Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Mentors and Guides #2
I am back! I hope more than temporarily -- may computer is not 100% -- sometimes it is not coming on. I think I may have to get another, but I am going to stretch it out as long as I can.
I am continuing the series: Mentors and Guides.
Shortly after coming back to art after my "getting a country/horse centered life hiatus" I knew I would be concentrating on animals -- after all, it is well known artistic advice: "paint what you know" or that might be better put as -- "paint what you know and love".
One of the most inspiring animal artists I encountered eary in my return on this wonderous internet was Melanie Phillips.
Melanie's pet portraits are startlingly realistic. She had been very prolific and has succeeded in supporting herself as an artist through developing an international pet portrait business. She gives a view of her "storybook" life living in a cottage in Whales with narrative and photos on her website. It is important to note that in addition to the development of her outstanding pet art, she has developed a supreme ability to use computer based technology to promote her art and her business. Her website, which she developed on her own, efficiently catalogs years of pet portraits. Her pet portrait commission prices are listed in international denominations! Her blog utilizes the latest technolgy to show works in progress. She has posted videos of her works in progress, also, on her blog. In addition to her pet portrait business, she also does online instruction at the London College of Art and started the online forum: Pet Portrait and Wildlife Forum.
The Pet Portrait and Wildlife Forum is free to all who wish to join. Anyone can go there and look at a wonderful variety of animal art. An aspiring animal artist can find much comaraderie and excellent advice there. Much beautiful animal art is shared and critiques can be received, or not, for the asking. There is advice on many animal art related subjects including: the business of pet portraiture, how to use various media in pet portraits, upcoming events and exhibition in animal art. There is a monthly posting of a challenge -- a photo of an animal is posted and form participants can share their renderings of the animal posted. It is always fun and a learning experience to see how each piece of art from the same photo is unique and interesting.
In sum, an animal artist is very lucky to have a mentor and guide in the artist, Melanie Phillips, and her online Pet Portrait and Wildlife Forum.