Sunday, May 25, 2014

Why Learning to Paint is a Lot Like Gardening

'How Does Your Garden Grow?'           8x10          pastel          ©Karen Margulis

 I will not let the weeds get the best of me.  They may have taken over the garden but with some hard work and attention I can make room for my flowers to flourish.  So I spent the morning pulling weeds and was thrilled to see my intrepid flowers filling in the garden beds. They are coming back bigger and better than last year.

As I pulled the weeds I realized that gardening is a lot like learning how to paint.

Think about it. When we decide to start a garden we have visions of this wonderful lush oasis filled with beautiful color harmony and textures.  We devour gardening books and magazines. We go to the garden center and fill our wagons with plants...one of every thing we can afford. We plant the flowers with excitement but somehow.....it never matches the visions we have.  It may be a mishmash of colors and doesn't quite look as lush and professional as we would like.


How do we make our gardens grow into the beautiful garden of our dreams?


  • Time and Attention. It takes work and lots of it to ensure our plants flourish. It takes daily attention and if we neglect it the weeds and bugs will take over.
  • Knowledge and Experience: It takes lots of study and experience to understand how to care for the plants and design the best garden....soon we will be moving plants around to make the garden better.
  • Each year the garden gets better and stronger and more mature.... as long as it is not neglected.
Can you see the parallels between getting the garden to the mature garden of your dreams and having paintings that please you?  It takes learning the basics and lots of practice  and your paintings will match those visions in your head.

When I was new to painting I found I learned best by watching demos. I needed to see what was underneath and how an artist got to the finished paintings. This is why I am creating my digital PDF demos. I want to share my painting process.  If you haven't had a look at my demos consider givng them a try. This week only I am offering a savings of 20% on any of the demos.  You can see them in my Etsy shop and use coupon code DEMO2 at checkout.









3 comments:

Anna Lisa Leal said...

Karen - FANTASTIC analogy! I agree, the more I maintain the garden(s) on canvas and ground the better they are...it is work...but so worth it! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and the lovely flowers.

CAROL HOPPER -- A PAINTER'S JOURNAL said...

I love this painting a whole lot. The colors you used in the flower are really interesting. Your analogy to the garden is most apt. Thank you for sharing so much!

Sandi G said...

I purchased your digital download "Painting the Autumn Marsh" .This is a wonderfully informative tutorial .Well worth the pennies you charge.
I hope there is a book in your future, Karen.
Sandi