I'm a student again!

I'm not new to making art. I started 2 decades ago taking courses at the University of Wyoming. And I made A LOT of art, mostly drawings and paintings. Then Etsy came on the scene and I opened a shop. That's when things took a turn, and I started selling. 

Then I evolved my subject matter from what had been a love for figurative to birds.

Why? Birds on a wire were selling like crazy.

So, I started painting little birds on a wire. Huddled together with their babies. They looked like blobs at first, then penguins, then finally settled in to look more like birds.

I have drawn and painted them for years. Got picked up by a lovely art publisher who saw them on Etsy, and she got them mass produced and into Pier 1 Imports, Home Goods, and some other retailers. This was awesome to be licensed! And I got a taste of commercial success. Sold tens of thousands of birds. Every so often I meet someone who has one of the Pier 1 canvases in their home.

But I felt like I was missing some technique. I don't want to be a super tight realistic painter, but I do want to have more range so I can paint what I see in my head. 

So, I enrolled in the Milan Art Institute Mastery Program! It's a year long program, and I am drawing and painting my way through it lesson by lesson.

Here's a portrait project made in oils. Our instructor, Ellie Milan, stresses looseness which I love. 


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 Here it is while in process.


It's funny how doing exercises like this bring up worries over becoming mechanical. It is mere copying at this point. In my next post I'll show you how I'm dealing with this fear! 

Until then.. believe in yourself and keep going!

xo Karla


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