Artists’ Corner by Stefan Baumann: Mistakes – ‘A Pathway to Excellence’

It was snowing for a few days and when it stopped, I grabbed my paints and searched for a location in town to paint.  It was a beautiful day.  This painting is of a home located in Mt. Shasta call the Sullaway house.  I have included some pictures of the painting in several stages so you can see how I painted it.

It is impossible for artists to have all the answers or to paint without making mistakes. The very nature of mixing paint itself is a trial and error process.  When you are mixing colors and creating various tones and values, you will sometimes discover “by accident” combinations of color nuances and brushstrokes that are spectacular.  However, what seems to be pure chance is really the accumulation of many previous efforts.

It goes like this:  The more you paint, the more mistakes you make, and the more mistakes, the more you learn how to avoid and correct those mistakes, creating more knowledge and fewer mistakes in the first place.

Despite what you see in DVDs and painting shows on TV, none of the artists have the ability to paint what they intend to paint without experimenting. In fact, the nature of painting is one of constantly correcting the stroke you just placed on the canvas by deciding what the next stroke will be. How you repair your mistakes becomes your technique and style, and this process takes making many mistakes, many HUGE MISTAKES.

We artists enjoy the experience of creating art, not just producing a marketable product. The truth is that most paintings are not masterpieces. If it were easy, the value of paintings would decrease because the supply of great art would be plentiful.  With time and practice, your paintings will improve to your own level of excellence, uniqueness, and greatness.

“The most important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”  Dale Carnegie

With the success of Baumann’s weekly PBS television series, “The Grand View America’s National Parks through the Eyes of an Artist,” millions of people witness for themselves the magic Baumann portrays on canvas, his passion for nature and the American landscape.

Through his mastery of light, color and artful composition, Baumann invites you to experience nature in its purity.

It is no wonder that for many years distinguished American collectors, including former American presidents and financial icons, have sought out his work.

You can watch Baumann’s weekly PBS series Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. on KIXE, channel 9 in Redding.


Stefan Baumann