Friday, April 17, 2015

Honor your talent

Fleming St in Bloom
oil on canvas
©Maggie Ruley 2015

 I had some customers in the studio the other day who expressed great surprise that I wouldn't be in the studio on Wednesday because I would be in a painting class.  Why would I chose to take a class when I have a certain skill level and a great place to use those skills?  Good question. The answer is because one way I can honor my talent, honor my customers and fans, and honor my students (Yeah, that's right, I teach classes now-more on that another time) is to be always in a state of learning.  Most often I learn from my mistakes, but it's really great to learn from other artists. So, in the month of April, I have been taking a plein air oil painting class from Mike Rooney.  Mike is from North Carolina, spends winters painting in Key West and part of the summer painting in Cape Cod and Maine.

 It's lovely this time of year in Key West and the Bougainvillea in morning sunlight was right in my own Fleming St. neighborhood was irresistible.

Using oil paints is not my greatest skill set, that makes this class a challenge. We don't get to be better painters doing the things we are good at over and over. Mike does a great job of giving us instruction and I'm enjoying the class. Here is his painting set up, simple and functional, along with his system of finding correct values in sun and shadow.

On a final note I want to thank everyone who stuck by me when my blog was hacked and those of you who have patiently waited for me to decide it was safe to post again.  You are the best! And I want to thank this blog that helped me solve the problem.


  1. Your painting is so beautiful....
    and I agree with you. The ;learnong proccess never ends!

  2. Hi Maggie! This is a fresh and luxuriant scene, well rendered too. Glad you're still at it , learning , educating others and painting what makes you happy. It shows in your work, have a lovely weekend !

    1. Hi Helen, thanks, I'm loving your spring pieces, it's so darn hot here.

  3. Love your painting! It is important for the artist to "get out there", learn and see and get all pumped up!!

  4. Great post. Love your painting - that glow is just beautiful. Thanks for the link re: the hack. Appreciate it.


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