Online classes

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Quiet on the water Online class demo

Developing online classes has been one of my biggest challenges in the last year.  I had to learn new programs and develop some ‘tech’ skills.  I so missed my computer wiz son for help.  However, they do have to grow up and go away, get jobs and lives.  I actually took an online class on how to develop an online class….

I  developed a series for beginners or the ‘new to art’.  I already teach a ‘for beginners’ class at the University for the Education faculty so I am using a lot of what I developed for them as the basis of this series.  I started with watercolour.  I love watercolour and a lot of people do too.  These are simple, easy lessons that any beginner can do.  I added a couple of acrylic and collage.  These are all meant for beginners.  I also have two advanced courses; one on mixed media and another on ‘how to teach an art workshop’.

Developing them was a steep learning curve and I have enjoyed the process (sometimes).  The first videos look very amateurish to me now and I almost want to redo them.  Almost is the key word.  This whole process occurred over 7 months and I put most of them out lately.  I kept fine tuning and fine tuning until I got advice from another online instructor.  He said; Get them out there!  Then I did…..that was another learning curve…..

If you want to get started, time is what you need.  It will take more time than you think to get everything done.  If I had a bit of advice to give, it would be to take your own online class on how to develop an online class.  I followed mine step by step and it worked.

Here is an image from my new series on chalk pastels.   To find this series go to:  Udemy.com or Skillshare.com.   In the search feature, put my name in and you should be able to find the class.

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Sailing away Online class demo

Clutter

Singled out 11 x 12 sm IMG_2458I had to add this to my blog! It is about messiness and creativity. I am known to be messy and cannot seem to ever get a handle on ‘it’. So, this article seems to be made for me.

“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, then what are we to think of an empty desk?” -Albert Einstein

Creative thinking is any kind of thinking outside of the lines of conventional reasoning. It’s a loosely defined term to say the very least.  For me, if I cannot see the art materials or artwork, it does not exist….I need to see what is there and what my options are for that moment of creation.

Einstein, clearly a creative man, had no problem with a cluttered desk. He wasn’t alone either. Mark Twain attributed his imaginative characteristics to his cluttered work space. Steve Jobs, the massively successful inventor of numerous Apple products also had a messy desk. According to Vohs, it likely contributed to all of their geniuses.

But what does all that mean for you? Should you just trash your desk and house and call it good? Probably not. Messiness isn’t necessarily disorder. Simply let your things end up where they go.

This is from: http://higherperspectives.com/messy-space-creative/

Travel can influence in many ways

I am repeatedly surprised at what I retain after a trip.  I tend to sample the new foods and talk about them repeatedly to my friends.  After a trip to Mexico, I came back with pure chocolate from Oaxaca and made hot chocolate for my friends and family when I got back.  We were in the middle of winter and it was perfect then.  

My long term memories have left with impressions of what I saw and then I go to the easel and paint away.  For the last few years, I have painted scenes of the weather.  I am far from being a traditional painter but my trips lead the way to landscapes.  These are not your run-of-the-mill landscapes but impressions of my experience there.  

The skies have been a big influence as has the weather.  My journey to the Himalayas in August is doing the same thing to me.  I am painting skies again.  This is as much a surprise to me as the next person.  I have a tendency to abstract and rarely paint landscapes (usually).  I will have to figure this one out……Maybe, you can help?

Below: Storm….


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Starting an Etsy shop

-Day at the mountains mixed media on paper $ IMG_9635 I decided to try online marketing. I have decided to open an Etsy shop. I chose Etsy because of the simplicity of the message. It is a shop and there is no pretence to anything else. My shop is not a gallery with hidden messages that you can buy. It is simply a shop. I noticed that there are few painters in the Etsy collection of artists and I hope that is not a deterrent. Here is my plan: I will sell mostly small works and I will start by selling mostly works on paper. Once I get a handle on shipping and the details of selling, I may graduate to bigger items. I will wait and see how it goes first.My first works will be inexpensive and I will gradually work my way to regular pricing. The first people to go to my site will get deals, as they say.

Starting this journey is interesting.  I always hated painting small.  I found that I spent as much time on a small work as I did a bigger work (almost), so I avoided ‘small’.   Now, I am making myself paint small and after about 20 painting, you know, it is not so bad.  I have chosen to specialize in landscape….Alberta, Saskatchewan, BC…..  I have more photos than I want to own up to from our trips to the western provinces for our children’s sport activities.  I have started taking them out and working with them.  I discovered that I like skies; storm, sunsets, sunrises and wispy clouds. I learnt something about myself.

Travelling opens your eyes

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Created after a walk in a snow storm.

Go far away is not important. Going to a location that you have never seen before near your home is travelling too. Or going to a familiar location at the time of year that you have never been. You are opening yourself up to new experiences. For example, I we go camping in the same location every summer with family. However, I have never been there in winter. We decided that we would go there looking for an Xmas tree. Well, that was an eye opener. The beautiful wilderness was completely hidden by a blanket of snow and the landscape looked completely different.  It was a new world. A light snow was falling and it slowly turned into a swirling storm. This painting is the result.

Travel as inspiration

I love travel. This way I see new -to-me ideas and inspirations for my painting. My last travel experience was India. I participated in an artist in residence experience in the Himalayas. It was beautiful there and also very different from my own experience with mountains. My artistic goal was to compare the Canadian Rockies to the Himalayas. I am still digesting all my information but it was definitely worth it.  While I was there, I worked in watercolour (because it is easy to travel with) but once I was home, I really focused on skies.  I saw these glorious mountains but it is the skies that impressed me the most, it seems.

If you want to see my India photos, you can go to Youtube.  Check out my channel.  Just search Doris Charest….and Tada! There I am. -Beautiful evening mixed media on paper $ IMG_9634


Rain shower 7 x10 wc on paper $100 IMG_9415 Ray of light wc on paper 7 x 10 $100 IMG_9451

Planning a show -your first solo

Tree on the hill 9 x 12 sm IMG_2631 As you mature as an artist, it is recommended that you have a solo show.  This shows that you are now moving into the ‘professional’ category and that you have a solid body of work created.  So, the question is:   How do I get to that point?

First, pick a theme that you enjoy painting.  If you are a landscape painter, pick one area (ie. Elk Island Park) and paint scenes from that area. Or, paint only trees. Or, paint only fall fields…. you get the idea.

Second, pick a color palette that you will use for all the series.  Six basic colors that you will use for the whole series.  You can vary this with a few more colors but stick to those chosen colors.

Third, create at least 20 works that you are happy with on that theme.  This may seem like a lot but when you go to fill a room with your own work, it has been my experience that you always need more work than you think.

Fourth, Work only on this series for a ‘certain’ time period.  If you concentrate on that series, your work will be more consistent.  Consistency is important for a solo show.

Trying something new

I found this painting in my basement and decided to try something new in marketing with it.  I put it up for auction at : http://www.dailypaintworks.com/buy/auction/397108

This painting is called ‘Mother Hen’ and it is part of my old style.  This is one of my first oil paintings from my ‘Rural memories’ series.  Let me know if I have changed…..Yes..I have!!

I refuse to tell how many years ago this was…..

Mother hen

Creating a video -part 2

Memories of Paris 8 x 8 sm IMG_2293 My new online course… Many months in the works, I am finally launching it andI have it on my website.

In the process of creating it, I learnt how to do video, edit video, break up into segments, and then put it back together again to turn it into a course. I learnt a lot!

If you ever want to create a video yourself, here are some helpful tips:

1. Do not have a deadline.  You will surpass the date anyway….There are usually at least a couple glitches that will come your way.

2. Take the time to learn what you need to learn.  If you rush, errors will happen and you will have to start over and that will take even more time.

3. Write a really good text or plan before you start.  Add details and more details.  This will save you time in the long run.

4. Edit everything the best you can.  The better the editing, the better the video. Take out anything you do not deem essential.

5. Have fun doing too then show it off to your friends.  Ask them for advice about fine tuning your piece.