Always Learning

April 28, 2013

There is always something new to learn and as an artist I’ve learned several new things this week. I was doing an online lesson and it called for using Photoshop, which I don’t have. I’m not much of a tech person. The art center here sometimes offers classes in how to use it but I feared it would be too complicated for me. Plus, it is rather pricy. But this week I found a free substitute on the internet called Gimpshop 2.8 that enabled me to do what the lesson required.

What I was supposed to do was make a black and white image of a colored photo or painting and also a posterized version. I had never done this before but with Gimpshop it was easy. Under the Image Manipulation program just click on Colors and then click on Posterize to make an image that looks like a poster or on Desaturate to make an image in black and white. The reason for doing these things is to study value (light and dark). Posturize also provides a more abstract image that I found quite interesting. Best of all, it was so easy to do. I’m sure I’ll be trying it again with some of my paintings.

Then while paintings with friends this week I discovered that there is a patron saint for artists when one of the painters showed us a medal she had been given of Saint Lucas, which turns out to be another name for Saint Luke. We artists need all the help we can get so I looked him up on Wikipedia. I knew Saint Luke as the companion of St. Paul and as the writer of the Biblical books of Luke and Acts. But who knew he had any interest in art?

But according to Wikipedia, Christian tradition says that St. Luke was the first icon painter. He is said to have painted pictures of the Virgin Mary. This saint evidently had a variety of interests as he is said to be the patron saint of artists, physicians, surgeons, students and butchers.

One member of our painting group died recently and I attended her funeral this week. On the funeral card was a quote from Michelangelo, “I am still learning.” Me too.

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