by Mike "Morphd" Montgomery
(Fort Worth, tx)
One of the ways I have found to assist in marketing my art and subsidize my income from art is to teach what we call in America "Sip and Paints".
This is where we teach or lead a group of local non-artist in a paint night. Some who go have ability, some don't and want to learn, it is a social event. We pick a painting (usually one we the artist leader created) and we show the class how we did the painting and they follow along with us while sipping on an adult beverage of choice. They are lots of fun, and get more exposure to our communities when we interact with people.
For this reason alone, I have made several "Sip and Paint" ideas that I know can be taught fairly easy within 2 hours. My rule of thumb is, if I can to it in about one hour, I should be able to teach it in 2. I am learning to be less detailed and more simplistic in my approach to a subject so that I can teach the class. My goal is still to have a piece that is fun and teachable while still looking like art.
Most of the local sip and paints do really elementary type paintings, which are fine and fun but I want to give something to the class that will challenge them and hopefully inspire them while making something they can proudly display at their home. This is very tight rope to walk. I have to break out of the sip and paint mentality with some regularity so I can still grow as an artist and challenge myself. Otherwise I begin to turn out too many smaller paintings with lack of interesting subject for me.
In this vein, I have painted this painting for one of the sip and paint classes. I have not taught this one yet, but I think on the surface it is intimidating for this type of audience while on the practicality level it is very easy to paint.
We named it "Fearless Frog" and it is my second version of him since the first one sold quickly. I am sure it will change slightly every time I lead a class, but in it I used a lot of Mark's techniques. Gradations, washes/glazing, dry brush and the play of light and dark to create texture visually. I am very excited to teach this one!