Painting Demos– When You Learn by Doing


“City Park Egret”8×8, oil on canvas, $100 [button link=””] Buy Now[/button]

When I first set out to pursue art whole-heartedly in April 2014, my game plan was to create a series of videos– painting demos. I tried to make a few but was eventually scared off by their amateur nature. I know nothing about lighting, have no special equipment. The videos I made were unfocused, shadowy. And when I finally did make one I was kinda, sorta happy with, youtube rejected it because I’d put it to a Goo Goo Dolls song. Who knew you couldn’t do that? I’d never heard of royalty free music. So I abandoned the whole idea and focused instead on just painting every day.

Now, almost a year into this whole business of art, and I’ve just started to revisit the video idea. I’ve not gotten any better at videography, but painting every day has taught me something perhaps more valuable: you get good by doing. I wasn’t going to get any better at videos by not making them. There’s no magic. I figure if I just start, I’ll learn a thing or two. I’ll have a jumping off point. A start line. A place from which to expand.

Before I started selling my work (i.e. making it regularly enough that I’d have something to sell), I did a lot of research and came across a wonderful website called The Abundant Artist which is an invaluable resource for artists without any business skills to learn a few business skills. I signed up for their E-mail list, and I remember getting an immediate E-mail response. It was something along the lines of “Thank you for subscribing. What are you struggling with?” The host, Cory, then asked me to send a short response to his question. I felt very silly doing so, but attempting to be an artist felt just about the silliest thing I’d ever done anyway. So why not?

I sent Cory an E-mail that explained I had so many ideas and just didn’t know where to start. I was trying to refine my ideas. I was trying to perfect them.

He sent a very short answer: Just start.

And I did. The results have been this blog, a new and focused love of painting, and growing sales and followers. Most importantly, I’ve become a better painter.

Today’s painting is based on a photo I took in New Orleans City Park about a month ago. We were eating lunch at a picnic table when I spotted this egret whom I then stalked and photographed. The painting is loose, even for me. I call it a sketch because I traded detail for blocks of color. I took about a hundred photos of this guy, so you can expect some more paintings. And, of course, more amateur videos. Who knows, maybe one day I’ll get pretty good at it.

Picture of Denise Hopkins

Denise Hopkins

March 11, 2015

Share Post

Leave a Reply


Related Blog Posts

Day 31. If you want to go far…

  “If You Want to go Far” 24×30 inches, oil on canvas I started this month with a bike, and...

View Post
Day 30. Reteach a thing its loveliness.

“The Bud Stands for All Things” 24×24 inches, oil on paper I discovered this poem last week by Galway Kinnell...

View Post
Day 29. Intuition

“Follow Your Intuition” 9×12 inches, oil on paper My art studio is a 300 square foot storage room underneath our...

View Post

Privacy Policy

This following document sets forth the Privacy Policy for this website. We are bound by the Privacy Act 1988 (Crh), which sets out a number of principles concerning the privacy of individuals using this website.

Collection of your personal information

We collect Non-Personally Identifiable Information from visitors to this Website. Non-Personally Identifiable Information is information that cannot by itself be used to identify a particular person or entity, and may include your IP host address, pages viewed, browser type, Internet browsing and usage habits, advertisements that you click on, Internet Service Provider, domain name, the time/date of your visit to this Website, the referring URL and your computer’s operating system.

Free offers & opt-ins

Participation in providing your email address in return for an offer from this site is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose your information. You may unsubscribe at any time so that you will not receive future emails.

Sharing of your personal information

Your personal information that we collect as a result of you purchasing our products & services, will NOT be shared with any third party, nor will it be used for unsolicited email marketing or spam. We may send you occasional marketing material in relation to our design services. What Information Do We Collect? If you choose to correspond with us through email, we may retain the content of your email messages together with your email address and our responses.