A Conversation, art and otherwise

Welcome to the art blog of Mike Menius, Northern CA plein air painter. Please join the ongoing conversation about art, the studio projects, etc.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Work in progress (bearded iris) image

work in progress: bearded iris blooms

Using a grid of 1/2 inch squares, I transfer the photo's details onto the art paper, from the reference photo (taken by me).  This is the tedious part; then comes the fun of working with color.  Being precise at this stage makes a big difference in the quality of the final work.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

"Glorious Morn" image

Early morning, the morning glories at the top of the fence reach for the sun light.  Color pencil on Bristol vellum art paper.  The large blossom opens dramatically.  In the back ground is the tangle of leaves and tendrils.  After all, morning glories are vines.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

"Mission Impossible" for Artists

Good morning, fellow artist.  Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to create a lifetime body of work, which is a personal statement about you and your journey through life.

This message will self-destruct in 30 seconds, so listen carefully.

You may be one of the artists who receives fame, awards, and critical acclaim.  Be aware that there will be times when your work stops receiving such rewards.  You may be viewed as a yesterday artist.  Your may return later to the spot light, and people will think you are back on track.  All of this counts for nothing.  Your mission is the same: keep creating your lifetime body of work, and keep challenging your limits along the way.

You may be one of the artists who rarely, if ever, receives public recognition.  Your mission remains the same.  Do not be surprised if, through the years, your work matures more and more, far beyond what you earlier imagined.  No back patting.  Challenge yourself even more.  How can you make your work even more of a uniquely personal statement by you?  Study your past work, ask yourself where you may have slightly missed the mark of what you truly wanted to say?

You may have to take a job-job, to pay the bills, do commission work which is not your heart's desire.  Your mission remains the same: find a bit of time every day, to do some small task that is devoted to your lifetime body of work. 

Art is not a young person's sport, so your opportunities remain wide open, regardless of age.  For many people, they do their best work in their mature years.  No excuses, no self-pity.  Your mission remains the same.

One final instruction: have fun, but let your sense of fun grow.  Move beyond the phase of "This is so much fun and relaxing," to the deeper pleasure of making that extra effort to be better and better each time.   That's where the real fun kicks in.

It is your life, your statement of who you are, and for what you stand.

Good luck, fellow artist! 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

"Promise of Spring" image

"Promise of Spring"

Dogwood blossoms in the Spring.  colored pencil painting, based on a photo taken by a friend in North Carolina.  Reference photo used with his permission.  The challenge of this piece was to capture each petal's folds, ruffles, light, and shadow patterns.  The fun part was to play with so many colors and lighting effects.