In this episode of #Baumann Podcast Stefan discusses how to paint on original paintings with passion. Most artists paint what they see and that's grand but painting what we feel connects us with other people, and that is what art is about. People live to feel and that emotional connection is what people remember.
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About Stefan Baumann
Inspiring Millions with his PBS show " The Grand View " Americas National Park Through The Eyes of An Artist". In this unique Television series, Stefan takes his viewers on a journey deep into the magical world of our National Parks to explore these sacred natural wonders. There, Viewers of the TV series, whiteness for themselves Baumann capturing vistas onto canvas En Plein Air viewers around the world to enjoy.
Each and every original oil painting is a moment captured by the artist of a remote location discovered by Baumann on his countless journies deep into the American wilderness. Through his keen eye and the steady trained hand of a master painter, Baumann painstakingly recreates the moment that he himself experiences, captured on the canvas first on location, and then finished or recreated back in his studio located his private ranch in Mt Shasta California. Baumann's plein air paintings include amazing effects of light, shadow, color, and the natural beauty that he sees in American wilderness landscapes, wildlife, and the architectural styles of older houses and barns. Through his work, viewers enjoy the opportunity to see spectacular places in America that are too remote and inaccessible for most to visit themselves. Baumann’s painting style has been classified by art collectors and galleries as “Romantic Realism with Luminicsm.” Pioneers of this beautiful genre of landscape painting include Frederic Church, Thomas Cole, and Albert Bierstadt of the Hudson River School. They were East Coast artists who journeyed to the Western United States to sketch and paint amazing views of the American wilderness, and then they returned to their home studios to paint stunning detailed versions of these vistas on room-sized canvases. Similarly, Stefan Baumann reveals the true spirit of nature by transporting the viewer too distant lands that have gone unseen and undisturbed on his canvases. Baumann’s passion for painting is fueled by his fascination with and close observation of nature’s sublime beauty and mood. Baumann’s paintings speak for themselves ~ elegant and mysterious, exciting and bold, every landscape and wildlife painting captures a feeling, a sense of place, and the magic of light.
I am stiffen Bauman . And welcome once again to another podcast today, I'm going to talk with one of my students about passion in your word. If you want to create passion, you have to look inwards down deep in yourself. You have to find something that you really want to express. It would be a political statement or awesome sunset . If you connected with the subject, you want the viewer to become connected with that subject also. So sit back and relax and listen in to a conversation that I'm having. As I give advice on how to create passion into your artwork, if you want to be an artist, when you grow up , it's not an easy thing. It's not it's you, you just don't say to yourself, okay, this is what I'm going to do. Uh , usually what happens is that you're , you, you, you come from another business right now where you're trying to please people by doing murals and , and decorating fo painting on the walls, you know, so whatever you're doing with that. And so that's kind of a product. In fact, it, it, it, in the long run, it's like, you know, at some point somebody's going to buy that house, that envelope or business and they'll repaint over it. So it's kind of a temporary thing in often ways. Yeah. I recommend students when they do murals that are major pieces. I say, you don't paint them on a panel and attach it to the wall in a way. Or you could even paint on a canvas and glue , like wallpaper onto a wall so that at some point somebody can take it down. But when you actually fulfilling clients' wants , um, it , that's not art. That's just another job. Yeah. Uh , if you're wanting to become an artist, usually that's an internal drive that is like, yeah, there's, there's, there's the , the art that, that stays, that has staying power , um, are the artists that create with autobiographical intentions. And when we think of an artist, like, you know, successful artists , they don't paint one thing for one market. And another thing for another it's like that becomes really transparent. But you hope is that you create a work that is so phenomenally , um, you know , a work of art that corporations go. I want that in my lobby. And yo your paintings have to become kind of a , an extension of you. If it's not about you, if it's not about autobiographical, if it isn't a personal , um, you know , internal need, which you know, is that desire, that desire, what I request from students is like, what do you want to be when you grow up? And you go, hi , I want to be an artist. Well, what does that look like? Yeah . It doesn't look like a business plan. It looks like something that there's just no other option. This is who you are and what we need to do, if you want to become an artist is to find that core. And then if you are thinking about it as a market, yeah, it that's great, but that could kill you. You know? So artists like Thomas Kincaid , who literally just threw away everything, he knew about painting to paint for the masses. Yeah . Eventually killed him because, you know, he drank himself to death because it's no fun to paint for that. And if you're, if you're an abstract artists , it's painful to go into realism. And if you're real, a starters is probably, you know, like hard to get into abstract art, especially when you do a corporate, because it goes against your , your, your sensibility, you know, of, of the direction that you want to go either or choose and work out of that. Um, I see that you , you know, it's really hard to market yourself. And what you're trying to do is break away from yourself and have this separate business, which is quote this art business. And the problem that you're having with this whole thing is that the art market is fragmented. And to try to pull that together is virtually impossible. So art becomes it's, it's everything that a business is not. When you first started with me, you say , I want to go into this as a business. And, you know, I knew we were going to have this conversation at some point because art doesn't follow business. You can't, you can't go and submit a business plan because there's no predictability to it. I mean, if you, if you were going to go into the business of doing, let's say , uh , now the big thing is facial masks, you know, for it because of the coronavirus, right? And you , you, you designed this particular set of masks, you could kind of project that you, okay . So many people like blues, so many people like red, so many people like go over their ears . So many people like Mexico, you know , behind their neck , um, you can have men , you know, a market for men and for women. And you can find some, some facts to build a business plan on and predict that you could sell a hundred of them a day, you know, by using Amazon and eBay and Shopify, you know, you there's, there's a business there. You could put together, can't do that with painting the viewer, the person looking at it. It has to be engaged. They have to feel like they're experiencing this with you, just because you love a place. Doesn't mean that it's necessarily good for a painting, but let's just say it was, I mean, yeah , there's, there's elements to this. So like, if you're up high, looking down, the viewer doesn't know like that. So like the viewer feels like they're in a balloon flying over, which wasn't your experience at all? What your experience was is that you're up on a cliff and you , what you want to do is try to capture that so that the viewer isn't like, wondering, am I in a kite? Am I on a balloon? Am I parasailing? What am I doing up here? You know, there's no sense of place. Yeah. You can't paint a thing just because you love a beach. Doesn't mean that everybody's going to love that beach. They have no attachment in an , in, in what your subject is. You might like pineapples. Right? Um, the problem is, is that your viewers might not like pineapples. And yet you could sell a pineapple painting to somebody who doesn't like pineapples just by what you do with the effects of lights and shadows, which is the reason why we hear it. But then part of it is also how you do that, your style, you know? So is there a recurrence style? Can we hook when I mentioned Rembrandt, boom, you got a hundred images when I mentioned Jackson, Pollock , boom, you got a hundred images, none of which counter decked your vision. I mean, you know, grant would a hopper, Innes name , a Picasso, nothing, nothing about artists who really make it really have any contradictory artwork. It's all kind of the same done by the same artist . Even van Gogh is controversial and how widespread his subject matter was. You could always say, Oh, that must be a van Gogh or Monet or something. So there's something about the artistic style about how we go at . So, you know, if you want to paint these luscious places that people want to go to , uh, the, eventually you're just like a photographer. That's just snapping pictures. There's none of you in this. And so when we talk about becoming an artist, we're really talking about you, who you are, what you see, how your personal tastes and things, nothing can pull you away from that. You know? And so when I look at this, I see, you know, you might not be done with it. And this might be a good place to kind of interrupt at this point and say, so what is it about this place that makes it unique that other people would be interested in it? And if you really want to get into the business of art, you'd be talking about, I don't know where you're doing repairs . We're thinking about doing prints and reproductions. You have to find images that are duplicatable that way. You know, if you think about Thomas Kincade yeah. And his little cabins and stuff, I mean, he earned $10 million a year and that's fact, $10 million a year was his salary from his corporation. The problem is in order to pay that kind of income in a corporation, you have to sell a lot of product and in doing so you have to paint a lot of burning cottages, you know? And so after a while, it kind of eats at your brain. So, and , but the thing is, you know, how many beach scenes can you actually sell? And the reality is, is that you can't predict that, you know, it's hard to do a business plan on something, and it's hard to do a business plan on whether or not you paint vases with flowers. You know, how many, how many of those do you think people really want? It's it's it's so it's so hard to wrap your hands around that the only thing you have in touch with is trying to get into who you are, and that oftentimes has to come from painting from life. Because in that process, you start making decisions that are not based on photographic images. They're more like an instinctual reactions . So when you see light hitting an object, how do you manipulate the brush to capture that image? Once it's put into a two dimensional surface, like in a photograph, then all of a sudden has it's no longer an instant moment. It's actually like a contrived spot. It's not inspired. Like, Oh yeah, there's my light . It's more like , uh , let me just put the light right here, see the edges over here. And you end up really tying into this subject. I mean, when you were there experiencing this, it was thrilling. Yo , you're up a high on there on the edge of a cliff looking down and the light in the ocean and everything's moving and moving quite busily. But when you're painting in the studio, it's almost like it's kind of a little contrived. It's a little like forced. And so we have to kind of find where, you know, where you are, where your excitement is. Cause I, you know, at the end, I don't want to see photographic image of , of a place I want to see in artistic interpretation that comes from you. That renders the excitement of being someplace. Now that's what people love to see is the human experience. And then when you take that and if you want to go into abstract, you could abstract that experience. And then it would be rooted in some humanists cause just doing triangles and rectangles and smears of paint that aren't based from the human soul. You know, that's why we listen to jazz music because it comes from the soul. Even if it's chaotic, sometimes, sometimes a solar whistle will grab a hold of a song. And there are, there are weird notes because he could bend these the sounds. And there's a moment where , uh , uh , Hendrickson that guitar player, he's twisting the notes in that moment. And you know, he could never do that exact same thing. Again, it becomes exciting. And that's what abstract art has to be. It can't be well, I'm going to fill up a lobby full of smeared colors and triangles. You know, the abstract is not that, although it has been morphed into that because the colleges have had to try to teach what abstract art is to art from artists that are not inspired because they're just bored being art teachers because it couldn't make it as an artist. And so they say, this is what abstract is. And then they , they, they qualify by saying, well, if you don't get it, you shouldn't look at it. Well, you know, that's stupidity. I mean, it's like, you know , it's like, but the thing is, if it doesn't grab you, I mean, even Jackson Pollock's first, couple of attempts were exciting, you know, because you could see this artists experimenting about a new and new idea, a new concept, new product. But towards the end of his life, he committed practically suicide. I mean, he died in a car crash, but he was so fragrantly drunk all the time and, you know , took risks because I mean, he didn't care because all he was was a carbon copy of himself and that's not art artists . Like now the moment now don't not photograph since you went on vacation with a year ago, it's like right now being on a cliff, being somewhere, painting that expression, having a model in front of you, that, that image of like this fleeting moment right now, that's what we, that's what we want to see. We even look at photography to try to recreate that, that we feel when we're excited about something, art has to stimulate the viewer, not just decorate the wall. And we do that by trying to recreate the human experience at the moment. And so it's really hard to go through your photographs when you go on vacation to try to recreate that, that, that feeling that moment. And you're kind of focusing a lot on just the imagery and getting that right. Just because you have a good photograph doesn't mean, yeah, you could duplicated , you know, as a, as a painting, but it's a duplication of the photograph. And so what I want to see up here is a feeling of what did it feel like? Not what it looked like, but what did it feel like to be yo , where am I, am I on a cliff? Or am I flying by either way? It doesn't matter. But try to make it feel like that, you know, are the waves moving? Is there a lot of, there's a lot of drama or are you just fascinated? Just, you know, the different colors that are in the photograph? No , I want you to , to , to look at, if you want to become an artist, you have, it has to be from inside. It has to be, and you have that desire. It's just, it's really hard right now to try to pull that together, to find out what that is. And so I feel that that's kind of part of the , the, yeah , what I ask you . So, you know , what were you thinking? Um, it really is about what you were thinking. It's about why , what is your idea? Um, you know , it's like playing a solo in jazz or, or having, you know, like improv acting, you know, people love doing improv because it's a moment of creating something from nothing. And when you do that, people love to see that. What is that like? Cause otherwise you'll be trapped into painting cottages all your life. And you'll, you know, that's not very artistic at all. It starts becoming like a program. Like it would the cottages on the right, the cottages on the left. What I'd like to see at the beginning stages of this, of , of any painting is the passion of the moment before all the detail and what I , what I'd love to see you do when you start stand up while you paint, bring your pallet away from your easel, step back from your painting and try to try to figure out where my light is and just go in and boom, put your light in, put your shadow in, just, just play with the effect and then bring out more effect. Even if it's abstract. Yeah. This is where your abstract is. Is you start off abstract because oil paint is so forgiving, start off abstract, and you might find that you might find your abstract self in that moment where before you start a painting, you're, you're, you're positioning shadows and lights and, and it's not without D it's without details without all of the, the everything resolved. It's about where my light is, where my shadow is, where my clouds where's my, you know, and, and literally let it go. Or you turn , there was a , an artist that was in the early 18 hundreds, late 17 hundreds. He's probably one of the very first abstract artists there was. And when you look at his abstract paintings, now you look at his early paintings and they're really highly detailed. So I suggest you look up Turner. He's an English painter. Um, but he literally, towards the end of his life, he went abstract and yet it's still rooted in realism. And the thing is, he's a first abstract artist that really got a hold of his subject matter and turned it upside down just absolutely. But you could still see what he did, but the passion's there. Yeah. And you start off of that now might be your, your abstract painting. You might go, I don't need to do more. That's all I need. And that might be what your abstract line is . Is that paintings ever just so inspired at the moment, trying to be something and just , just stop at a certain point because nothing else needs to be needed to it. It's truly just an abstract of an , of an , an expression or a moment in time. Then, you know, then once you have that in, you might go, no, I want to put more detail and you start off the center, focal point, you start working out from there, staying in the original constraints of your original abstract, and you start just building out there. And when things start to pop up like other experiences, you're free to put those in there. You might make the storm more storming, the trees more windy, and you might take it to a whole nother level. But when you're just rendering kind of the tree by tree, by tree that you know , Bush by, and you ended up kind of rendering a photograph at the end, I feel like you're losing a little of, of your, you know, psych , I love the way you defended yourself right now, because you were like, Oh no, it's not that it's this as well. I don't see that in, in the later brush drugs. Yeah. I don't see more passion than it is rendering. And so what we want to do is we want to start off bold and big and idealistic and yell, whatever that is, that feeling, close your eyes and feel it and put paint on the canvas based what you're feeling. And then put up the photograph and say, so what was there over these Palm trees or the, you know, this kind of thing, the lighting on the beach, but I want you to , to , to work from your memory, try to recreate what it, what, how excited you were stay in that excitement. And you know, so I think you're putting in detail way too early. Start with the image in your head, but work with lights and shadows dynamics, you know, try to work at the, and we can always put the detail on top, but see what happens if you work with, with nothing and , and try to, to boost things, try to pull things out of you. You know, we gotta push you further and then we can pull back. But what if this were an abstract, but just boldly go into it more on instinct, as opposed to rendering moron, moron, passion, moron . Like, Oh, if this could be, can I yank this up a little bit more and even get more light? Like you said, it was all cloudy. And this finger of light came through. Show us that now, and then work from there. Because right now you have ideas in your head and you're playing very safe. I want you to go at first. This is where the, this is where you have to pull out all the stops. This is where you're at. Start off abstract and then start put realism to that. And you might find a whole new way of painting. That's much more exciting. I don't know, but we've got to find you, don't worry . I'm going to throw all kinds of things at you until something clicks, but I've seen a lot of artists go this route and you're going to be frustrated because you're not going to be able to , to, to connect with your viewer is if your wants to feel the humanists of being there, not just to what it looked like, but what did it feel like when you can connect like that? Then you become a master painter. I know you got the passion. I know you got the passion. We , we need to see it. When you find that voice, you're going to be unstoppable and there's no way you're going to find you're not going to do abstract separate. You're not gonna do, you know, realism separate. It's going to be this smash between both of them. And you'll be able to go abstract because it's out of your soul. And you'll be able to render that abstract into realism because it needs to be done. And that's where I want you. That's where I want you to wear where it's obvious. Well , that's still the same artist. This is more rendered because it's the same pain. So there you have it. If you want to become a great artist, you've got to paint with passion. If you want more information on this topic or more information about my YouTube, my PBS television show or my blog . So you can go to www dot Stephan , baumann.com and there you can even register for a free book. Everything I know about painting, if you'd like more information about personal coaching and when to take your artwork to the next level, feel free to just give me a call at (415) 606-9074. So until the next time we meet over a podcast or wherever we might meet, always remember to do good work and remember paint with passion.