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Gonzalo Ruiz Navarro

Gonzalo Ruiz Navarro is a landscape painter and portrait artist who recently won the “People’s Choice” award that was sponsored by Plaza Artist Materials in the 7th Annual Friends of the Yellow Barn Drawing Show at Glen Echo Park in Maryland. Having grown up in Valencia, Spain and moving to Washington, DC eight years ago, Gonzalo shares how his artistic career and experiences have differed in the two countries. Read our exclusive interview with Gonzalo below to gain an inside look into his unique artistic journey. You can visit more of his work here: www.gonzaloruiznavarro.com.

Chicago Harbor, Oil on Canvas

Chicago Harbor, Oil on Canvas

Why did you decide to enter the Steve Hanson pastel drawing into the Yellow Barn show?

I was proud of that piece and I like it. I thought it had a good chance to win or place in the show. It is a piece I did some months ago in one of the pastel classes I teach at the Yellow Barn. Some days we have a live model come and pose for the class. That day, I brought in a very particular model with a very interesting face and full beard. I saw him a few years ago at the Art of the Portrait conference in Reston, Virginia, an annual conference held by the Portrait Society of America. I saw hi...

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Comments | Posted in: Artist Spotlight By plazaart.com
Studio Stories

“Part of my life is that I am split into these different things; there is the book, there is my teaching and then there is my art.”

Lauren Rader is a Maryland-based artist, author, and art educator. In 2005, she began teaching art classes to women called ‘Releasing the Creative Powers Within’. Inspired by the women’s individual creative journeys and life-changing experiences taking place within these art classes, Lauren wrote the book Studio Stories: Illuminating Our Lives Through Art to document and share their unique transformations.

Lauren Rader

Why did you decide to open up your personal home studio and teach art classes there?

“I have been teaching since I was 17. And I always taught kids. And I lived in California for 17 years. When we moved to Maryland, I didn’t teach at all for a while. People always told me I should teach adults, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that. I was talking to a friend about what to do next. She said I should teach an art class for adults called ‘Releasing the Creative Powers Within’. And I knew that was what I needed to do. I didn’t really want to teach a painting class or a drawing class, but rather a class that focused on creativity in general, which is my comf...

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Comments | Posted in: Artist Spotlight By plazaart.com

art-workshops

(1.) Everyone Can Be an Artist

All it takes to become an artist is to make art. Did you have a terrible teacher criticize your drawings in middle school? Do you feel like you "aren't as creative as other people” sometimes? Do you feel like you don't fit the mould when you think of what an artist is "supposed" to look like? Artists come from all backgrounds and work in all mediums, and nobody is born a great artist. Art takes practice.

Artistic ability is a muscle that needs to be exercised. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never made art before—if you begin to create art and continue to create art, you can call yourself an artist. It doesn’t matter what stage in life you start to make art. You’ll get better with practice and exploration.

(2.) You’ll Meet New People

Taking art classes is a great way to meet new people and make new friends. You may have the opportunity to interact with people of different ages and backgrounds who you might not meet otherwise. It’s fun to be surrounded by people who also share your love for art and your enthusiasm to learn.

Even if you are a professional artist, taking a workshop can give you a kick start when you’re in a creative rut. You can experiment with a...

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Comments | Posted in: Inspiration By K. McDermott
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