Adventurous Heart 2.75 x 2.5 Dry Brush Watercolor on Fabriano Artistico paper (Sold)

I had a conversation with a friend about looking at other artists’ work – especially artists who are farther along on the path, and much better we are. Some painters are crippled by those sorts of self-induced comparisons.  I’ve never felt stymied from looking at another artist’s amazingly realized creations. Great art fuels my creative engine.

Little painting in scale

My studio art library is full of gifts; courage, inspiration, ideas and reminders to be patient – every book on the artists of history is full of instruction. I love to read about other artist’s stories, and the obstacles they climbed over. You rarely hear of an artist in history who skid into premature brilliance sideways, wearing a feathered & bejeweled jacket, with brush in hand, stepping over a path littered with effortlessly painted masterpieces. Masterful artists in history often fought hard-won battles, ploughed on despite the nay-sayers, and leapt over false starts.  At the very least, there’s a plethora of Keep-Trying reminders in history, and learning about artists’ peaks and valleys puts all of us who struggle in very fine company. #justkeeppainting

Clausen, George; Building the Rick; Birmingham Museums Trust; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/building-the-rick-33806
George Clausen – Building the Rick

And speaking of inspiring artists, are you familiar with the paintings of George Clausen (1852-1944)? I’ve always loved his figurative work, even though he’s mostly known for his landscapes. I’ve had a few portrait postcards of his work pinned up in my studio for a couple of decades. Have a look at some of his amazing work here and be inspired. 🙂

Clausen, George; The Girl at the Gate; Tate; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/the-girl-at-the-gate-198199
George Clausen – The Girl at the Gate – I’ve had a postcard of this painting for almost 20 years.


Clausen, George; A Straw Plaiter; Walker Art Gallery; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/a-straw-plaiter-98283
George Clausen – A Straw Plaiter – The artist was about 35 when he painted this


George Clausen
George Clausen – Plough Boy (I love this painting so much. Beyond the obvious mastery, the boy looks like my late brother TDP.)


Clausen, George; Normandy Peasant; The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/normandy-peasant-19786
George Clausen – Normandy Peasant
George Clausen – School Girl
George Clausen – Head of a Young Girl
George Clausen – Head of a Young Girl (Close up for the wow-factor in his mark-making and lost & found edges)
George Clausen – Head of a Peasant Woman

I haven’t been able to verify, but I bet Mr. Clausen used his family as models. There are repeated features in so many of his figurative paintings, I imagine him corralling his wife, kids and cousins to the studio for sketching and painting sessions.

Do you subscribe to art supply manufacturer’s newsletters, so you’ll be notified of new products or special offers? Strathmore just released their Fall Artist’s newsletter, and it features an article on toned paper, and a bunch of workshop video courses. Have a look here.

Who’s work inspires you to try harder? Share links or names in the comments so we can be inspired too.

Thanks for visiting, and see you in the next post!


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Art Quote

You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.

~Marcus Aurelius  (April 27, 0121 – March 23, 0180)


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4 thoughts on “Watercolor: Adventurous Heart (& inspiration from George Clausen)”

  1. Laurel Barile

    Had not been aware of George Clausen, am glad and grateful to be introduced to his portraiture, thanks!

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