How to start an Art group – “Snowy Farm” 15″ by 22″ watercolor by Shanti Marie

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If you are out there in your studio working on your art and feel a little alone, believe me you’re not alone. Artists everywhere like to work without distractions but even though we like to work alone. We often need a little support. It’s difficult to get an honest opinion from family and friends. They aren’t professional Artists and their opinions although nice are not always helpful. Every Artist can improve their work by joining an existing art group or creating an art group specially to fit their needs.
There are many benefits when you start your own group, you can attract other artists with similar interests and needs. It’s actually pretty easy to attract other artists, you can use on-line forums, or social networks like Facebook. Of course you can go old school with flyers at local colleges, neighborhood coffee shops, well just about anywhere Artists may congregate.

You should consider setting up some preliminary guidelines for your group. They might be helpful to make sure you create a group that will meet your needs. We’ve all joined groups only to find the group’s focus is not aligned with your own. You’ll want individuals who are interested in pursuing the same goals. Decide what these goals will be and place this information in your ad. Some other things to consider; How large of a membership? Often a small group of like-minded artists working in the same medium will work better than a large group with varied interests. Will you have membership fees? If so how will the fees be utilized? What type of Artists will make up the group? …Professional, amateur, or Sunday painters. What activities will the group sponsor? Will you have non-profit status & officers? Or just meet in each others home informally. After deciding these few things and a few more, the rest will be easy. You should be able to find other Artists who will support you and your work should improve.

Art, how to make it your own. The quest to be unique! “Three Amigos” 4 by 6 watercolor $30.00

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So many days I struggle as an artist to truly create something that is fresh, new and unique. I’m not alone in this daily struggle. It’s a common topic of conversation in Artist circles. Of course, like most people, I’m influenced by everything I see and hear. And, like so many people, these images, colors, or symbols will appear in my work. This is not because I lack an imagination but because I share a connection or a sense of belonging with these images. It is a way to describe a little bit of myself. Some folks call it collective consciousness others think that this is “voo doo” – “new age” crap. Call it whatever you wish, Artists often need to paint in a series or paint similar subject matter to find their unique voice.

We’re living in a time of information and unlimited access to visual stimulus. All you have to remember when you sit down to paint is: nothing is “new”. All subjects have been painted. You need to just make it your own. While even Matisse and Picasso challenged each other for years by painting similar subject matter; some say this helped each artist develop their inner vision. Others might call it their own method, technique or style. This technique can be useful to the solo painter as well.

Give it a try, the next time you’re struggling with what to paint, try painting a common object and do it in a way that describes your interpretation. You are unique! Allow this uniqueness to surface and make your Art memorable.