Tag Archives: studio art

lessons in inspiration / 07

I had to take an art education class in college. To my surprise, this art class for educators had nothing to do with how to teach or incorporate art into our classrooms. No, this class was designed to help future teachers internalize that art isn’t just finger paints or fancy drawings. The structure of the class allocated 3 hours a week to do whatever we wanted in a room full of every art supply you could imagine, as long as we completed four different art projects by the end of the semester.
Well, this freedom that I as an education major had never experienced before lead me to some frustration. Because I was never told exactly what to do or how to do it, I had to rely on my instincts. What is it that I like to do? What have I never done before that I would like to try? The answers to these questions became my motivation in this class.
I dabbled in many disciplines that semester. Calligraphy, print making, canvas stretching, watercoloring, and bookmaking were just a few.
In the end, this class taught me three things:

  1. I love watercolors, printmaking and typography.
  2. I could be a “legit” blogger even if I didn’t feel like I had “something to offer” to the rest of the blogging community.
  3. Art is doing, creating, dreaming, making and doesn’t have set rules.
lessons in inspiration, a create like create featured column by hey it's ashley's ashley brimeyer, a challenge to be inspired by making or creating something, watercolor, lightbulb painting, crayola watercolors
Your assignment: Make something.  
Take this assignment and run with it. If you’ve always wanted to quilt, buy some fabric and get started. If you’ve always wanted to blog, start a blog. If you’ve always wanted to build a kitchen table, go gather some wood. The point is to allow yourself to try something new or create something without the pressure of a deadline, a client, or even an agenda.
For me, I picked up my watercolors again (yes, those are Crayola watercolors. I’m a teacher, remember?) and painted something for CLC’s very own Jordan.
Until next time, go create!

- ashley


read more lessons in inspiration posts by ashley here

design elements by CREATE LIKE CRAZY design studio


I am a total perfectionist when it comes to my art. (Chris thinks that’s why it takes me so long to cut his hair, haha!) Especially when it comes to rendering, I tend to go for realistic. This is great when you’re learning and working on your technique, but I think it takes away from the artwork’s potential.

I am always drawn to the “imperfect” pieces in the art world over the photo-realistic. Yes, of course I’m impressed by photorealism. But with so many artists possessing the talent to render perfectly, I’m much more connected with art that shows personality. Brush strokes, leftover pencil marks, and (what!?) coloring outside the lines are engaging to me!

the pros of imperfect rendering - milk jug by thomas slater

When I went to art school, I was confident in my drawing skills and thought that was enough to be considered a “good artist”. On the first day of class the teacher explained the importance of concept.. even over technique. He went as far as saying that doing extremely well in your technique is not good enough to get you noticed anymore. It took me about a year to actually agree with him! I realized that in just my tiny art school alone there were 40 other students who could draw a still life just as well or better than I could.

Now, hanging in my studio, are a few paintings from school. None of them are perfectly rendered, all of them are full of life and personality in the brush strokes and dripping paint. They are the paintings that I am most proud of! They represent the moments that the lightbulb finally turned on.

My encouragement to you: give this imperfection thing a try! Use pen instead of pencil in your next quick sketch. I tried this recently (see my quick sketch) after seeing taylor’s drawing and I’m addicted. You’ll be amazed how quickly the fear of messing up goes away and you start to love the movement and life that is left when you can’t make everything so perfect!


milk jug