Introduction x

Some painters are genuinely gifted. They paint beyond expectation and amaze us all with their artistic genius. But for most of us, without being armed with sound artistic principles, few will experience the growth we desire in the field or the studio. It’s time to stop wishing we were geniuses, roll up our sleeves, and get to work.

Learning to paint involves learning basic principles and practicing them intently. The exact balance of these two disciplines, learning and practicing, will vary depending on your gifts. Some have to practice a lot. I count myself in that camp. Others will have a natural gift for understanding values and colors that will give them an advantage. But because such painters understand intuitively, it might be difficult for such painters to articulate that understanding. It’s easy to assume everyone has similar gifts and make incorrect assumptions. One thing is certain, if you don’t understand correct painting principles, either intuitively or consciously, their virtues will not show up in your painting.

We all have different motivations for why we paint. But there is one we all share, the need to grow. A life of growth and learning is a happy life. As a culture, we reserve our highest accolades for those who achieve the most. Ask any reasonably introspective person who has succeeded in any field, and they will tell you it is growth that matters most—not the trappings of success. Disregarding real growth is why learning programs that focus on formulas and tricks enjoy a momentary vogue but are not cherished and handed down from generation to generation. The paintings that result from such fashions are equally disregarded. I’m no different from anyone else. I fear that deep inside I might prefer instant success, an easy route to achievement. But my better self knows that real satisfaction comes from setting a challenging goal and accomplishing it.

Learning a handful of cheap painting tricks is actually a dead-end. Such artifice will not give the satisfaction most painters desire. The evolution of art education is moving forward, and there are many new developments not routinely practiced in art schools. Being armed with meaningful information is the best way to accelerate your artistic progress. Real understanding is the best and perhaps the only way forward.

Focusing on basic understanding does not mean there are no ways to speed the learning process. I have a few shortcuts I will share in this book. But they are methods to minimize the most redundant and tedious aspects of the painting process. For example, I see little use in sketching a beautiful motif and then drawing it multiple times. If I can draw it once beautifully, that’s enough. It is better to reserve energy for the important aspects of painting, expressing your vision, and simplify the mechanical elements which you will eventually perform by habit. Learning to type is a step in learning to write, but few typists are necessarily good writers. You learn to type, and that skill sits quietly in the background as you move forward and learn to write creatively. So too does the painter sublimate the mechanical aspects of painting.

A few of the mechanical aspects of painting are transferring a sketch to canvas and analyzing values. My nine value grayscale (chapter 21) is a great way to teach yourself the subtle value nuances of nature. The minute you use the value finder you will be on your way to understanding the tricky business of value. But eventually, you will understand it so well you will no longer need the grayscale. That’s the real satisfaction. With practice, theory will transform into understanding, and understanding into effortless expression. As your mechanical abilities grow your desire to express your newly formed talents will improve as well, and your paintings will contain more personal expression.

In most cases, the methods I outline will be basic principles that are easy to grasp. But remember you need to practice the principles to implement and understand them fully. Painting is like sailing, you can learn the basics in an afternoon, but it takes a lifetime to become proficient. If you practice these methods, I guarantee you will improve. But be forewarned; we rarely improve as fast as we desire. To combat greed for improvement beyond the efforts expended I include several chapters about the philosophy of improvement. After a decade of teaching myself to paint I ultimately discovered that once I mastered basic principles, painting was far more enjoyable than I ever imagined.

352: Black is a Color

–I HAVE read how many artists avoid using black paint at all costs. Some even decry it as not being a real color. Which is somewhat ridiculous. If it wasn’t a color that would mean it didn’t reflect light and would be a sort of black hole of reality, sucking in light but reflecting nothing.

It is more accurate to say that black is a color that is extremely dark and extremely neutral. In a few minutes, I’m going to broadcast live (16 Jan 2019, 12:30 MT) on my Instagram feed where I will add green to a painting using black, cadmium yellow, and yellow ochre (and possibly some ultramarine blue). In the demo, it will become evident that black is a color and of use to the experienced painter.

So the dictum that black is not a color should be modified to black is a color that is best used after having some experience. If you would like to use black but feel you might not be experienced enough try using Chromatic Black from Gamblin colors. Remember, the color it looks like is the color it is. But the fact that Chromatic Black is a mixture of Quinacridone Red and Thalo Green helps novice painters to accept the neutrality of the color. If you have these two colors you can mix your own. You do not want your deep darks to be a complete balance between cool and warm. If it is it will appear to be a dead color, no matter what colors are combined to make a neutral hue.

Black with a touch of ultramarine blue is a beautiful color and is often sold as Payne’s Gray after the 18th-century British watercolorist William Payne. You should always bias your blacks so they are leaning to either the warm or cool side of the spectrum. I also suggest adding a hint of white to bring out the tonal beauty of the color. Also, remember that no dark color should occupy no more than 5% of an extremely dark range. Use those super darks for notes within your dark shapes.

With experience, dark colors of all kinds from Mars black to Ivory black can be handled well in your paintings.

Brad Teare –January 2019

351: Drawing Like Van Gogh

–LEARNING to replicate the energy of your drawings in your paintings is one of the most productive advances you can make in painting. In my recent Gumroad video I show how the drawings of Vincent Van Gogh form the essential basis for his paintings (video link below). On comparing his drawings and paintings, we see that his drawings have the same rhythmic strokes and dashes as if they are a rehearsal for the paintings. Toward the end of the video, I do a quick demo of how Van Gogh added dots, dashes, and other calligraphic strokes simultaneously creating linear detail and value.

In his drawings, Van Gogh used a reed pen on paper. I use acrylic markers on canvas. But I replicate Van Gogh’s marks to demonstrate a similar effect. When I understood Van Gogh’s methods of drawing I came one step closer to understanding how he painted. I resolved to find a connection between my drawings and paintings. It took quite a while to discover but once I did my painting took a massive leap forward.

I hope this video will help you foster a unique way of drawing and that your newfound drawing style will foster a unique way of painting.

Brad Teare –January 2019

Supplies used in this video:

Montana Empty markers
Golden Colors High Flow Acrylic Black
Golden Colors High Flow Acrylics White
Molotow Acrylic Markers white
Molotow Acrylic Markers black

Loading…

Brad Teare, January 2019

350: How to Get Bright Color Using Color Charts

–SIXTEEN years ago I read an art instruction book that recommended making color charts. I used artist tape to mark off the swatches on canvas panels and mixed up my paint. After the swatches on the color charts dried, I attempted to use them in my painting procedure. But for some reason, the charts seemed irrelevant, and I rarely used them.

When I was moving into my new studio, I rediscovered the charts in the corner of my closet. I placed them on a shelf underneath my wall easel. With the charts nearby, I found I began to refer to them as I planned the color for my paintings. With a modest amount of planning, I found I was avoiding color clichés, and my color became more varied and vibrant.

As prescribed in the book each chart used a single color which I mixed with all the others colors on my palette. I would then add this mixture with white. The colors shifted from left to right as I added other hues. The swatches shifted in value from top to bottom as I added white.

Initially, I didn’t understand the purpose of doing color studies. Much like doing value studies you have to have faith. You have to believe the process will produce results–without short-term evidence. I can’t explain why doing value or color studies results in better paintings. You have to keep experimenting with a principle even though you see minimal results. In some cases, the hoped-for breakthrough happens after months of seemingly nonproductive experimentation.

This process can be challenging to explain to the beginning painter. If I were to graph the progress of such experimentation, it would be a hockey stick. It would show months of no progress followed by an instantaneous rise in ability.

HOW I USE COLOR CHARTS
I almost always do a watercolor sketch before I transfer my design to canvas. The quick sketch allows me to imagine the chromatic direction the painting will take. I select colors by asking a series of questions. What emotional effect am I trying to achieve? What colors will be in opposition to the primary color? What harmonious accents will complement those main colors? To clarify my thinking, I shuffle through my color charts. Such a review breaks up habitual color mixtures allowing me to select basic colors. Do I want to mix my greens around a base of Burnt Sienna and Thalo Blue? Or would a base of Cadmium Yellow Light and Ultramarine Blue be more appealing? The pause to consider the basic colors allows me to simplify and harmonize.

After selecting basic colors, I sketch in my watercolor sketchbook. I then dash in the planned colors. It can be difficult to discipline myself to use only the colors I have preselected. But the results prove to be well worth it.

Finally, I have to carry the discipline over to my oil palette. I keep both the watercolor study and the relevant color charts handy. The inconvenience of adhering to a plan is outweighed by positive results.

By combining color charts with watercolor sketches, you can avoid routine colors schemes.

If you need a good watercolor set for doing sketches I highly recommend this versatile, inexpensive kit. The commercial color swatches in the photo can be found here.

Brad Teare, November 2018

349: Painting with Bright Color–New Instructional Video

–I published a new instructional video with Gumroad (see preview below). They provide the best download speeds and easiest purchasing options (Paypal or credit card). The one hour and 27-minute video is downloadable to any device, allows complete access, and comes with a convenient satisfaction guarantee. Please note that you do need to download the free Gumroad app if you are downloading to an iPad or other tablet.

In the video, I add red as a modifying color to a landscape painting. Many classic American Impressionists would add red to their pigments to give an overall harmony as well as using red to shift color along the spectrum between yellow and blue. They would use yellow to warm a color and blue to cool it. It’s a fascinating way to amp up your color. I was so happy with the results I have used it exclusively since this painting.


I filmed the video in my new studio. The sound is excellent due to my new lav mic and good studio acoustics. I used all new recording equipment. New to my process is the use of multiple camera angles to show the exact colors I mix on the palette to apply to the canvas. That was a missing feature in my Youtube videos. I think viewers will appreciate the upgrade. The entire video has live commentary or added voice over to give viewers the best educational experience possible.

What you will learn in this video:
-How to achieve bright, rich color using broken, or vibrational, color
-How to achieve a variety of effects with broken color
-Why adding red to colors works to unify and modify color
-How to use a palette knife effectively
-Which palette knives to use to get certain effects
-How to apply multiple layers of color over the top of each other

Items mentioned in the video:
Windsor & Newton Bright Red
Ginko Leaf Shaped palette knife
Holbein Palette Knife 6S
Holbein Palette Knife MX-2
Holbein Palette Knife MX-H-12
-Creative Mark palette knife

I hope you will give the video a try. Please note that if you rent the video you can download it at any time within a 30-day span, but once you download it you have to watch it within 72 hours.

Please leave comments in the comment section below. I appreciate your help to make these videos even better in the future. Many thanks for your support.

Brad Teare –September 2018

348: Studio Visit Video

MANITOU Galleries suggested I make a short video giving collectors a view into my studio and my process. I filmed a five-minute segment showing my new studio as well as the basics of my oil painting process. Go here to watch the video.


The sound quality was good in the new studio as was the lighting (which was all natural). The lav mic worked well and it was a good test for my upcoming Teachable videos which I hope to get online before Christmas. Hope you enjoy the video.

Brad Teare –July 2018

Summer Cottonwoods, 30″ x 24″, oil on canvas

347: Paintings at Manitou Galleries

–IT has been a lifelong ambition to get gallery representation in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is the third largest art market in the world and the primary market for the kind of textured impressionism that I do.

Due to a series of fortuitous events I recently connected with Manitou Galleries which has a gallery on Canyon Road and another near the Plaza on Palace Avenue (where my works are currently exhibited).

If you are in Santa Fe I hope you will drop by and take a look. Both of the Manitou galleries are excellent and I’m honored to be included in their roster of amazing artists.

Brad Teare –June 2018

346: Understanding Creativity

–WHY do some people love art and others seem unmoved by it? I’m always interested in the reaction of people who visit our home. Our living room has art hanging from floor to ceiling. Some people don’t even notice–which always intrigues us since our collection (which includes an original work by Carl Bloch) is such a prominent part of the room.


I’ve always assumed that with enough persuasion nearly anyone could be convinced that life with art would be superior to one devoid of art (read my five reasons to collect art here). Despite straining my persuasive abilities to the limit I don’t think I’ve persuaded anyone to collect art. It seems that needle is very difficult, if not impossible, to move.

I recently stumbled across a fascinating video about creativity from an artistic and psychological perspective. The ideas presented were compelling and explained some of the reasons that art appeals to some and not others. I do believe that creativity expresses itself in a broad spectrum. A neighbor had an incredible gift for fixing engines. The friend who built my studio had a remarkable gift for solving building problems as well as reaching an aesthetic mark with a limited budget.

So I know that creativity can manifest itself in a variety of ways. The following video of an interview with Jordan Peterson, makes many points, such as; if you genuinely like art you are probably creative. Or; art embodies tremendous beauty and continued revelation. As well as; people are terrified of art because it speaks of the ultimate depths. And my favorite, art is exploration. (Watch the video here. Note that the audio improves at 1 minute.)

Additionally, Jordan Peterson mentions a book, Genius, by Hans Eysenck, about the nature of the creative personality that promises to be worth reading (Deb, if you are reading this post this would make a great Christmas present!)

I will continue to be an advocate for art while understanding the limitations of such efforts. I hope you enjoy the video as much as I did.

Brad Teare –May 2018

Above: Grand Canal, 24″ x 24″, (sold).

345: Cypher Show Interview

–A few readers who were unable to attend the Persistence of Vision Show requested I upload some footage. I forgot to film opening night but we had a large, enthusiastic crowd. Many thanks to all who attended. Go here for more Cypher info.

The video below is an overview of the 28 pieces in the show with voiceover commentary by myself and my brother Steve. I hope you enjoy it. The show is up until May 25, 2018, so if you get a chance be sure to drop by Alpine Art in Salt Lake City.


Brad Teare –May 2018



Above: Catfish Totem, 14″ x 11″, SOLD

344: Persistence of Paradox Show

“Out of the fires of desire and despair are forged all the formerly irreconcilable opposites of paradox.”Cypher

–OVER the last two decades, I have been trying to combine the seemingly irreconcilable worlds of woodcut and oil painting. In my latest show, opening tomorrow (April 20, 2018) at Alpine Art in Salt Lake City, I demonstrate the fusion of those paradoxical art forms. Tonight, between 6 and 8, I will give a talk about the art and process of the 28 pieces included in the show. I hope to see you there.

Many of the pieces have a QR code attached which add a deeper level of context to the pieces. For those unable to attend I embed the videos below.

https://youtube.com/watch?v=gBJj20ASMo8
https://youtube.com/watch?v=G4FrdMCDSnM
https://youtube.com/watch?v=CfM0T4CMK98
https://youtube.com/watch?v=9k-ehN5h0YA
https://youtube.com/watch?v=61hhrVj-AUE
https://youtube.com/watch?v=YBjoQDL7qdk
https://youtube.com/watch?v=9k-ehN5h0YA
https://youtube.com/watch?v=3XPEaLQofUY
https://youtube.com/watch?v=JxFIlYgwpxA
https://youtube.com/watch?v=9wT5_4_wXM0
https://youtube.com/watch?v=thW6lNjaoFg
https://youtube.com/watch?v=BzSkiUMaP6E
https://youtube.com/watch?v=0-xauSIrkhg

The last video (above) was filmed on April 5, 2016, over two years ago. It was at that moment I knew I wanted to mount a show of paintings based entirely on imagery from my graphic novel but the technical means had not presented themselves. It took two years of rumination and one week of exposure to new ideas to finally move forward with the show. I’m extremely proud of the show and hope you will be able to drop by for a visit. It will be on display until May 25, 2018.

Brad Teare –April 2018

Above: Your Move, 48″ x 24″, acrylic markers on canvas, available at Alpine Art.

 

343: Painting Interview

–TO be in the company of those who wish the best for you is one of the greatest blessings a person can have. Over the years many artists and fellow painters have followed my work on a variety of social platforms. I have regretted that my schedule has limited closer contact.

I recently communicated with Indian artist Darshana Bajaj, who posted our conversation on her blog (read it here). I found her questions insightful and appreciated the opportunity to reflect on my creative motivation. The heightened awareness has provided clarity at a critical moment in my career. [One addendum to the interview: I describe an ideal day–in actuality, my days are far more chaotic.]

I appreciate everyone who has given words of encouragement over the years. I have especially enjoyed the unique cultural perspective of my friends from India. Thank you so much for all you have given me.

Brad Teare –April 2018

Above: Golden Hills, (closeup), 48″ x 48″ available at Anthony’s Fine Art

342: Writing a Press Release

–IT is a good idea when having a show to write a brief press release. Press releases are prewritten articles to intrigue journalists into investigating more or to use as copy for their respective publications. The main point is to convey important details while entertaining the reader. The more unusual the show the easier it is to find a unique angle to promote the exhibit. A good rule of thumb is don’t be boring.  After you write the basic text, edit out any detail that isn’t informative or doesn’t have entertainment value.

The copy for my upcoming Persistence of Paradox show is more sophisticated than I might otherwise have used because I feel the show will attract a different kind of gallery attendee. If I were writing for a landscape show my language would be simpler. The name or subject of the show sets the tone and the readers’ expectation. Below is my final press release:

Persistence of Paradox simultaneously explores the visual complexity of Brad Teare’s graphic novel Cypher and the significance of its quirky, Jungian mythology. Teare uses the medium of acrylic markers (the markers graffiti artists use) to develop and expand the surrealist imagery revealed in the original book. Teare discovered that by using white markers on canvas painted with black acrylic paint, he could replicate the look, and more importantly, the state of mind, of working in scratchboard and woodcut–the original mediums of the comic book.

“The original graphic novel was comprised of dream imagery that I stitched into a comprehensible structure,” Teare says. “The challenge was to focus the narrative while retaining the overall surreal, symbolic content.”

The exhibit continues that impulse by visually exploring the mystery of life–with all its paradoxes. Some of the comic pages are meticulously painted onto canvas at ten times the original size. Smaller paintings are tributes to original characters and include Salvador Dali, M.C. Escher, as well as a cast of archetypal icons from Femme Fatale to the League of Ogres (a crew of motley Hades-dwellers). 

Although the show consists primarily of works on canvas, included are two sculpture/assemblages that pay homage to iconic scenes in the series. Teare has attached QR codes to many of the artworks and attendees can use their phones to access additional surrealist and explanatory video.

Cypher originally appeared in Heavy Metal magazine and was later published as a graphic novel by Peregrine Smith Books. It was critically acclaimed and received accolades from the Spectrum Annual, Fantagraphics Books, as well as Simon & Schuster’s Comics Encyclopedia. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Paradox Press, as well as many other comics anthologies. While living in New York, he illustrated books by Alice Walker, James Mitchener, Ann Tyler, and many others. He now lives in Providence, Utah.

Brad Teare –April 2018

Above: League of Ogres, 30″ x 24″, available at Alpine Art

341: “Persistence of Paradox” Interview

Marker painting, Dali, 12″ x 14″, with QR code

–I was honored to be interviewed for James Gurney’s blog about the upcoming Persistence of Paradox show, April 20, 6-9pm at Alpine Art in Salt Lake City. The questions were insightful and really got me thinking not only about technique but the deeper motivations for the show.

Below is a short video that demonstrates the basic principles of my technique. I explain in more detail on Gurney’s site.

Many thanks to James Gurney for the opportunity to reach more readers concerning this unique show. I hope you enjoy the interview.

Brad Teare –March 2018

340: Why Paintings Crack, Part 2

Closeup of Summer Sky, 48″ x 48″

–PAINTINGS with thick applications of paint are especially prone to cracking. So I’ve decided I need to take strong measure to ensure my paintings, which are distinctive for their thick texture, will not crack well into the next century.

I won’t treat the subject of painting layers in the correct order, with the right proportion of oil, as it is outside my expertise. My paintings are painted alla prima, that is, in a series of sessions while the paint is still wet. When it begins to dry, even just lightly skimming over, I am done painting. The technique I developed doesn’t allow for adding layers of paint over previously dry layers.

With that in mind, there are two aspects of creating a solid paint film on a canvas. The first consideration is to treat the canvas so the oil does not soak from the paint layers into the raw canvas. This means adding an isolating layer. This can best be done by coating the canvas with an acrylic medium. My preferred method is to use a bristle brush to apply a thick layer of acrylic gloss medium. In addition to creating an oil impervious layer thereby protecting the canvas from the effects of the oil, the acrylic medium helps stiffen the canvas making it less movable while still maintaining flexibility.

Once impermeability is established you need to create a surface that oil paint can adhere to. The best bond would be a chemical bond. But there are few surfaces oil will chemically bond with. One such material is copper, especially with lead-based paints. Copper will chemically cross-link with oils and create a nearly uncrackable bond. I have seen paintings by Carl Block which were painted on copper panels that are in perfect shape nearly 200 years after they were painted.

 Few can afford to paint on copper panels these days. So we have to content ourselves with creating a solid physical bond. A layer of acrylic gloss medium has no tooth for the subsequent layer of oil paint to adhere to. The only way an acylic layer and an oil layer can bond is by mechanical means. This means that the acrylic has to have tooth, or actual physical properties that intertwine between oil and dried acrylic. Think of this mechanical bond as a kind of interlocking mechanism like velcro, but on a microscopic level. The acrylic layer must provide something for the oil to latch onto. This requires adding something to make the acrylic emulsion porous. Essentially the requirements are contradictory–you need the canvas to be protected from absorption and the oil painting side to have an element of absorption, but not so much that it will absorb into the canvas material.

Acrylic gesso (or more aptly named acrylic ground) is made up of acrylic polymer and marble dust. The marble dust creates just enough permeability that the oil can latch onto the surface. In the absence of such permeability, the oil paint would just sit on top of the emulsion and would eventually delaminate (that is, peel off like an old band-aid).

There are other ways to create permeability. You can add a coat of acrylic matte medium (matte mediums have a marble dust-like additive like aluminum hydroxide). This creates a sandy, gritty surface–perfect for applying oil paint.

In summation, you need to isolate the canvas with an acrylic medium. Then add an acrylic medium that will cross-link to the subsequent acrylic layer and provide tooth for the oil paint to adhere to. With most painters, these two processes can be done by coating the canvas with three layers of quality acrylic gesso. In my case, where I want to draw on the canvas with acrylic markers to clearly define my composition, I will seal the canvas with acrylic gloss medium, paint on a layer of acrylic Mars Black, draw the composition with white acrylic markers, and then make the surface porous by adding a layer of matte acrylic medium toned with Golden Colors’ Heavy Body Red Acrylic (which compositionally is very similar to acrylic gesso).

This might seem like an elaborate process, but it is one that will ensure that my highly textured painting have the highest chance of not cracking well into the next century.

339: Review of 12 Rules for Life

Cypher Graphic Novel, by Brad Teare

–I was honored that clinical psychologist and Youtube superstar Jordan B. Peterson sent me a review copy of his book 12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos. This blog has a comparatively small readership and any review I write would hardly budge the needle of the book’s sales–which currently trends near number one on nearly every booklist. I appreciate Peterson’s generosity and willingness to share his book.

Peterson routinely talks with people such as Jonathan Haidt (who wrote one of my favorite books The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion) and recommends complex analysis of inequality in books such as The Great Leveler, published by Princeton University Press. I view Peterson as a force for rationality, but I knew his book would invite condemnation. Despite my expectations, I was surprised by an attack from The New York Review of Books. It was less a review and more a compendium of logical fallacies. Because of such attacks and such disregard for diversity of thought, I felt compelled to review Peterson’s book.

The bulk of the book offsets many erroneous and detrimental ideas. Young artists will find concepts to help with self-confidence (Standup straight with your shoulders back, rule 1), networking (Make friends with people who want the best for you, rule 2), finding an authentic style (Pursue what is meaningful, not what is expedient, rule 7), and how to write an artist statement (Tell the truth–or at least don’t lie, rule 8). The tone is as refreshing as the content and for most readers, there will be plenty to think about.

Ironically, 12 Rules for Life is not overtly political–there is little to object to from any political perspective. That isn’t to say there aren’t missteps. I felt his citation at the beginning of the book that order was a masculine principle and chaos a feminine one was sure to invite criticism. From Peterson’s lectures, I understand what he meant. The role of modern women (radically transformed via medical innovation) has no archetypal analogy. At 60 years of age modern womanhood is too new conceptually to have evolved a genuine cultural archetype. It would have been useful if Peterson had mentioned this perspective.

Some will find Peterson’s perspective at odds with art-house philosophy. But I challenge you to give his ideas a chance. Artists, above all people, should have the courage to think differently and Peterson’s ideas are currently out of step with current ideological fads. Don’t make Peterson an offender for a word but try to understand the concepts as he intended. Most artists will be greatly rewarded.

Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to mentor young artists. Their philosophies of art are often infused with an unfortunate postmodernism, especially if they’ve attended a public university. Such artists have a grudge against the rich, the very people who will buy their art. They embrace odd theories about art for the masses. One artist, a painter who had great potential, decided he didn’t want to sell his paintings anymore because it was “just rich people” who bought his work. I have met many wealthy people in my career, and I have yet to encounter one I would consider a “robber baron,” or anything even close. Most educated people see such stereotypes for what they are–crude attempts to dismiss intelligence and competency.

Highly competent people know how the world works, either intuitively or by experience, and what will make them better people. That is why they are successful. Their success is why they are rich. That is why successful people buy art and want to help artists with their careers. I reject the idea that art is only bought by the rich for suspect reasons, like trying to impress others. None of my patrons are compelled by such shallow motivations–primarily because such motivations are not conducive to success. Knowing that my art will inspire and challenge the owners of my paintings and, perhaps more importantly, their children, is a great source of satisfaction to me. Being a part of the upward drive of the human family is deeply humbling and rewarding.

One patron organized and sponsors a charity that does spinal surgeries for Peruvian citizens and has helped thousands to lead productive lives. Others fund arts events and organizations on a massive scale. Reflexively stereotyping people with money often means demonizing highly-competent and successful individuals–hardly a virtue.

It is likely that people who support the arts financially are going to be wealthy. This is true even with postmodernist art–an irony since postmodernists disdain the rich. This is reality: despite the utopian dreams of art professors, if you are going to have a career in the arts, you will be working with the successful and the wealthy. It takes care and character to treat people as individuals rather than members of a social group. But it is the right thing to do.

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson’s book 12 Rules for Life: an Antidote to Chaos is an excellent wakeup call to artists laboring under postmodernist burdens. Although the book is not specifically written with artists in mind each chapter details methods artists can use to have successful careers (and lives). His ideas are firmly planted in reality, with solid scientific research, and are an antidote to the patently erroneous theories plaguing so much of modern culture.

For many, it will take some humility to fully embrace Peterson’s ideas (he can be pugnacious at times). I was taught fallacious postmodernist theories 40 years ago when I was in art school. They didn’t work then, and they don’t work now. Success is predicated on an ability to deal with the world as it is–not as a theoretical utopian fantasy. Once you decide to make peace with reality Dr. Peterson’s ideas will begin to resonate.

If you are looking for a book that might not be your usual reading fare, I highly recommend 12 Rules for Life.

Brad Teare –March 2018

Above: Cypher Graphic Novel available at Amazon

338: Publishing with Zno

–I recently published a book with Zno and found it to be an easy way to print on-demand books. The prices seem reasonable and they’ve made it extremely easy to publish using just your phone (I used an iPhone 6s). You can compare prices here between the Blurb magazine and the Zno hardbound book–although at the moment it appears that third parties cannot order books via Zno. I include links below to the Zno preview and my Blurb magazine. I think the best deal is with Blurb, since other people can buy the books. Plus my Blurb version has the same images which are larger with accompanying text. Let me know which you think is the best service.

Brad Teare –March 2018