Thursday, February 28, 2013

Teaching And Sharing

The February oil workshops were a huge success.

 For those who have just joined the Creative Courage Blog, I taught three one day workshops in February in three different cities at the local Hobby Lobby stores.  We averaged 12 at each one which is about the limit for the space our equipment.  The variety of participants was a much fun as an Easter egg basket.  Beginners, Sunday painters and even a professional or 2 made for a fabulous group.  

Here are three of the many wonderful responses we have received: 

Dear Donna,

I had to take an opportunity to let you know how much I enjoyed your class yesterday at Hobby Lobby! I have tried to take art classes from other instructors before, but became very frustrated because I felt I was not receiving the type of instruction I needed, nor the individual time I needed. I did not feel that frustration in your class. I came away from the class feeling fulfilled. I received not only the type of instruction I needed, but the individual time I needed also. After your class I believe I am ready to tackle more projects with a lot more confidence.

Thank you so much! I look forward to more of your classes.


I loved the note from Mary who has already written us to ask how to handle a canvas selection for her next painting:

                               I had a great time and looking forward to your next oil class.

Just a quick note to thank you for the class Saturday.  I set up my
stuff in a bright area of my basement and am ready to go.  I did some
work on the painting.

I was quite overcome when a lady in the Mississippi class told me, with tears in her eyes.

“I have waited 50 years for this day.”

      When I hear things like this from friends who have joined with me to learn to paint on an adult level, I am in awe and so blessed to have them as a student.

I promise to give you inspiration, serious technique and support you as you grow and enrich your life in meaningful artistic experience.

Suggestions for success:

I see more frustration and anxiety when artists try to avoid buying the best palette.  Paper plates are terrible even at picnics… and worse when used as a palette!!
Buy the Masterson blue lid box that seals.  Buy the 12 x 16" size disposable palette.  Remove only the cover of the palette and put the WHOLE disposable palette into the palette box.
To see how to clean this palette at the end of your paint day, view my video
“How The Clean a Paint Palette.”

Take the yellow top cover off the pad and place the entire pad into the box.

It is so very important to always lay out your paints in the same order!

The blue bar in the top right hand corner is reserved for your palette knife.  This one small bit of change in your paint experience can make a huge difference.  The cost of this palette and box will be paid for by the savings in paint... in your first week of painting!

Learning what brushes are best for you is very much like your collection of shoes:
You never have all you want.
Certain ones will always be your favorite.
When you have a special occasion, the wrong pair of shoes can ruin picture.

Take the advice of a good teacher and invest in some good brushes.  Buy them one at a time on sale or using coupons.  Take care of them.
 Never allow them to sit in the turp jar.
Clean them well after each use.

Turpentine jar:

If you use a fruit jar with a little turpentine in the bottom, you will never have a clean brush because the brush will go back into the dirty turp.  Special and affordable jars are available in all the hobby stores that have a metal coil or wire dome to allow the dirty paint to fall to the bottom of the jar.  The brush is gently rubbed across  the metal coil or wire dome.  The old paint falls thru to the bottom of the turp jar allowing the brush to be cleaned.  The turpentine should come about 1/2" over the coil. DO NOT USE BRUSH CLEANER. Use turpentine that is sold with the art supplies.  It is odorless and distilled just for this use.

Note, never allow your brushes to sit in the turp as shown. 

A very special thank you goes to 

Hobby Lobby 

and their generous use of the class rooms in Gulfport, MS, 

Cullman and Huntsville, AL

I hope that each of the visitors to my blog will gain some very good information from this edition.  Imagine getting directions from your house to a friend's home.  Remove just one sentence and I doubt you will get where 

you want to be.

donna peters

Friday, February 15, 2013

Gathering the Inspiration

A great day before teaching my class!

To inspire others, I need to be filled with enthusiasm for my own endeavors and today is that day.
The sun is warm but the slight breeze is cool.
I have returned to this same spot several times over the years. Today I sat waiting to hear the draw bridge signal to open telling me a boat was coming.

The ideas for a painting are not always instant. Some takes months or years to develop in the minds eye. It is this imagination we feed with new information and fresh inspiration.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Little Tricks of Painting


It takes courage to admit emotions can deal us all trouble when we want to paint.  I tell the folks that paint with me to never put them away because once they get "cold" it is twice as hard to get them out again.

Here are a few tricks to make getting back into painting a little less intimidating.  

1. Make a date with yourself to have the paints and easel out and in the right place by 5 pm tomorrow.

2. Check your brushes to make sure they were cleaned right after you last painted.  It some feel stiff, get the brush soap and lather them up real well, working the suds into the bristles.  Let sit over-night.
        whew!  Now you can't paint for a few days because brush cleaning takes several days.  Rinse well the next day and allow them to dry for a couple of days before using. Wink!

3.  Before you paint, give yourself a day or so just to try and remember where you were with the unfinished work...... Only work on ONE at a time for now.  Turn the others to the wall.

4. Plan your day for painting.  Get the daily tasks out of the way before starting.  Turn phones off.  

5. If by now you are comfortable with painting and the world is not beating your door down, dig in and stay up all night! 


If you have painted with us on so many paint weeks on the coast when Brenda P. is with us, you will want to know her Chemo started yesterday!!  She had her hair cut off today and is sporting a snazzy wig. 
 Let's keep her in our prayers.  We have so many more paintings to do together!

Happy Valentines!

Looking forward to painting with 12 great folks this Saturday in Gulfport, MS !!
Everyone is so excited to have friends to get them painting again.  Love it!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Hobby Lobby Day of Fun!


We had a wonderful day in Cullman's Hobby Lobby.  

The day began with the threat of frozen rain, but all 13 of us arrived safely.  Nestled in our back room studio we entered a day of fun and learning.  The weather no longer a problem for any of us.

The class was a perfect balance of artists.  We had 2 beginners that we helped shop for supplies. 
                       That was fun. 

There were others who had painted years ago and are now working to reclaim their earlier desire to become artists. We also had several really accomplished artists that know the value of studying with other artist just to keep their skills developing and growing.

The start of any good painting are the right materials, colours and a palette ready for use. 
Marion is a great artist and always curious to find now materials and colour combinations.

The room worked real well for our group. Each person had a comfortable place to paint.  The coffee pot and a snack cakes were available for anyone who needed a break. 

 With our palettes all squeezed and ready to go, we mix our first three shades of green and using the palette knife, we dab it on to be blended later using the simplest of brushes.

Easy enough and we are off into a magical day of oil painting.

 Enthusiasm is contagious as we inspire each other.  Throw in a little humor and the day is ours.

Pretty soon the canvases fill with shades of green blue and purple.  
The water of a soothing pond takes shape and it is almost time for lunch.

Each new color is explained.  Each new step is demonstrated.  By afternoon, there are 13 new paintings in the class.  We are all excited about the new techniques we have learned and excited to apply them to other paintings to come. 

The day has been wonderful.  New friends are made and we make plans to get together again to paint. 

Many thanks to Hobby Lobby, our host for the day.  

Hobby Lobby has made new hobbies available to so many people in America thru their stores.  It was just a couple of years ago that being an artist meant we had to order all our supplies from places far away and wait for days for them to arrive. 

The next workshops will be in Huntsville, AL and Gulfport, MS.
If you want to be a part of one of these days in February, let us.  It is very important that you reserve your space.  Classes can fill very quickly!