draw and paint what you love

So obvious, right?

And yet I have caught myself somehow not doing that sometimes, caught up in unconscious spirals of ‘I should paint more like this’, or ‘Oh I wish I could paint like so and so’, or most commonly ‘what the hell do I like to paint? I seem to keep changing my mind’. And I know I’m not the only one.

the first one {before I learned about photographing and editing it properly}

It’s becoming a bit of a running joke round here that I seem to have some kind of signing-up-to-online-classes illness this year. Mind you, if I’m gonna have an illness, I can’t think of one I’d rather have. All of the following pieces are from the first week of Pauline Agnew‘s class, brilliantly and succinctly titled ‘Draw and Paint What You Love’ {or DAPWYL as I’m calling it for short}.

the second one {still quite loose and unconsidered, and not well photographed}

People, I am on FIRE with this class. I am loving every single second so far; Pauline is not only a brilliant artist in her own right, but she is an incredible teacher, which is, I’m beginning to realise, no mean feat to transfer to the online environment. She uses interactive tools I haven’t seen before, the classroom environment is full of lovely supportive women, Pauline is extremely hands on and helpful with constructive criticism, and the lessons are SO INTERESTING!

starting to get the idea about marks. and photographing and editing.

Every Friday we have an artist date, and the first one was to kick back with a glass of wine {or whatever you like} and watch a documentary about Matisse. I loved it. It’s always a bit hit and miss signing up to an online class, and I feel I’ve really hit the jackpot with this one, because on top of all the good things I’ve just mentioned, I’m really learning stuff, and in a way that suits and satisfies both sides of my brain.

after learning about mark making and really considering how I’m doing it

I’ve never had that with an art class online; usually it’s a total right brain love fest, which is fantastic, but I have a very thinky, analytical side, and it’s really buzzing with a kind of high that I don’t usually experience in the studio, like the kind you get from a really juicy conversation.

first mark making painting. a bit all over the place but good fun to do

So this first week was all about mark making, and the importance of the relationship between making marks with charcoal and making marks with paint. As Pauline says, they are like brother and sister. We practiced first with charcoal, erasers, rags and our fingers; I love charcoal so I found that fun, and I really think my charcoal drawings show a progression in learning as I began to apply the principles and techniques Pauline taught.

second painting. can’t stay away from the watery colours for long :)

Then we moved on to making marks with paint, first by covering the paper with different kinds of marks and using different tools. After that we were making the marks ‘talk’ to each other, so you build up a conversation. See what I mean? Right brain activity with left brain thinking.

after some advice from Pauline about leaving white space and ‘thinking soft’ after my full on eye damaging first two

I loved using a more considered approach; I’m very slap happy and intuitive with my painting usually, but just bringing in a bit more consciousness makes a lot of difference I’m realising. So exciting you guys!

‘talking marks’

I’m so excited for week two. I haven’t been this hyped about art for a while, even though I’m always making it in one form or another. I feel this is going to transform the way I work.

more talking marks




  • Joana says:

    Tara, I can see it in your work how much this class is making you happy! I love everything you did here! I’m happy for you!

  • Looking great Tara – I know I’ve seen a few of these on instagram, but it’s lovely to see them scaled up a bit on my laptop and bigger! and altogether. It sounds (and looks) like a fantastic class and that you’re really having fun with it. xo

  • Great post Tara! You are such a great student and you DO THE WORK! So delighted to have you in my class. You must keep posting your progress, your are are an inspiration to all your readers and to me! :-)

  • Jill Hodgson says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with your enthusiasm for Pauline’s e-course. I’ve taken several others too and at some point I begin to feel it’s a little empty, but Pauline approaches it like a true teacher. Your work is stunning, it’s nice to see the projects all assembled.

    • Tara says:

      I agree ‘like a true teacher’. Thank you for stopping by and leaving your thoughts Jill, and for your lovely words about my work.

  • I am super intrigued by this course. Your work is fantastic and I love the idea of learning about other artists while developing your own work. I’ve been a total nerd learning about other artists since I returned from my UK/France trip. Looking forward to seeing more of your progression!!

    • Tara says:

      There really isn’t another like it out there that I’ve seen, and for me a bit of art history for context just makes all the difference!

  • Natasha says:

    The class sounds wonderful, I have made a note of it. You can see the progression, and it sounds perfect for me. Reminds myself I have committed to no more classes this year!!

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