this may not mean much to some other artists, but my last two studio paintings based on outdoor sketches were a personal milestone. I shall keep this up, and gradually become more familiar with my self-imposed limited palette; and then I shall go outside to make a plein air painting for the first time.
a friend took a look at these paintings and said, “i wish i could paint like this.” i remember making this same wish, many times.
it’s human nature to long for and to make something beautiful. it’s in our genes. long ago, making art was only for those who could afford the technical trainings. thus was why artists like Albert Pinkham Ryder who was from a relatively well-to-do family could afford to say: “The artist needs but a roof, a crust of bread, and his easel, and all the rest God gives him in abundance. He must live to paint and not paint to live.” it was a different world back then when owning art, and learning the craft were available mostly to the well-to-do people.
today is a very different world. another friend like to say: “it can be done, we have the technology!” he’s right, we can do it, and we have the technology. we could buy art instructions on DVDs at relatively affordable prices from artists from different parts of the world and watch them in the privacy and comfort of our homes and studios; we could access online forums to share, show off, and to learn from each other; and we have access to art supplies at relatively reasonable prices.
so yes you can do this, you have the technology, and you have the creative genes. the latter just needs to be coaxed out onto the stage. like a new language, you learn more and more with practice and interact with others of the like. get an instructional DVD, go to a workshop, and meet other artists. don’t feel intimidated of the others. remember, they’ve also had once wished that they could paint like this. of course, like this depends on what you were longing for at the moment. i wager that some of them still make this wish. i still do. but don’t wish and do nothing about it, make it happen.
“Practise what you know, and it will help to make clear what now you do not know.”—Rembrandt Van Rijn