HOW TO BECOME AN ARTIST

Heather Kelley

hkelley1

Step 1: Choose the right parents. 

Your mom takes art lessons from a prominent local artist.  You are a toddler who gets to scribble on scraps of paper during these lessons.  Mom never confesses to a suspected affair. You might have been a foil…

Step 2: Grow up in the 1950’s

Status and appearance are important.  The rising middle class (your parents) emulates the wealthy by filling their homes with encyclopedia sets, classical music, condensed literary classics (why waste time?), and art prints.  You are a visual learner and you:

hkelley2
a. read Classic Illustrated comics, the first graphic novels based on the classics. This is of great value later on, when people think that you are a “well-read” adult!

hkelley3

b. watch Winky Dink, the first interactive television program, where you purchase a plastic overlay for the tv screen and draw on it to save Winky Dink and his dog Woofer from potential hazards.(Good thing you drew that bridge just in time!)

hkelley4

c. submit an entry to the “Draw Me!” ad in Readers Digest to try to win an art scholarship. This marketing scam gives you false hope of becoming a professional artist by buying a pricey correspondence art course.

hkelley5

d. complete many paint by number masterpieces. You learn to stay in the lines.

hkelley6 Ralph Bagley

e. take private art lessons with schoolgirl besties on Saturday mornings with 2 of Orlando’s art legends, Ralph Bagley and William Orr. Learn the basic techniques and composition of art, and begin the dream of becoming an artist.

Step 3. This step takes 50 years when you come of age in a sexist culture that coerces you to lower your expectations and forces you to completely lose track of your dream.

a. through k. you major in art at university (finally, real grades for real art), and the dream is reinterpreted for you because you are single and a mother. “Sorry,” says the dean of the art department, “even though you are a great painter, you must major in art education, not painting. There are no open spots in the painting track.” That is not true; it is because you are now a mother who “should” follow a traditional career path. You teach art but marry an ambitious entrepreneur and be his office manager for over 20 years to further his artistic success. Things change in marriage and business and you are back to teaching high school English. (You already have a vast knowledge of classic novels!) Additionally, you are fully responsible for caretaking your elderly mother who is in her late 90’s (Remember, she gave you your first art exposure in Step 1). She keeps your dream alive with encouragement for you and artful conversations. You keep her alive…for a while. You receive additional encouragement from daughters and friends. You begin painting seriously again at age 55 and join other artists in life drawing sessions. Inspiration returns!

Step 4. Blossom.
You are validated by being accepted into local art shows and winning some prizes. Your acceptance as a member in The Fifth Avenue Art Gallery comes almost simultaneously with your long awaited glorious retirement. You feel the lightness of being. You start new adventures. You meet the love of your life. Just like that! You are an artist.

Heather Kelley is a member-artist at Fifth Avenue Art Gallery. More about Heather

Advertisements

Apply for a Gallery Exhibition

Fifth Avenue Art Gallery is taking submissions for guest artist exhibitions. This is a great opportunity for emerging artists, mid-career artist, artists who have “new work” to share or a group of artists who would like to curate an exhibition.

We present a new exhibit every month in our front room gallery and host a opening night reception with all the bells and whistles. We are completing our 2019 schedule soon! Get your submission in now. Get all the information…
Here’s How 

gallery shot lighter

Talk of Sailing or Art ~ Jini James

If you’ve heard my story before, I’ll try to add more flair.   My Dad once told me about trading a new pair of roller-skates for a sailboat, I think he called it a Snipe, and he kept it hidden at a local pond.  Much later, while he was still living, I came home from work and told him I just bought a boat.  Imagine the look on his face. The Annapolis Sailing School experience gave me a great start but the decision came to me with Dad’s old story.

Time passed and I always found myself living near a body of water with a boat.  Colleges, a brief stint in art school, then graduate school, followed by art workshops and mentorships all influenced how I approached art making.   I love chemistry and discovery of the nature of things.   I have to understand it, everything about “it” before the subject or idea goes down on paper, canvas, sandpaper or whatever the supply stores sell.

We lived in Bucks County, PA with a circle of artist friends.  The exposure was breath-taking.  I got to see how they worked at art for a living and collected art for their pleasure.   It becomes my mission then to spread art-awareness to everyone I meet especially in communities that know little about the visual arts.   If you cross my path, there will be either talk of sailing or art.

My watercolor shown here is part of a local hospital collection and is referenced by our boatyard on the Eastern Shore of MD.  The photo is of me at the boatyard using my art skills to paint a Bermuda Longtail on the transom of our 42ft Grampian.  The paint job has held up for over 20 years.  I try my best to do it right the first time.

CALL FOR ART ~ Treasure Trove

July 30 – August 26, 201

Fine, Fun, Functional Art


We are so excited to invite artists and crafters to participate in our August show: Treasure Trove! We will transform the front room gallery into an eclectic shopping boutique, full of hand-made one of a kind, treasures. We want all kinds of fabulous creative thinkers and doers to be part of our very first TREASURE TROVE!

WHAT: TREASURE TROVE, a juried art and craft show and sale.
WHERE: Fifth Avenue Art Gallery in EGAD (Eau Gallie Arts District)
WHEN: The exhibit/sale will run from July 30- August 26, 2018.
WHY: Because we love treasures! We want to show all of Brevard the amazing talents of the artisans in this show. Fine, Fun, Functional Art and Crafts!
More about the show and how you can participate: Show Prospectus

ENHANCE YOUR PAINTING RESULTS IN THE STUDIO ~ William R McCoy

Many artists paint from photographs, their computer monitor, and an assortment of other reference materials. Myself as well. However, painting outdoors on occasion, has helped me immeasurably when using photos as reference while working in my studio.  The experience gained has helped me to better interpret what the camera distorts and misrepresents. A good example is shadows. The shadows and darks in  a landscape most often reproduce as dark masses, lifeless in color. Your outdoor experience teaches you to understand the subtle value and color variations that you can now incorporate into your work.

IMG_0227

Get out there, paint from life. You don’t have to invest, in all the paraphernalia related to plein air painting (French for “in the open air”). Just take a minute to look around your own back yard. Paint a tree, your fence, set up a still life in a sunny spot. You can make a painting from almost anything.

 

Have fun with this, don’t expect a masterpiece. Consider this an exercise to enhance your results in the studio. Do this, and it will change the way you look at photographs!

My finished painting will be on display at the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery for the month of February. I welcome your comments and thoughts, If you decide to give this a try, send me your image for my feedback. Email to Fifthavenueartgallery@gmail.com, attn: Bill

IMG_0220

Go to: Bill’s page for more about his background and to view a sampling of his artwork.

 

Judy Edwards… Inspired

I was born an artist but it didn’t exactly work out the way I intended. Be that as it may, that is not the story I am going to tell. I am going to fast forward to living outside of Boston, Ma where my husband and I raised our 2 daughters. A favorite pass time over the years was heading to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and going to the Contemporary Wing. I loved the imagery and color of Arthur Dove, a modernist who lived from 1880 to 1946. We even had this poster hanging in our family room.

judy1

I resumed taking art classes after a one year program in Honolulu while we lived there before children. In New England, I connected with a group of artists on Monhegan Island, Maine. I was in over my head but over time, I persisted in learning how to be a realist painter. That led to a somewhat  impulsive one year painting trip around the world with my then 13 year old daughter.  I came back with 70 paintings and wrote a book about our adventures.

 

Florida was next on my journey and when I got here, I didn’t relate to the scenery and remembered the Arthur Dove painting that hung in my old house. My search to find how to paint with wax emulsion which is the medium he used, led me to taking a 3 day course at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota. The only problem was, it was not wax emulsion it was wax encaustic, which I never heard of. But I had paid for the course and had a place to stay….. and that was 10 years ago. I took the exact same course 3 times over the course of year 1.  After learning the ins and outs of encaustic, I was still stymied by how to make the transition from a realist to an abstract painter. My teacher in Maine, Don Stone, commented that any good abstract painter had to first be a good realist painter. So, I had that part under my belt.  I was just afraid to do it.

One night in a dream, Arthur Dove came to me and told me I had everything in me that I needed and fear was the only thing preventing me from doing it. All I needed to do was walk through the fear, which I did.

I enjoy encaustic collage, the brilliance of encaustic alone and encaustic monotypes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

encaustic alone

 

Judy6

Encaustic monotype using the hotbox

I recently added encaustic pigment sticks to my mix and they are luscious and brilliant.

judy8

Meet Kay Shannon

Hello, my name is Kaye Shannon and I am one of the artist members of the Fifth Avenue Art Gallery.  I am mostly a watercolorist but I love doing most anything to create something..  I paint at home and generally have a “supervisor” to watch (or sleep) over  me as I go about my “creating”. These have been my cats.  I have had several  supervisors throughout my many years of painting.  The first picture is of my first supervisor.  I would like to introduce you to  Booeenie.  Here is a picture of her supervising her portrait and I have included her portrait after it was finished. She seemed to have liked it very much.  She is now in cat heaven and I miss her very much.
 IMG_0673   Booeenie
 I now have two new supervisors.  Baxter and Izzy.  I have a couple of baskets in my studio that they love to crawl in.  We listen to good music as I paint and they generally curl up and sleep. Occasionally they like to creep over to where I am working and do a toe test on my wet work.   Also another area they love to manage for me is the laundry.  I have included a picture of their work there.

See more of Kaye’s work here.