Why You Need to Come See THIS Show

Every exhibit postcard compels you to attend, but here’s why this one is different.

We all start somewhere; Beethoven had to learn scales, Einstein learned math and Van Gogh taught himself to paint. We all start at the beginning of our creative journey.

A group of 25 people having a show this month is not news, except that this is their first time ever showing their work in a gallery. When you frame a painting, you start to take yourself more seriously as an artist, and when you show it, you are showing the world that you are an artist.

I happen to know this because I have had the pleasure of working with these folks over the past 9 months as a teacher and leader of Plein Air Adventure. I’ve seen them struggle and fail, and struggle more and succeed.

As an artist, we are always thinking that our most recent painting is our best. When you work with a group of artists, these folks get to know you, what your artistic goals and vision is, and help encourage you to achieve it.

Many of the artists in our group are now friends and paint together outside of class. All encourage each other during class. Writer Julia Cameron (author of The Artist’s Way and 40 other books) says “success happens in clusters” artists need each other to succeed. We need friends, and people who’s work is better than ours to challenge us, and people who are not yet where we are to coach and inspire.

Group critiques in Plein Air Adventure are vastly different than the art-school roastings most of us endured. Instead, the artist gets to talk and tells us:

A> What’s working or what they did “right” in the painting and

B>What they would do differently if they did it over again

This gives people the dignity of realizing their mistakes and the humility of owning up to it in front of our peers who may even learn from that mistake.  Then people have the opportunity to talk about the work and the artist hears how much they appreciate the color choices, way they painted the water, or other things that the artist may not have even thought of.

We are often so hard on ourselves that we have a hard time noticing any ‘good’ in our work. Hearing our peers notice the good often changes our attitude about the painting. By the end of a class, we have a cohesive group of friends who genuinely care about each other and want to support each other’s creativity.

I’m really proud of this group, and grateful to be a part of it. I was selected for a Creative Pinellas grant this year based on my application related to this class and group. For the past 4 weeks, our class has been open to the public so that new people can join in at no charge and sample what it’s like. We had 5 people join us this week, thanks to Creative Pinellas, 4 last week and 4 the week before.

Those “newbies” were also invited to show their work with us. For most of these people, they have never shown their work before in a commercial gallery. This grant has had a ripple effect touching many more lives than just my own.

Please come out an meet the folks who worked so hard all season long at Plein Air Adventure to hone their craft and are now having a group exhibit…

Plein Air Adventure Group Show June 1-June 30
Reception June 1, 6-8pm
DRV Gallery 5401 Gulfport Blvd S, Gulfport, FL 33707

Gallery Hours:11am-4pm Thurs,Fri,Sat.



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