Blog Topics to Cover:
What's New at TPP (Fridays) - Watercolour Portraits - include a video talking about it
What's New at TPP (Fridays) - Portrait Miniatures (define the framework) - include a video talking about it
What's New a TPP (Fridays) - CHRISTMAS is UPON US - exciting traditional portrait sitting experiences as gifts
and Let's Talk Confidence as Portrait Subject
Reflections and Meaningful Moments from my First Year at TPP! 2019 (May 2020 post, 1 yr anniversary)
My Morning Ritual
History of Portraits and Portraiture Art
What's Hot in Contemporary Portraiture - looking at world currents
Here's Why Your Mass-Produced Home Wall 'Art' May Not Be Sparking You Joy
Designing Your Portrait With Tam - Options to Consider
Why Personalised Art is Best
How to Take Excellent Care of Your Portrait - Drawing or Painting
5 Tips to Overcoming your Fears in Art Galleries and How to Make the Most of Them
How to Engage With Artworks You see - the Iconography and Erwin Panofsky 3 - Stage method
Finding Art and Galleries on Holidays
How to Get the Most Out of Your Art Class
Tam's Tips on Drawing Portraits - Drawing Hacks by Tam
Tam's Tips on Painting Portraits - Painting Hacks by Tam
Insights into Tam's Creative Process
The Basics of Becoming an Artist - don't let people shape you into a Mini-Them
Staying Organised in the Artist's Studio
What You Need to Know About Paint
What You Need to Know About Graphite
Drawing at the Beach - artist's kit, setup, what to draw, etc.
5 Tips to Getting in the Mood to Create!
Why Aren't I Getting Better at Photorealistic Art?
How Tam Designed and Created "Cutlery Tennis - Teen's Waking Moments"
Artist's Interview With:
Would You Like to Collaborate With Tam?
Experiencing the Kilgour Prize (need to enter)
Tam's Studio Playlist (create on Spotify and share with the world)
Tam's Guide to Being an Environmental Artist:
It has always been Tam's vision to reduce her impact on the environment by recycling and reducing waste. With the current concerns for the sustainability of our planet Tam is always looking for more ways to cut down on waste, choose quality over quantity, and recycle as much as possible.
Re-using toilet paper rolls to mail paper portraits to customers.
Producing new paper from recycled paper and newspaper to use as art surfaces for works. All used paper in Tam's home is saved for making new paper.
Being conservative with paints and cleaning products, making them last and not using more than necessary, ensuring that there is no need to dispose of any paint. Tam never has unused paint, she only puts a small amount on the pallet each time and uses the same pallet for many paintings.
Reusing the turpentine fluid for cleaning brushes - once the paint particles have settled down the bottom (into sediment) the remaining turpentine fluid can be poured off and reused.
Utilising re-usable towels rather than a paper towel to wipe brushes rather than washing them more often than needed. The same towel can last a very long time, the paint dries on it and then the brushes can be wiped on that towel again.
All cans and bottles used in Tam's home studio (and all areas of the home) are saved for returning to the bottle collection facility.
Bread tags saved for wheelchair creation:
All soft plastics (such as packaging for materials, food packaging, etc.) are collected and returned to Coles and/or Woolworths soft plastic collection bins.
Cardboard and all other recycling are always put into the recycling bin (provided they are recyclable, which needs to be checked on the individual item).
Saving any household items that can be used in Tam's art - such as can lids are great paint pallets for individual colours or for linseed oil to mix in and thin paints out when required. Many more household items come in handy for Tam's practice and she always takes that opportunity to use what she can and not waste it!
If you have any suggestions or questions please email and Tam will have a chat with you about it!
When is it finished?
Judging when a work of art is finished can be a difficult business.
Abstractionist pioneer, Czech artist Frantisek Kupka once stated that it took him 7 years to deem a work finished, and German artist Anselm Kiefer considers all his work to be in an ongoing state of material flux…for Kiefer a work is never in a finished state, even those housed in the world’s great museums.
Patience is often the key to resolving a work, as is the suppression of your artist ego…something that compels you to destroy a work when it is not in a satisfying state, rather than putting it aside and letting time give you some perspective on the work.
Another useful tool is to work in series, taking the pressure off an all or nothing approach and allowing each work to cross pollinate with the others. When you have a piece in the series you feel happy with, this gives you a benchmark to gauge the progress of the others. It is a satisfying process to produce a group of images that share a theme or process that are of a consistent standard of finish.
An important thing to do is to stop and look at the picture…sounds daft, but it’s easy to get caught up in the process and not take a few steps back and really look at what you have made. 10 minutes of contemplation can reward you with the insight of what to do next…as if the artwork was communicating to you what needs to be done.
Multi-disciplinary artist Mathew Barney feels a work is really taking shape when his pre-conceived ideas about the outcome subside and the work itself starts to dictate terms.
You can really get stuck if you are constantly trying to steer the image back to your initial concept, or a source photograph. A brief or concept is a starting point, but the goal is to try and make something that can stand alone beyond these parameters, so don’t be afraid to let the work take you on a journey.
So, when is a work finished? When you can sit in front of it for half an hour and the work asks nothing more of its maker, all nagging doubts silent. Check it before bed, again the next morning over coffee, and if it still looks alright then you might be done! Until next time…
Take a couple of shots during three stages of an unfinished work and explain what compelled you to keep painting and when and why you deemed the work complete.
Topics Already Covered:
How I've Become a Portrait Artist
Tips on Framing your Portrait
What's New at TPP - Tattoo Designs
DIY Light Box for Tracing
The Consequence of Error - Making mistakes in the photorealistic portrait field
How Does a Custom Portrait Work?
Photographing Small Goods and Portraits:
Grab a sheet of white wrapping paper, and from the floor curve it up against a wall, like a quarter-pipe.
Place the object on the wrapping paper and photograph.
My Next Personal Portrait Projects: