How many of us fall into our comfort zones
and never try to leave them?
Have you ever thought to yourself, “I’d like to try ‘XYZ’,” only to follow it with a mental “but…?” Mary Todd Beam is here to help us bolt out of that circular thinking so that we can find more satisfaction with our art. Her book, Creative Edge: Art Exercises to Celebrate Your Creative Self is newly available in paperback. I can promise that it’s a great one to have on hand, as you can easily pick it up when you’re in a funk or just need something a little different to consider when painting.
“Each of us approaches nature in our own way,” says Beam in her “Nature’s Edge” chapter. “How we focus on this relationship says a lot about us and our work. The way a scene is framed is a huge asset for the creative artist because it alters the viewer’s vantage point. Such a shift can add the element of mood to the painting, and creating mood is what a landscape is all about.”
Beam goes on to give demonstrations on painting an underwater scene, portraying ice-covered rocks, and sparkling ice in an abstract painting. It’s almost unbelievable, how realistic something as enchanting as ice can appear in a 2-dimensional piece of art such as William McCall’s Cold Mountain (below, right). Beam explains that “after creating a textured surface with gesso and a plastic trowel, McCall painted a transparent orange, then applied torn pieces of rice paper over that. After adding the opaque areas, he brushed Iridescent Pearl and Silver Mica Flake over the surface.”
Try the technique for yourself with Beam’s step-by-step lessons in Creative Edge. It’s filled with guided experimentations with which to play and expand your knowledge.
Wishing you endless creativity,