Thursday, February 13, 2014

Know thyself...

     Know Thy Art....

A look inside the emotional aspect of creating.    

by Donna Peters

In the weeks after each class I enjoy the many e-mail notes and conversations with those who joined me to paint.  The most common comment is how they feel they suddenly have "new eyes" and a new vision of awareness.

For those who have had this experience, it is very exciting.  Sometimes the growth does not appear in the class, but in the weeks and even years following the classes.  The mind may be miles away from the painting experience when suddenly the eyes and the creative brain awaken and reveal the new understanding of what the eyes have seen all along!

The "ah ha!" moment...

I was painting a marsh scene on location years ago when I took the courage of making a very contrasting stroke of color.  It worked!
 Suddenly the words of a college professor came back to me as if he were standing over my shoulder.

It was my truest ah-ha moment!  I  had finally learned for myself what he had been trying to get me to see.
I had to be grinning!  My investment in college and the wisdom of a great teacher and artist, Richard Brough, had just paid off.  For a moment I was back at the U of A struggling to earn my BFA. I felt as if my whole life now had continuity and certainly a plan of purpose.  The feeling was wonderful.

The Magic of Emotion...

Watching the Olympics this week, I stopped to watch the awards ceremony of a beaming American girl as she stood with great reverence as the Russian band played the American National Anthem.  She was beaming with emotion and near tears, but the music was churned out.  It was evident the musicians did not share her pride and emotion.  Every note was right, in place, in tune, but without emotion.  The sounds made my heart ache, but I knew it was not their fault.  They fulfilled a duty but it was not music!

When art is created on the canvas with the same lack of emotion, the results are the same.  a requirement of performance is fulfilled, but the results are entirely un-fulfilling, empty, without beauty.

One of the last things I try to encourage artists to do as they leave the class vowing to paint more on their own, is to paint what they love....  Paint anything with emotion and you will have a winner.  The subject becomes secondary to the emotion.

We are all attracted to positive emotion in art, music and any personal expression.

So, if you love boats, paint them with passion.  

If you love frogs more, leave the boats alone and go for the frogs! 

When a senior citizen tells me with tears in her eyes that she has waited her entire life for a chance to learn to paint, I realized how blessed I have been to have enjoyed art my entire life.  It is never too late to learn anything.  The rewards are the same, but such a shame to miss the beauty all those lost years!!

Thank you to everyone who joined with me to paint these last 2 months.  

I love watching you grow and bloom!

Donna Peters, artist 


I am going to tach a special "plein air" class on the Mississippi Gulf Coast 

May 17 & 18, 2014

The class will be very limited in size so if you want to take part, please sign up now.  We will paint on location that Saturday and then in a pavilion the next day.  We will be painting a small landscape to learn how to capture the emotional qualities from the real thing!

Painting in plein air is the most inspiring artistic experience you can have.  No mater who your instructor or leader is, you will study from the highest power.  

 I hope you will "Follow Me" on this blog so you will not miss my next post.  Everything I offer you here is a serious sharing of what I have learned in my life as an artist.  If I can inspire you to paint... or write, I have have inspired you to live.

Donna Peters 

My "plein air" studio.