Mixed media: A Fun new class I am offering

Are you in a creative slump or want to try out other forms of art media? Then, my course, Drawing, and Painting: A Mixed Media survey is the perfect fit for you! To learn more about this wonderful course, visit https://www.frederick.edu/. Go to the schedules link and select, ILR Fall Schedule 2022 to view a detailed description about this course.

In this course, I will provide you with detailed art demonstrations, with different art media provided each week. We will draw and paint our way through different art styles such as Impressionism, and even abstraction. The wide variety of art media and styles will stimulate your creativity, and provide a space for you to create in a judgment-free learning environment. Beginners and seasoned artists are welcome, no experience is necessary, although some experience with drawing or painting can be helpful. This is an in-person, noncredit course at Frederick Community College.

The Ultimate Drawing Class for Beginners!

Are you a beginner artist? Do you want to learn how to draw but feel overwhelmed about which method to try? Contour drawing, blind contour drawing, drawing upside down, constructing with shapes, etc. Then my class, Drawing for the Absolute Beginner is perfect for you! I will offer you guided instruction focusing on specific drawing methods every week, such as Contour drawing, blind contour drawing, drawing upside down, etc. Trying a variety of drawing methods can help you find the one that suits you best! This course is inspired by Betty Edwards’s book, Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain. To learn more, visit https://delaplaine.org/instruction/.

And if this class is full, try your hand at another course I am offering, Classic Drawing, and also at the Delaplaine. This course is also a great fit for beginners, or artists who are rusty in their drawing skills and want a brush-up. This course has a slightly different focus. We will be focusing here on specific elements of art, such as line, shape, form, and texture. I will alternate the class projects with step-by-step handouts and drawing from observation. The focus here will be on applying each element of art every week to your exercises and projects to build more aesthetically pleasing artwork. Whichever class you take, learning the skill of drawing, or improving your drawing skills is a fundamental tool in your artistic toolbox and will greatly improve your artwork, whatever medium you choose, whether it’s: collage, painting, sculpture, pastel, etc! I’ve been drawing and painting for many years (since about age 2) and find that drawing weekly keeps me to tackle any painting with confidence!

Day 1, an upside-down drawing from my course Drawing for the Absolute Beginner.
Contour Drawing and Constructing with Shapes, an exercise from my course, Drawing for the Absolute Beginner.
A project from my course, Drawing for the Absolute Beginner, Uses a toned ground and a picture plane viewfinder.
A Negative Space exercise, from my Classic Drawing course.
Project from my course, Drawing for the Absolute Beginner.
A contour drawing exercise from my course, Classic Drawing.
The final project for my course, Classic Drawing.

Continuing Landscapes in Pastel, Summer Course Update

There are still some spots available for my upcoming, Continuing Landscapes in Pastel at the Delaplaine Art Center. If you are an oil painter or love to work in color, but would like to try out a new medium, this might be a great course for you.

Or, if you want to work in a more forgiving art medium than watercolor, pastel could be the perfect choice for you! It’s a wonderful medium that combines all the characteristics of drawing which is generally a dry media, with the painterly characteristics of color and texture, such as oil painting, but in contrast, pastels have no drying time.

Working in soft pastels also doesn’t require a full complement of art supplies, such as pallets, brushes, or water jars. Instead, you can get started with just some soft pastels, erasers, pastel pencils, and pastel paper to begin your creative journey. Easy to set up and easy to clean up. No brushes or palettes to clean! And it’s so easy to correct your mistakes, with a kneaded eraser. What could be better? Here’s a sneak peek at some of the projects we will work on colorful meadows, fall scenes, and even a mixed media garden landscape. Please visit: https://delaplaine.org/ to sign up or learn more about this wonderful course!

Update: Summer Courses I am Teaching at the Delaplaine

Hello friends, fans, and family,

This summer I am teaching two great art courses at the Delaplaine Art Center in Frederick, MD! The first course begins on June 22nd, and it’s called, Drawing into Calm: A mixed media survey course. In this course, you will learn how to work in a variety of media from watercolor and pen to acrylic and pastel. We will explore which media are compatible, such as watercolor and ink pen, and gain inspiration from a variety of famous artists, such as Monet, Paul Klee, and Odilon Redon, among others! It’s a course that is perfect for beginner artists and will explore both drawing demonstrations and painting demonstrations, as well as collages. If you want to try new media or love art history, this might be the perfect course for you! Visit the Delaplaine website at: https://delaplaine.org/, to register or learn more.

The other course I am teaching is called, Continuing Landscapes in Pastel, and it’s perfect for experienced pastel artists who would like to learn more about color and value in the context of the four seasons. This course is geared toward more experienced artists who have some drawing experience. The four seasons, summer, autumn, winter, and spring will provide a context for exploring the elements of art, value, and color, such as using cool colors like blue or violet to depict snow, and warmer color palettes to illustrate fall foliage. Both courses are designed for adults. To learn more, visit https://delaplaine.org/instruction/classes-workshops/.

Harmonizing on a Line, Mixed media collage, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Mixed Media Cow Collage, Mixed Media: torn papers, metallic wrapper, painted papers, watercolor, crayon, ink, and colored pencils, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Odilon Redon Knock off, Pastel on paper, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Pizza Painting, Acrylic Paint on canvas board, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Mosaic Magazine Collage: Grand Canyon, Magazine papers, and pastel on paper, 2022, Jodie Schmidt.
Child at the Beach, Pastel on paper, Jodie Schmidt after Rebecca Le Mendonca, 2022.
Creating Depth, Jodie Schmidt after Marla Bagetta, Pastel on paper, Jodie Schmidt, 2022.
Rocky Tor, Jodie Schmidt after Rebecca Le Mendonca, Pastel on paper, 2020.
The Birches, Jodie Schmidt after Rebecca Le Mendonca, Pastel on paper, 2022.

Update: Spring Courses at Adams County Arts Council

Do you have an interest in telling your family history through mixed media collage art? I have just the course for you! It’s called, Your Family Story through Collage art and will begin on May 4th from 6-8pm at the Adams County Arts Council in Gettysbn. Take your artwork to the next level and create content-based work that tells a story, using a variety of media such as photography from your family collection, old drawings, card stock, acrylic paint, charcoal, and more! We will upcycle old sketches from your sketchbook to create new and unique artwork! Click here to learn more: https://www.adamsarts.org/portfolio-item/your-family-story-through-collage-art/.

Spring Courses at the Delaplaine, Update!

Hello friends, fans, and followers,

The good news is that my art courses at the Delaplaine are filling up! And, the good news for you is that there are a few more spots left! The three courses I will be teaching are Classic Drawing, a beginner drawing course, Drawing into Calm: A Mixed Media survey course, and Landscapes in Pastel: The Four Seasons.

The drawing course is great for those who have always wanted to draw but did not know where to begin, and I will teach you four different drawing modalities such as contour drawing, and using shapes to construct forms. With so many options, you are bound to find a method that brings you excellent results!

The next two courses, Drawing into Calm and Continuing Landscapes are a bit more advanced. In the former, we will study a variety of different art media such s watercolor, pastel, collage, and much more! It’s a veritable buffet of art media to try each week with lessons on collage and painting with subject matter that includes, animals and landscape. You will learn what media works best together in combinations that you wouldn’t have imagined, such as wax resist and collage!

And in the course of the landscape, we will explore a variety of light and color effects such as filtered light to imitate the qualities of the four seasons, such as spring, summer, fall, and winter! Soft pastel is perfect for those who love to paint, but don’t want to wait for it to dry! The elements of art, such as color, shape, form, and value will inform each lesson, and you’ll learn valuable skills such as how to mix colors to get the exact color you want! To learn more, visit https://delaplaine.org/instruction/classes-workshops/. Thanks for stopping by!

Goldfinch collage, Mixed Media, 9.5 x 12 inches, 2022, Jodie Schmidt.
Jodie Schmidt after Karen Margulis, Using a Tunnel Composition, pastel on paper, 2022. This painting was entirely based on a youtube tutorial by Karen Margulis, a pastel teacher extraordinaire, whose art tutorials are available on youtube.
Jodie Schmidt after Walter Foster, Still Lifes, pencil on paper, 2022. These drawings are based on art tutorials from one of my favorite drawing textbooks, The Complete Beginner’s Guide to Drawing: More than 200 Drawing techniques, tips, and lessons, Walter Foster, 2016.

Blog Post: Art of Schmidt

Artists: What kind of Artist Are You-Amateur, Hobbyist, or Professional?

My Biography, Mixed Media, 2022, Jodie Schmidt.

Pictured is a work in progress, which I plan to use to advertise my upcoming mixed media narrative course at the Adams County Arts Council in Gettysburg, PA.

Wine and Cheese, After Steven Pearce, pencil on paper, 2022, Jodie Schmidt.

This is an example of a final project for my Classic Drawing course, which focuses on teaching beginners the fundamentals of drawing, such as line, shape, and form as well as shading techniques to simulate a variety of textures in still life. I will be offering this course in April at the Delaplaine Art Center April! Visit: https://delaplaine.org/class/?id=22-4-DR02 to learn more!

My Rendition of Monet’s Haystacks, Pastel and acrylic on paper, 2021, Jodie Schmidt.

Here is a photo of a mixed media piece from my course, Drawing Calm: A mixed Media survey, which will be offered again at the Delaplaine Art Center in April of this year. Click on the link to learn more: https://delaplaine.org/class/?id=22-4-DR03

Wooded Road, After Nathan Rohlander, soft pastel on paper, 2020, Jodie Schmidt.

This is a sample of the demonstrations which I plan to teach in my Continuing Landscapes course at the Delaplaine Art Center in Frederick, MD this April! Click here to learn more: https://delaplaine.org/class/?id=22-4-DR04.

Why I decided to Write about Artist Types

It’s been a while since I last posted on this blog, and I have debated off and on within myself, whether to continue blogging about the series I started in May called and famous failures. However, at the end of the day, I decided that I would switch gears and write about a more arts-based topic. Instead, I decided to examine the topic of different artist types and the pros and cons of each type. It’s my belief that there is no superior type of artist, and that it is all about what type works best for you. However, I do think that it takes a very unique person to be able to combine the roles of both artist and entrepreneur.

In my opinion, such individuals must be extremely dedicated to making art their life’s work, no matter what it takes, or how much time they have to invest in learning their craft and other business skills to make a profit. On the contrary, not every artist has that sort of drive or wants their art to be consumed by the public as a commodity. Perhaps for some, art is an outlet for their feelings and experiences and they would rather keep that private, which is perfectly fine. Meanwhile, there are other artists who find themselves somewhere in the middle between hobbyists and amateur artists.  These artists, sometimes called, “double jobbers,” want to take their art to a more professional level, but also work a day job, such as the British artist described in the article, “The Double Jobbers, Making a Living into eh Arts, by Kathy B. Sweeney, posted on The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/culture/2012/jul/29/living-working-in-the-arts. Consequently, they are not pressured to make a living from their art.

On the other hand, there are artists who cannot imagine doing anything else with their lives and spend almost all of their time marketing and making their artwork, such as Elizabeth St. Hillaire, Kelly Wynne, and many others. The three types of artists which I will discuss in this blog post are hobbyist, amateur, and professional artists, along with the pros and cons of each type.

Why is it important to know what type of artist you are?

I picked this topic because I have been wrestling with the question about what category I fall into as an artist: Amateur, Hobbyist, or Professional? In my opinion, it’s important to know which category of artist you fall into because there are specific actions that you need to take if you want to go beyond making artwork for pleasure and start making it with a business mindset. According to the author, Alyson Stanfield, who wrote the art business book, I’d Rather Be in the Studio, it is not enough just to make art, you need to learn about how to market and sell your art, as well as to sharpen your artistic skills and creating a specific body of work that showcases your unique style as n artist. (Sources: Artwork Archive, “Alyson Stanfield Shares Her 10 Best Marketing Tips,” https://www.artworkarchive.com/blog/alyson-stanfield-shares-her-10-best-art-marketing-tips, accessed on 06/14/18, and Alyson Stanfield, I’d Rather Be in the Studio!, preface, pg. 1, 2008, Pentas Press, Golden. Colorado, and Aletta de Wal, “Hobbyist, Amateur or Profefessional Artist: Which Are You?” http://emptyeasel.com/2011/02/01/hobbyist-amateur-or-professional-artist-which-are-you, accessed on June 6, 2018. )

My Journey as an Emerging Artist

After my father died in 2011, I realized that I wanted to make the most of the time I had left. I wanted to live without regrets about pursuing art to the highest extent possible. For as long as I can remember, it has been my dream to be an artist.  In fact, my grandmother reported in her scrapbook that I began drawing at the age of 3. When I first started making art with the intention of selling it, back in 2011, my catalyst for making art was that I needed an avenue to express my grief.

Deciding what level of involvement in art that I want to have in my life has modified my choices and informed my decisions about my career, how I spend my time, and how I spend my money. I’ve gone from being a wide-eyed dreamer of a someday art career, as an art student, who lived amongst the bubble of the art community, to living life after college with all its startling reality. This world I now live in includes: bills, student loan debt, working as much as I can on my art while balancing a night job, experiencing frequent rejections for art shows, and feeling unrelenting and crushing self-doubt about my abilities as an artist.  I feel I have been drifting without many purposes in my quest to be a professional artist, and it’s making me wonder whether this is the life I really want.

Making the Jump from Hobbyist Artist to Amateur Artist

In more recent years, I have really stepped up my activity to bring my art to a more professional level, such as: creating profit and loss sheets in Excel, designing an art catalog of inventory, launching an artist website, blogging about art, participating in more frequent art shows, hosting studio sale events at my home, producing custom art, and starting commerce shops on Etsy and Red Bubble, etc. However, all of this activity has been challenging and sometimes disappointing. It seems to me that no matter how hard I try, I am still struggling to sell my art consistently. I have also made efforts to connect with people on a personal level through writing blog posts, and producing artist newsletters.

 However, I am still not making a profit, and instead, I find myself falling into debt to pay for framing, art supplies, and marketing expenses. Even more importantly, I feel I have lost the joy of making art in the midst of all this business-related activity. Consequently, I’ve had severe doubts about whether I want to be a professional artist, because of the amount of work, time, emotion, skill, and unflagging confidence a professional artist must have to survive. I wonder, are any other artists are struggling with this situation? And I’m also asking myself, do I really want to be a professional artist, or not? If not, then what type of artist do I want to be?

Since writing this post, I am now adding a new dimension to my identity as an artist, as a teaching artist, and I now teach art classes at Delaplaine Art Center, Frederick Community College, and the Adams County Arts Council. This new role, which I began in 2019, has informed my studio practice in a way that challenges me to keep learning new skills, and techniques so that I have fresh new content to offer my students and to inspire my own personal work, which is becoming more and more content-based, i.e. art that is meant to be a personal expression of my thoughts, memories, poems that inspire, etc. My favorite new place to continue my education as an artist and teacher is youtube, which is chock full of free art tutorials, such as The Virtual Instructor, Rapid Fire Art, and my favorite pastel artist, Karen Margulis, to name a few! To learn more about my current class offerings in pastel, mixed media, and drawing, please visit www.delaplaine.org. I am also working on a new art course about mixed media narratives at the Adams County Arts Council. I will update that information as soon as it becomes available.

What are some Specific Types of Artists?

To investigate and to define the different types of artists that anyone can be, I read an article entitled, “Hobbyist, Amateur, or Professional Artist-Which are you?” written by Aletta de Wall on the website, Empty Easel, at http://emptyeasel.com/2011/02/01hobbyist-amateur-or-professional-artist-which-are-you. The author, De Wall, states that there are three categories of artists and they are: Hobbyist, Amateur, and Professional and that each type is distinctly different. (Source: ibid)

The Hobby Artist

For example, hobby artists are not trying to make a living from their art, and they may only make art when the creative bug bites. (Source: ibid) In addition, hobby artists may study for many years and hone their craft by taking classes and workshops, but they may not ever receive the recognition that their work deserves because they are not taking actions that would promote their art effectively, such as having a business or marketing plan. (Source: ibid) On the other hand, an advantage of being a hobby artist is that there is no pressure on them to cater to a specific audience or make a profit, so they are free to experiment with a variety of media and subject matter and styles and techniques. They may also have more time to make art because there is no imperative to make a profit and engage in business-related activities such as marketing, bookkeeping, or sales.

The Amateur Artist

Another category of artist types is an amateur artist. This type of artist has started to play with the idea of making their art into a profession. (Source: ibid) Perhaps they have started to think that they need to start selling their art to help foot the bill for their art supplies and to start being able to deduct their art expenses from taxes. (Source: ibid) An important distinction between hobby artists and amateurs is that amateurs are willing to give up their personal time in order to learn how to sell their art and create new works. (Source: ibid) However, they may be uncertain about how to turn their passion into a viable business. (Source: ibid)

The Professional Artist

Finally, the last category of artists that this article discussed is professional artists. This type of artist is distinguished from the other two types of hobby artists and amateur artists because they consider art to be their profession. (Source: ibid, and Drew Kimble, “9 Warning Signs of an Amateur Artist,” https://skinnyartist.com/9-warning-signs-of-an-amateur-artist, accessed on June 7, 2018. )

 These types of artists want to make a profit from their art, build a following, and continue to build their business skills at the same time. They have an intense level of dedication for their art and are willing to sacrifice time, money, sleep, and do whatever it takes to make a profit. (Source: ibid, and Drew Kimble) They might work another day job to help support their business or eventually quit their day job when they are able so that they can devote more time to making art and learning how to sell it.

Other activities that they engage in are: making studio time a daily habit, applying for grants, writing artist newsletters,  submitting their artwork for review at galleries and art fairs, writing business plans, extending their knowledge of effective business practices by attending art business workshops, etc. (Source: ibid, and Hayley Roberts, “Twelve Things No One Ever Tells You About Being An Artist,” The Huffington Post, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/hayleyroberst/twleve-things-no-one-tell.html. accessed on June 7, 2018.) They also promote their artwork online and offline through social media, their artist website, and in real-life artist events, such as art gallery openings, art festivals, etc.  (Source: ibid)Some may also make a living by teaching their craft to others. (Source: Aletta De Wal, “Hobbyist, Amateur, or Professional Artist-Which are you?”, and Hayley Roberts, “Twelve Things No One Ever Tells You About Being An Artist,” ) .

These artists may receive more recognition for their artwork, but they may also experience more criticism and rejection than the two other types because they are more aggressively pursuing art gallery representation, etc. In addition, they may have less time for making artwork because they have to balance making art with business-related duties. Furthermore, they may struggle to sell their art or make consistent income and they may face stiff competition from other artists because it is such a saturated field.  It is a long road for these artists towards building a following and making a success from their art, but they are dedicated for the long haul. (Source: Drew Kimble, “9 Warning Signs of an Amateur Artist,” https://skinnyartist.com/9-warning-signs-of-an-amateur-artist, accessed on June 7, 2018. )

What about You? What Type of Artist are you?

So what about you, reader? What type of artist are you? I would love to hear about your dreams and hopes with regard to making art. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and read this. Next week, I will be talking about this topic of artist types in more detail, with a slight twist. The twist will be a more in-depth look at what it really means to be a professional artist and why it has been traditionally so difficult to be successful in this field.

Spring Courses Update: Delaplaine Art Center, Frederick, MD

This spring I will be teaching three courses at the Delaplaine Art Center, in Frederick, MD. Here are samplings from my Classic Drawing Course, Drawing Calm: A Mixed Media Survey, and Landscapes in Pastel. Click here to learn more: https://delaplaine.org/instruction/classes-workshops/drawing/.

Winter Course Update: Adams County Arts Council, Gettysburg, PA

Have you ever wondered if there is a way to combine drawing and painting into one art medium? There is, and it’s called soft pastel! This medium allows you to combine the linear effects of drawing with the brilliant color and depth you can get with oil and acrylic painting! This wonderfully flexible media was used by Impressionist artists to great effects, such as Degas, Mary Cassatt, and many others! Join me this winter at the Adams County Arts Council in Gettysburg, PA to begin or continue your creative journey! Click the link to learn more: https://www.adamsarts.org/portfolio-item/introduction-to-pastel/.

Discussion: Does natural talent exist?

As an artist, I often hear comments such as, “You’re so talented,” or some variation on that theme, whether it is a comment that is posted online or an in-person encounter.  I’ve gotten this remark from friends, family, strangers, etc.  And while it is always nice to hear such ego-boosting compliments, I feel the need to pull back the curtain on the mystique of the talented artist’s conception. In fact, when others interpret my completed paintings and drawings as evidence of a natural talent for art, that I was born with, my facility with drawing and painting has been the result of a systematic and long-term method of continuous practice, sometimes on a daily or weekly basis. This process is composed of some of the following ingredients: a strong passion to master drawing and painting skills, bloody-minded determination not to give up on art, and more often than not, failure. Not everything I draw or paint is successful is a masterpiece, and I am learning that that is ok; it is just part of the process of learning.

And perhaps most importantly, I grew up with parents who were very supportive of my pursuit of art education. For instance, my mom was the first one who introduced me to painting when she enrolled me in a watercolor class at the age of 9. I’ve been hooked on making art ever since! In fact, this summer I have embarked on a long-term drawing challenge to improve my drawing skills and I am realizing there is still so much I need to learn, and that I need the discipline to get better at my craft.

With regard to my weekly drawing practice, I have been working on a drawing challenge since June of this year, called, 100 Faces in 100 Days. In this challenge, I practice drawing on an almost daily basis. I focus on sketching celebrity portraits with paper and pencil, keeping the drawings simple so that they can be completed in about 45 minutes.  Some days, the portraits seem to come together almost magically and I have very few drawing errors to correct, but, on other days like today, I really struggle to get things right with the portrait measurements. On days such as these, I make a lot of revisions to the drawing, erasing, measuring, and standing back to compare my drawing to the reference photo, until I am happy with the result, or the kitchen timer dings. And this phenomenon is nothing new. As an art student at McDaniel College, I had a lot of ups and downs, with paintings and drawings. Some were successful, others were not.

 But, to return to my initial question, does natural talent exist? Although I am not a scholar or even a cognitive scientist, I theorize that many factors play into whether a person is able to show exceptional skill in drawing or painting or any other impressive level of aptitude in a given domain. For example, in specialties such as singing, playing an instrument or sports, etc. I think it is a combination both of one’s environment, (the conditions you grew up with), specific personality traits, such as a strong work ethic, and a strong desire to master a subject, and perhaps, introversion, since the practice of the fine arts and performing arts is often a  solitary pursuit. I think if I just relied on my innate talent, (whatever that may mean), I wouldn’t grow artistically, because I would feel that no effort was required on my part to achieve growth. The question of where natural talent comes from has been discussed by Kauffman, (2013), who states that there has been an ongoing debate about whether natural talent exists or not.

Kauffman, 2013, states that in ancient time’s people believed that individual talent was linked to divinity, and that interest in this topic took a scientific turn in the nineteenth century, with the publication of the work, Francis Galton’s Hereditary Genius, which was published in 1869. Source: The Complexity of Greatness, by Scott Barry Kauffman, 2013. For example, Kauffman (2013), states that  Galton made a study of “eminent lineages” and based on his findings, he theorized that talent was passed on to families from one person to another (Galton, 1874). According to Kauffman, 2013, Galton also acknowledged the importance of not giving up easily, but he discounted the significance of the environment as a determining factor of personal greatness for the individual, specifically with regard to celebrated scientists. The basis of Galton’s theory was that individuals were born with talent (Kauffman, 2013). On the other hand, Alphonse de Condole, (1873), “a French-Swiss botanist”, made the assertion that environmental factors play a critical role in the creation of exceptional talents, such as political conditions, religion, economic, social, and cultural factors. ( Source: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/the-complexity-of-greatness-beyond-talent-or-practice/) and www.wikipedia.org.  

Other theorists, such as the 18th-century painter, Sir Joshua Reynolds, argued that art students should not rely on their talent alone to produce great art, but that they should practice their craft diligently, (Kauffman, 2013).  The contention about where skill or natural talent comes from has continued to be debated and studied among Scientists, scholars and researchers even as recently as the 2000s. For example, According to Lynn Helding, author of, Innate Talent, Myth or Reality?,  2011, the topic of greatness was more recently discussed by Psychology Professor, Anders K. Ericsson, who teaches at the University of Florida (Helding, 2011). Ericsson studied both the quality and amount of time it requires for an individual to achieve greatness in a specialty (Helding, 2011). In addition, some of the research he published on this topic was published as recently as 2015, in his article entitled, The effects of experience and disuse on Crossword solving, published in the periodical, Cognitive Psychology. Source: https://psy.fsu.edu/faculty/ericssonk/ericsson.dp.php.  His studies into this topic have formed the basis for “the magic number 10,000 for the number of practice hours that it seems to take for anyone (including “so-called prodigies”) to attain a level of mastery at such high-level tasks such as tennis, golf, chess, piano, and violin. This term is also known as “The Ten Year Rule of Necessary Preparation.” (Helding, 2011).

 However, since the well known and wealthy author and motivational speaker, Malcolm Gladwell, coined the phrase, “the 10,000-hour practice rule,” he frequently gets the credit for this theory and not Ericsson, or the eleven researchers “whose own deliberate practice, spread over more than a century, provided the data for the theory.” Source: http://scholar.dickinson.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1078&context=faculty_publications. Innate

Talent: Myth or Reality, Lynn Heliding, 2011, Mindful Voice. Journal of Singing 67, no. 4, pgs 451-458.

The question of whether natural talent real continues to be debated on discussion threads in Quora and Reddit, which are some forum-type websites, in which users can type in their questions and get responses to them from other community members. Users ask such as: “Does natural talent exist or are all skills learned?” cited in www. Reddit.com, in 2013. In addition, this question is much like the nature or nurture question, frequently discussed in academic psychology courses. Students and scholars alike have questioned how environment and genetics play a role in determining how an individual, “turns out.”

However, we may never know the exact percentages of how much genes or environment can affect individual outcomes, or even if there is some type of gene that gives people an advantage in subjects such as math, athletics, music, or art. But one thing I know for sure is that  I am going to keep practicing and not give up my painting and drawing practice because I want to continue to grow as an artist. What about you? Do you think greatness is a skill that is solely learned by deliberate, ongoing practice or are some individuals born with some type of gene that gives them an advantage others do not have?

On that note of practicing your art, I want to add that I am now teaching two beginner art courses, at the Adams County Arts Council, and at the Delaplaine. The beginner courses I am teaching at the Adams County Arts Council are Classic Drawing and Introduction to Pastel. The first course is for beginning artists or those who want to refresh their drawing skills and focuses mainly on constructing simple shapes and forms. The second course, Introduction to Pastel, combines basic drawing skills such as shape and form and introduces students to color theory and pastel techniques. To learn more, please visit http://www.adamsart.org. I am also teaching a pastel course, Getting to Know Pastels, at the Delaplaine Art Center, in Frederick, MD. It’s the same course like the one at the Adams County Arts Council, but it has a different title. To learn more, visit www.delaplaine.org.

Note: This drawing is a copy I drew based on a sketch created by Steve Pearce in his book, Drawing Still Lifes, published by Walter Foster, 2013, pgs. 8-9. I use it solely for teaching beginner drawing techniques in my Classic Drawing course.
Note: This drawing is a copy I drew based on a sketch created by Steve Pearce in his book, Drawing Still Lifes, published by Walter Foster, 2013, pg 7, and also from a virtual art tutorial, How to Shade with Pencil for Beginners, Rapid Fire Art, http://www.youtube.com . I make use of this sketch when teaching my Classic Drawing course to explain how a light source acts upon an object to create value.
Note: This is a copy I sketched from a you tube tutorial, Gettin’ Sketchy, 30 Minute Drawing Excercise, Lemon, The Virtual Instructor, http://www.youtube.com. It’s an extra excerise I make available to my pastel students when and if, they ask for a longer demonstration for shading than I can provide in class.
Note: This drawing is a copy I drew based on a sketch created by Steve Pearce in his book, Drawing Still Lifes, published by Walter Foster, 2013, pg 23. The wine and cheese sketch is a final project in my Classic Drawing course.

Author’s Note: To read more about Professor Anders K. Erickson’s fascinating studies into “deliberate practice and expert performance” go to: https://psy.fsu.edu/faculty/ericssonk/ericsson.dp.php.

Here is an example of a technique excercise in which I teach students how to shade a sphere with blending and linear marks. It is from the beginner pastel course, Getting to Know Pastels. It’s based on several different books, one of which is from a favorite text, Enclopedia of Pastel Techniques, by Judy Martin, 2018.
Here is an example of a technique excercise in which I teach students how to shade with a monochromatic value scale, (one color plus black or white to modify it), using soft pastels and pastel paper ,and how to mix colors in a color wheel. These excerices are from the beginner pastel course, Getting to Know Pastels.