a long narrow haired brush, designed to make small fine lines. Also, with the addition of new brushes, I can “modify” some of my older more worn-out brushes into specialty brushes. Next look at how paint is absorbed on your canvas. If you received new paints or higher quality paints, you have the opportunity to play around and test this out. Determine the blending quality of the new paintbrushes and different paints. Move some of the paint around on your canvas does it apply smoothly or does it leave little flakes? Familiarize yourself with your new paint.

Find the time to check out those new videos you may have received or viewed on the internet.These videos may have some new methods and new techniques that will enhance your art. Look up some of the you-tube art lessons. They are invaluable.

Go visit one of the area art museums during the month of January. It is usually a bit too cold to go outside and paint. It will give you the chance to view the artists’ work and brush stroke techniques. If there are figures in the painting examine how they were painted. Many times you will notice the paintings are not as detailed as you would think.

With the New Year upon us, perhaps there are some artsy things you have resolved to do or would like to resolve to do. I have a few suggestions:

  1. Resolve to spend more time painting. The more you paint the better you become.
  2. Try different brush strokes, perhaps even one-stroke painting.
  3. Try different mediums, maybe even some “mixed” media activities.
  4. Be creative with your painting and not so serious, just play with your paint.

I hope this new year provides many new opportunities and activities for each of you. Enjoy your life, paint the things you are familiar with and have a wonderful time with your art! I have included a painting of one of my newest creations. Swamp Dragons.

Don’t forget the First Friday Art Walk in Elizabeth City. Also, check out the art classes offered in and around your county.

Feel free to contact me by e-mail or by phone 252-267-5437. Talmage Dunn, Artist.