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Saturday, May 1, 2010

She Told Me to Squint...

One of my all-time favorite artists is Karin Jurick. I discovered her work a number of years ago on ebay and was instantly smitten as many who view her work are. And as an artist, she is someone I not only admire for her talent and ability, but I truly appreciate how willing she is to share what she has learned on her painting journey with so many others. She started a wonderful blog called Different Strokes from Different Strokes over two years ago, in which she challenges fellow artists to explore different subjects, share techniques & ideas, and learn from one another. Now on her personal blog, she is taking questions from artists which she answers during the weekend...so of course I jumped at the opportunity to ask how I can 'loosen up' as an artist. I tend to be a details person, but I want to evolve into an artist such as Jurick, with a more painterly feel to my work vs. strict realism. Anyway, here was her response to my question:
"With respect to staying loose - it's the biggest struggle with me. Enter the boyfriend again - he constantly catches me painting too tight and reminds me to stop.

There's some hints to stay loose - squint, squint, and squint. Use wider brushes. If you paint from a photo, make the image smaller. You tend to not nit pick."(Karin Jurick)

So I tried doing as Karin said on this small painting, and I have to say it really seemed to not only work, but was a truly freeing experience. I know it will continue to be a struggle for me, but perhaps with practice it will start to come a bit more natural.  Thank you Karin!


  1. WoW! Now THOSE are some fresh strawberries!
    You have definitely put some Life in that "still life" and the composition is masterfully done- Good Job!

  2. Oh heck, thank you TJ! I don't know about 'masterfully done' but I'm determined to loosen up and to paint what I love! ;) God bless!

  3. Lara ~ Thank you for visiting. I do my painting with words but oh, what I would give to be able to paint on canvas like you do! My teenage daughter is a budding artist and hoping to attend art college. Her favorite subject to draw: DOGS! I am sending her a link to this page so she can draw inspiration from all that you have accomplished. Looking forward to following you!
    xx P&H

  4. Be sure to have her check out my Painting a Pup a Day Blog :) (more like every few days or so...)

  5. I love those strawberries. Beautiful. And sooooo yummy looking.

  6. Thank you!...I can't wait for the cherries to get here! ;)

  7. I love your art.....squinting or no squinting...

    Warm blessings,

  8. I am not an artist but my 13 year old daughter loves painting and does art classes after school. I will make sure she sees this.

    Best wishes and thanks so much for visiting,

  9. Another great piece of advice Jurick has given is to 'paint the scene' vs. 'painting the photograph' when using photos as reference...again, not getting too caught up in nit-picking all the details. Another good piece of advice for your daughter is to be sure is she uses any photos she may find online, that they are copyright free, or a good rule of thumb is when in doubt ask.
    I actually used to teach art lessons after school when I taught 3rd grade :)

  10. Hi there!
    Thanks for stopping by earlier, I'm finally getting by for a return visit! I love what shared - the idea of squinting to loosen up your paintings. I've always done that when creating anything - helps me see the big picture more, and check the balance of dark and light etc. Maybe if we squinted more in real life we wouldn't be so picky about all the little things that don't really matter?!!
    Have a great day,
    Heidi - Heart and Home

  11. Now that is very interesting advice. Kind of softens things up, doesn't it. Wonder if that would work in other areas of life...

    Your painting is certainly beautiful.

    Becky K.
    Hospitality Lane

  12. I love this strawberry painting and the blue and white plate. Very pretty!...Christine

  13. Wow...you are so very talented! I don't know if I could choose just one of your beautiful works but I guess if I had to, it would be the Ocean Breeze dresses...but everything is so beautiful! Love your blog! Beth

  14. Oh so stunning. What beautiful art !xxx

  15. Stopping by from Trendy Treehouse Marketing Monday to say HI! I am your newest follower!

  16. I love the strawberries on the white and blue plate, such a beautiful contrast.

    I took a drawing class at the local university from someone who was a wizard at teaching drawing, and he was always emphasizing looseness.