Posts Tagged ‘#arttips’

I recently attended an art workshop in Montreal. I don’t attend a lot of workshops anymore, preferring to explore solo in my studio and perfecting my own techniques but every now and then, I try one.

In the case of that particular workshop, we explored image transfers, collage, multiple mediums to give special effects and mix with acrylic paints, stencilling with spray paint and resin application. It was a good blend of mixed media techniques.

I had already tried some of the techniques before, some were new to me and the atmosphere and the group were a lot of fun, the instructor knowledgeable. I am not particularly happy with my piece, especially for the fact that it would be difficult to modify anything at this point after the application of resin which I wanted to try.

My Art workshop experiment

But that’s OK because the point of attending an art workshop is to learn something new, be it a new medium, subject matter or technique. You have to go into a workshop with an open mind and should not be expecting to come out with a finished piece ready to hang on your wall. That is not the point of a workshop.

Often, workshop attendees are afraid of making mistakes, are feeling watched by the others and want to perform. They want to come out with an artwork worth keeping (after all, they paid for it) but this is not what workshops are for! Workshops are meant to take you out of your comfort zone, to let you experiment with the curiosity of a child, without expectations. It is the perfect place to watch what happens with whatever new thing you are trying. It is also the perfect place to learn from the other attendees’ experimentations and to share your discoveries.

The goal is to listen to the instructor, take notes and experiment just for the joy of it. Relax and enjoy the moment without expectations and you’ll really benefit from the workshop. Always walk in with an open mind.

Later on, if you enjoy the results, you can implement what you have learned into your own work or continue pushing what you’ve learned to the next level.  A workshop is a starting point, not an end. It opens up a new door in your artistic mind.



Site web Suzanne Bélair


Enviroart par Suzanne Bélair


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Here is a piece of information I came across lately that could be useful for fellow artists.


First off I must say that I do browse photos for inspiration like all of us but I take my own photos to work from unless a client explicitly requests something specific or arrives with his or her own photo. It is not OK to copy someone else’s work whether photographer or visual artist unless you have permission and give credit where it is due.


In the sometimes nebulous world of copyright I always thought the best way to handle this is simply to not copy. Unknown to me before, there are two types of copyright notices that give us permission to use some photos. These photos have been posted by the original owners, photographers, artists and they posted these to sites for our viewing pleasure and to give us explicit permission of use if we want..


What you need to know about is “Creative Commons License”. There are several different types of license. One of them is the attribution license, where you can use the photographs as long as you credit the photographer and looks like this:

Attribution license

Attribution license



To find out more about this license and all the different types of licenses, see: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/  and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license


But what we are interested in is the category Public Domain or Creative Commons Zero (CC0). Typically, an artwork becomes part of Public Domain when the artist has been dead for a very long time. But for these photographers that are generous enough to share their work and give permission to anyone to use their work there is the CC0 license. By attaching this license with their work, they give up their right to come back and claim you could not use their work.

cco-licenseCC0 or public domain license


So here are a few websites where it is specifically mentioned you can use the photographs, add to your blog, modify into a painting, print and enjoy in your office:


Pixabay  https://pixabay.com

Unsplash  https://unsplash.com

Public Domain Archive  http://publicdomainarchive.com


You can also look on other sites like

Flickr https://www.flickr.com

or Free Stock Photos http://www.freestockphotos.biz


that will publish some CC0 licences photographs but some under other Creative Commons licenses also. So you need to be careful and verify the licenses before using anything.


Another item to verify is whether these sites have obtained model releases for any recognisable individual portrayed in the photo.


I hope this short blog helps with your creativity and search for beauty!


Site web Suzanne Bélair


Enviroart par Suzanne Bélair



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