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Your Monday Morning blog has been delayed due to a recent meltdown. Specifically, of Jonathan’s van, just as he was setting out for the Cherry Creek Art Festival this weekend in Denver.

Jonathan’s Van, near Taos NM

Luckily, the fire was slow to develop, so he was able to pull over and get all the artwork, tent, panels, etc. out of the vehicle without injury (a nice guy on the road pulled over and helped him. Thank you Sir!). Eventually though, the flames got to the fuel tank and the blaze was so hot that some of the art boxes he had pulled out caught fire from 20 feet away! We don’t care about the van, it was ancient. Jonathan was safe for which we are very grateful. But the art— that is just plain heartbreaking.

Nevertheless, he did not want to miss the fair so we rented him a Uhaul van and he had enough art left to stock his booth.

Booth of Jonathan Keeton at Cherry Creek Art Festival

What a trooper! So proud of his fortitude and strength in the face of crisis. And, happy to report, he sold a big watercolor today! These large watercolors are so beautifully done, but they are really difficult to sell. Even though watercolor is a much more challenging medium, most people prefer oil paintings.

Meanwhile, back here at the ranchito, I am getting courses organized. When people sign up to join Yum City, I ask them what their number one challenge is in making their art. They say things like:

  1. knowing when its done

  2. staying motivated

  3. confidence

  4. how to organize the work

For all of these challenges, I propose the Abstract Composition course as a worthy and substantive antidote. This course presents a handful of the most important art/design fundamentals to help you build, evaluate, guide, and ultimately strengthen your work. Abstraction seems to have no boundaries, no handholds or guardrails. But there are principles to guide your work, and especially the editing process that gets the work done. In 5 weeks you learn the most relevant principles and work on applying them within our community classroom at Yum City University where students can post and comment on each other’s weekly assignment right within the course.

There are another set of challenges that people list like:

  1. Making time

  2. Consistency in working daily

  3. Procrastination

  4. Getting started

For these people, I have a second recommendation, and that is our Kickstart course. Kickstart is all about establishing an art practice that you develop into a habit. We introduce you to a weekly system that I developed when I was first starting out that helped me really get in a groove and produce a large body of work. The course is 4 weeks of working alongside your fellow students in establishing a consistent art practice and troubleshooting the challenges that come up. We set up your studio, your materials, your schedule, and your process from start to finish.

It looks like we will do the Abstract Composition course for Fall 2021 and then Kickstart, Winter 2022. I should have exact dates later this week.

Does anyone want to share their number one challenge with us? Or comments on these courses? Please leave a comment below.

Allright everyone: to a great rebound week,


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