Study: Fall Lake by Rick Surowicz

Rick Surowicz has taken YouTube by storm, gaining a strong following of over 25K subscribers.  Pretty sweet deal considering he put his first video out in late May 2017.  This shows you Rick’s appeal.  His first videos were really good, but his later ones have continued to improve.  Frequently he does two videos – one is a very teacherly, with clear explanations of why he does this or that, what his thought process is, and the colors and brushes he chooses.  A second one is speeded up 2 or 3 times.  This allows the viewer to preview his longer version, seeing what is up ahead before diving into the longer, detailed video.

This is my 4th or 5th follow-along with Rick.  Given my more recent issues with representation of detail, not each busy detail, I thought I would do one of his studies today.  (I also am tired of sewing!)  Rick’s video is about 45 minutes long; this took me about 2.5 hours with stopping and starting the show.  It’s a great way to practice different techniques.

There are a lot of really great instructional videos on YouTube – you can – and I have – learn so much.  Right now, though, I have what I consider to be a serious problem:  what is my style?  Copying a masterful painter gives one skills, but the interpretation has to be personal.  I figure I am on the way there – it will sort of happen – but one thing I do know, I do not want to create chaotic paintings without good contrast, clean color, and strong composition.  Rick’s paintings have all three and make for good lessons.  They are very different than the detailed fruits and flowers of Anna Mason, but those very detailed paintings also teach things such as texture, detail, light and dark.  I have learned from those as well.

 

Pear

One of the absolute best things about having a blog, on any subject, is that the world comes to you and, if you look, those who read and look at what you write often provide support and care and concern.  Even if you haven’t met, relationships develop.  There are a lot of people who inspire me, and who send me off in other directions.  Reading others’ blogs, too, even if they don’t read mine, are still forms of connection in areas of common interest.

Today, I want to thank Breathing Deeply because she has said some very encouraging things – but, more – she has mentioned on her blog that she is taking classes online from Anna Mason who is a botanical watercolorist.  Well, I have seen Anna Mason’s work.  She is a self-taught botanical artist.  Botanical art is detailed and realistic, and in some ways, not really what I aim for.  Anna’s work is refreshing and beautiful.  And, she has online courses.  A free one to show you her teaching style, one in which she walks you through how she approaches a simple D’Anjou pear.  Clearly stated, simply done, I decided “what the hell!” and dived in.

I think I might sign up!  I really enjoyed what I learned, and to my way of thinking, perhaps a realistic approach will slow me down when it comes to painting.  I am hasty and careless, don’t think ahead as much as I would like to when painting.  My impatience leads to frustration.

So, thank you Breathing Deeply for your kind words and for your own bloggy inspiration, and to Anna Mason for providing a very nice approach to painting.