We found four new videos of Bill that never made it to television.
Bill had strong beliefs about many things. He showed “no mercy” when it came to letting his fans know how he felt about something.
Today’s video clip is about developing the most important skill an artist can have.
In Bill’s autobiography, he mentions how he would take his students out into the field. They didn’t paint. In fact, Bill had very strong feelings about painting plein air.
Plein air, by the way, is simply the practice of painting out of doors.
Bill preferred to take his students into the field and teach them to see. Learning to see is a skill we can develop with practice. The problem is that many of us don’t take the time to see.
Kids, especially, have their heads buried in electronic devices these days. There were a lot of stories last year of kids bumping into things — like trees — or worse while playing video games.
It seems sad that with such a beautiful world around us that many choose to live in a make-believe world.
In many of Bill’s videos, he talks about how he sees what he is going to paint before he begins to paint. It is because he developed the skill of seeing and bringing Mother Nature back to his studio.
A lot of folks use a camera to capture a scene. Even Bill admits that’s an option.
I went to Woodstock in 1969. In the Fall of ’69, I went back to re-visit Yasgur’s farm. The foliage in upstate New York was absolutely gorgeous. In fact, there was a country lane down which I drove. The trees were the most brilliant shade of yellow I ever saw.
I stopped the car and knelt down in the middle of the road to take a photo. I still remember to this day those trees.
When I got my photos back from the processor I couldn’t believe my eyes. The colors on the print were nothing like what I saw. Of course, with all the fancy software I have, I could probably recreate that color if I can find the negatives.
That’s the problem with photographs, though. The photo will always be just a little bit “off.” But even if the photo was a true representation of nature, we never paint from a photograph.
As Delacroix said, “Of course I use a camera but I never paint the product of a machine.”
At best the camera is a crutch. It’s better than nothing, we suppose.
The ability to see — that’s the key.
If you want to learn to see with the eyes of an artist, our Master Class can help. Tom doesn’t just teach you to paint, he teaches you to see the world around you. We give you everything you need to start painting right away. We give you the art supplies you need. We send you the canvas. Master Class was tested over thousands of students while being developed over the last twenty years. If you want to paint like a master artist, Master Class can help you get there.