Over the last year, I decided I was going to be focused on developing new art skills. I like to draw, but I want to be better. I like the idea of oil painting, but where do you even start?
I initially started by searching for Art schools/degrees/programs… and somehow, perhaps serendipitously, came upon this blog post titled Don’t go to art school. It was so important for me to read this. I had always kicked myself for not going, feeling I had missed my chance, but reading what the writer had to say I discovered there were other (and more cost efficient!) avenues.
At that point I started trying to focus in on what skills I would like to learn and what style I really connected with. I hadn’t figured that out and looking back I think I wanted Art School to propel me into a path up until that point. Through the process of investigating what classes were out there I discovered there were places called ateliers that taught using the methods of the old masters. From that point on, the whole Classical Realism movement hooked me in and really just fell in love with it.
I love the history and skill and beauty of it all. Bringing a slow, technical skill that’s end result is beautiful and real feels important in this increasingly fast toxic world.
Some of the places I have found that have been really helpful to me and my be helpful to you if you’re starting an artistic journey.
Sadie Valeri (online and in studio)
Sadie has an atelier in San Francisco and for some reason she wants to share her knowledge with us. Don’t ask why… just go with it and soak it in. I went to her studio once a week for about 6 months. She is the real deal and I am so happy I was able to learn from her! Eventually the long 1 hr drive to the city and 2 hr drive home took it’s toll and I decided to stop and find somewhere a bit closer to home. I hope to get to workshops throughout the year with even more amazing painters/instructors. Also, I have plans to pick up on her online instruction. You can check out Sadie’s FB class here.
NUMU is a local museum 10 minutes from my house and where I will now be taking classes! It sure makes a difference going from 3 hours of driving to 20 minutes! And I can fit it in with the kid’s school hours – big plus! If you are in San Jose area, check it out!
Colossal did an advertisement post about Craftsy and it looked really interesting! So I thought I’d try it out with Oil Painting. I have only really worked with drawing and watercolor and know NOTHING about oil. I have been working on the painting below using the info and process from The Oil Painter’s Handbook and Paint and Palette Essentials. It has been so fun! And I’m really happy with the amount of information I have received from an online class.
The online courses are great, but I would recommend getting into an atelier to anyone wanting to pursue art. It’s not like I’ve made a ton of new BFFs, but just being around other artists has done so much for me in continuing to be excited about art and the process of art. To regularly be with people who want to learn and create so much they fit it into busy schedules is so inspiring!