Learn from Michelle

Immerse Yourself

Dog with piglets
"Art is contemplation. It is the pleasure of the mind which searches into nature and which there divines the spirit of which nature herself is animated." - Auguste Rodin
This is our dog Frost when our piggies were still little. There was something about the picture that was so innocent and sweet. A guardian dog touching the snout of a piglet she's been instructed to protect.
Even though our pigs are far from the size of piglets anymore, do you know what Frost still smells like?
Pigs, chickens, and cows. Trust me, she stinks to high heaven!
But why if those pigs are grown does Frost still smell like them? Well, even going through guardian training, she is a BIG goof. She will still try to play with the animals on the farm. She will wallow where they eat, where they sleep, and where they play.
She may have a ways to go on being considered a guardian animal, but one thing Frost has always had down pat was being with her drove, her flock, and her herd.
You see in order to know a group you have to immerse yourself in it. As artists, we can learn a valuable lesson from animals. Before we can truly know art and know who or what we are painting, we must learn to immerse ourselves in the world of art.
That means knowing the past, knowing the present, and striving to be a part of the future. That means knowing the styles, knowing our subjects, and knowing the artistic movements.
There is a reason Beyond the Brushes doesn't stop at just teaching you to paint. I expose students to different artistic styles and movements, I teach elements of art, and I make information available or sit in the hot seat to answer questions beyond the brush material. There is so much more to painting than just painting.
The first time I painted the photo, it was in full color.
Something about this just didn't sit right with me, so after sitting on the painting for a while, I realized it needed to be in charcoal.
Did I hide that? Obviously not!
My students are the first to know when I feel like I have done an injustice to a painting. Art is about development, and to develop, you're going to make some mistakes. Embrace them, embrace your subject, and immerse yourself in the world of art.
Hand-painted in Adobe Photoshop CC using a Wacom Intuos Pro and the Wacom Art Pen.
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