Cover photo for Chris Lovie-Tyler
[View from Little Manly Beach, Whangaparoa. 14x18", acrylic on canvas] First of all, welcome to my new subscribers! I'm always excited to see a "new subscriber" notification because it means someone found what I'm doing interesting enough to let me into their inbox. And that's no mean feat these days. So, thank you! I finally finished the above painting for my mum! I started it over a year ago, but because I struggled with various aspects of it, I set it aside for long periods of time. I'm pleased I stuck with it, and now, once the varnish is dry, I can finally courier it to Australia. (Should be with you in a few weeks, Mum. 😊) Virtual Art Academy I said in a previous newsletter, I wanted to get serious about artmaking this year. Given I didn't get off to a great start, I wasn't sure how I was going to do that. I knew I needed to commit to some kind of external learning to stay motivated. After exploring a number of options, I decided to sign up for Virtual Art Academy. It seems to be one of the most comprehensive and unique online painting courses (and communities), and it's designed to take you as far as you want to go. I really like Barry's Ladder Of Learning℠ approach, where students give each other feedback on their assignments based on what they've learned. The idea is to teach what you've learned so it sticks.  I'm only a little way in so far, but I'm really enjoying it. And I can see I will learn a tonne from Barry, the content, and the other students. A drawing I sat in the park with my youngest daughter, who was colouring in, recently and drew this. [Manuka twig (I think). Graphite and coloured pencil on paper] Quotes “Artistic vision is about looking harder with your imagination than your eyes. —Martin Kinnear, Painting Made Easy magazine, Issue 1” Through listening to this talk by Ken Myers on the Chesterton House podcast, I discovered this striking quote by Peter Leithart: “Art is a making that imitates the making of God, and it is most godlike when it is purely gratuitous, when it is not meeting a need.” In the source article, Peter also says this: “An artist with no ear or eye for transcendence, who believes in nothing hidden, is going fail to render what is real.” Links • "Art & dangerous ideas: Kierkegaard" - The comments are worth reading too. • "Struggles of a Christian artist" • Interview with Yong Hong Zhong on the Learning to Paint Podcast. I love his enthusiasm and the way he simplifies things to encourage people. He makes beautiful watercolours too. Thanks for reading! ❤️
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A mixed start to the year

I'll admit, I've struggled to find the motivation to paint this month. Despite having some time off work, I've started the year tired and flat. That's partly from being out of shape physically, but also—probably more than I realise—engaging with all of the stuff that's been happening in the world over the last few years.  Anyway, I don't want to labour on that. I just wanted to be honest. On a happier note, my wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We took the kids to her mum's in Katikati and then spent a few days by ourselves at a cool B&B in Bowentown. A few of the drawings and photos below are from that trip. [An interesting, brassy ornament on a shelf at the B&B we stayed at. There were other ornaments on the shelf, but I ran out of time to draw those. Pencil on paper] [A section of my mother-in-law's garden. Fineliner on paper] [A Sharpie, in case you hadn't guessed! Pencil on paper] [A couple of attempts to create an abstract watercolour header for the website. They weren't quite strong enough, so I didn't use them.] Photos from our trip [A mural in on the side of public toilets at Waihi Beach. Check out the dog's sunglasses.] [Another mural, I think by the same artist, at Waihi Beach] [A floral painting I really loved at the B&B we stayed at. Couldn't quite read the artist's signature] The only way “I keep on making what I can’t do yet in order to learn to be able to do it. —Vincent Van Gogh” A few links • Jeremy Miranda. Unreal—especially the nocturnes. • “Social media is bad for artists (and we all know it)” A pretty comprehensive essay, for artists and anyone who uses social media. I was on Instagram for a short time recently, but, despite it being inspiring, I decided to leave. I realised it was a distraction from making work—and that ultimately it wasn't going to give me much in return. A lot of artists seem to be coming to that conclusion now. • "Advice for new artists - and anyone who's struggling." I love Danny's calm voice and encouraging words. He also offers lots of practical advice. Thanks for reading! ❤️
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