Thursday, January 6, 2011

In which I go fangirl for Harley Brown

Headed In
10" x 14" watercolor (with just a smidge of pastel)

I know.

You're probably thinking what has happened to all the watercolor portraits? And what about that landscape we were promised? Hmmmm???

They're next in line folks, promise. Or, at least close to next in line. :)

So. Changes. My first two paintings of the new year are verrrry different from what I did last year. And both of them are a little more expressive.

That's one of my goals for the year. To paint with more expression. More freedom. More joy.

And I'm blaming Harley Brown for this.

I've been reading his book 'Eternal Truths for Every Artist' (which I think should be required reading for every artist) for the second time (okay, okay if you want to get picky about it I guess this is the first time, since I just skimmed it before) and I'm feeling SO inspired.

Seriously, if you haven't read it you must go find it. The man is a genius. And he's pretty hilarious too.

This book is all about being confident with your work and painting with passion. And he places a big emphasis on drawing from life. Which is another of my goals for the year. To draw at least once a week from life. 

So, instead of having a list of goals to check off one by one throughout the year, my focus is going to be on stretching my artistic skills. Drawing from life. Painting with lively brushwork and colors. Believing in myself. 


Dear friends.

What say you???

Are you with me? 

This is our year.

Let's challenge ourselves.

2011 has just begun. Anything can happen.


I leave you with these inspired words from dear Mr. Harley Brown:

"The art world is littered with the spirits of people who gave up, just didn't see the fun and the inspiration of being part of the artist's wonderful world.

But you, dear friend, are made of sterner stuff. Right?

So I say to you:

Never, never, never, under any circumstances, give up faith in your ability!

On paper or on canvas, you really do have something to say. Trust whatever is inside of you.

Stick with it!" Harley Brown

I said it before but I gotta say it again.


Now. Go paint. :)


  1. I will definitely be looking for this book!
    It's great that whilst still embracing your portraits, you are still able to explore other avenues too.
    I love a little variety - and it's wonderful that you have the talent to be able to offer it :0)

  2. Huzzah! I like the shadows, very expressive.

  3. Crystal some really inspirational words.One needs such booster doses at times:)
    Loved the painting too.You are equally good with different subjects and styles.

  4. Very nice, Crystal....and listen to you! You are off to a great start for 2011. Now to get that novel published! You'll be so happy you'll explode...oooOOOO

  5. La verdad es que te a quedado genial, Crystal.
    Me encanta el caballo.
    Lo de pintar a menudo para mi es una utopia ya que el tiempo es muy escaso por aqui (muchisimas obligaciones...).
    Saludos, jose

  6. These New Year challenges are awesome. I like anything that promises more joy and creativity in life. Thanks for this wonderful post, Crystal. Love your beautiful paintings!

  7. Wonderful inspiring words. I will definitely try and live by them. Need to work on the "faith in ability" part ;-)

  8. a beautiful piece and inspiring post!! i will definitely get that book, it sounds like just what i need. i love reading your posts, they always inspire! thank you!

  9. I have that book!
    Love the watercolour :) xx

  10. Wonderful quote. Thanks for the inspiration! I love the watercolor you posted today, it says so much! Keep it up, I think you have a real gift for this. Portraits are wonderful and everything, but something like this is so universal and can reach so many people on so many different levels. (if that makes sense)

  11. Wonderfully inspiring post ... loved it.

  12. I will have to check that book out! Is it fairly recent or do you think I can find it at our library?

  13. YAY ... expression ... go OUTSIDE the lines!!!! I'm with you, Crystal!!!

  14. If you're drawing once a week from life, that's like keeping a journal - but better! :)

  15. wow that was inspiring!Thanks for sharing, Crustal..I may go and find this book soon :)!Good Luck to you, may you achieve wht you strive for; in this new, wonderful year!

  16. I really appreciate this inspiring post.

    Love this water colour painting.

  17. Wonderful painting, Crystal. I like the different direction you are going. Sounds like you have a fun, busy year in the making.

  18. Beautiful post and painting Crystal!! Your painting does feel joyful. The colors play and dance. Those are some fabulous goals. I'll have to check out the book.

  19. A great book to buy !:-))
    Very nice work Crystal!


  20. You're so funny Crystal! You make us want to go outside and scream..YES, we can do this! You definitely are an inspiration...I joined a live model class with Dan Slapo who is a master pastelist and it is so different from painting with a photo. I find it challenging and very happy that I'm part of it. I like your painting very much of the horse...!


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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