So Many Art Classes

Art, Blog

Since 2012, I started to get back into my art.  Now the best advice I have is to keep working on your art every day.  EVERY DAY.   Do I follow my own advice?  No.  But I give great advice.  I should follow my own advice but that is another post.

I’ve taken and spent a lot of money over the past few years taking art classes.  I’ve gone to weekend classes, week long classes, taken online classes and watched an untold number of youtube videos.  There are a lot of options out there to learn art.  Some free, some cheaper than others.

One of the best thing about taking an art class or seminar is getting a chance to meet other artists.  I’ve met people from across the country.  Some really amazing people.  Some who are established artists making an incredible amount of money.  Some are changing their careers trying to break into a new field of art, and some like myself are starting to build a new art career.  This has been my favorite part of the art classes.

This summer I will be going to the Illustration Master Class in June.  This is the most expensive class I have paid for.  It is also an opportunity to spend an entire week working on art, each day and every day.  I will have the opportunity to focus entirely on oil painting.  I also have the benefit of having some of the greatest illustrators in fantasy art teaching me.  It’s something I’ve been looking forward to for most of the past year! This class is almost $3000 dollars and has been a big investment.

You don’t have to spend that much for an art class or a seminar.  There are MANY good programs and seminars to investigate.  Online programs, and videos can teach you a lot.  If you have an interest in watercolor painting, oils, drawing or sculpture there are some great teachers who are posting videos online about these topics.  Check them out and see if they are of interest to you.

There have been several great art podcasts or critique shows that I have become devoted to.  The first was the weekly art crit group but I’ve been following One Fantastic Week each week.  This weekly show has introduced me to a lot of new artists that I’ve never heard of but found to be great artists.


Depression and Getting Motivated


There is a lot of depression in my life.  I’ve been dealing with my own depression for a long time.  It was at its worst when I was a teenager.  Now, it’s not too bad.  The biggest issues for me is that I deal with a lot of depression at work and talking with people in my personal life.

I recently had a friend unexpectedly die.  Another friend has lost his partner of 32 years.  Both create different reactions, depending on the personal relationships you have with the person.  Losing a loved one is a specific type of depression, called grief.

When depression starts to affect me, I often feel unmotivated.  Over the past year, I have kept a bullet journal to address the tasks I want to accomplish when I get out of my full time job.  It may be household chores, or art related, or social activities I want to get accomplished.  When the depression hits I often am unmotivated.  I can check my bullet journal and find I’ve not made a list or notation in it for a week or more.  It’s not a good sign and I need to make changes in my life.

Being a social worker, I hear a lot of bad things each day.  It’s not easy, but I try to use my art as a means to “save my soul” as I call it.  A few years ago, my depression was getting bad, and I was getting burnt out.  I needed to find something I wanted to do just for me.  I chose art.  I’ve always loved art and wanted to get better at it.  I started to work on it again, I have been taking a lot of classes on Art since that time, and it’s been something that I can do just for my own satisfaction.

Working on depression must be a personal thing.  Nobody really knows your pains, frustrations and trials but you.  If you want to change your life, you need to find a solution that works for you.  Working on art and keeping a bullet journal have been good tools for me and if you are dealing with depression, I urge you to get out and try to find your own solution.

Out with old and Updating the New


It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post here. Over the past few months, I’ve been having more and more frustrating problems with my home computer. Malware and viruses that I can’t seem to remove. I’ve been debating if I wanted to reformat the system or just buy a new computer. In the end, I’ve chosen to buy a new system.
My new machine has a 17.3″ screen, one Terrabyte on the hard drive, and 8 Gigabytes of RAM. It is a thing of beauty. I’ve been spending the past few weeks uploading the software I want to use on the computer. I have a working Photoshop copy as well as my Desktop publishing software again.
So far I am very happy with this new machine. Windows 10 is slow but it is very functional and I like all the things it does. For a machine of this size it was the cheapest I’ve ever paid for a laptop. You should be able to see more activity from me when I’m home. The problems I was having was deterring me from even wanting to fight with my computer. It made all digital art a problem. You should be seeing more in the future.

Weapon, Month of Love

Art, Uncategorized

weapon72dpi_kirktaskilaThis week’s challenge was titled “Weapon”.  Love is war, choose your weapon.  I hear many stories of domestic abuse in my job as a social worker.  The words are strong as are the stories.  Eventually you fight back or die.  When a romance fails and turns sour, I repeatedly hear the same line.  So I title this one.  “But he loves me.”

This is a 9″x12″ done with pencil/ink/watercolors with final colors adjusted on computer.

Lost in Translation, Month of Love


I’ve begun to experiment with watercolor painting.  I think it works well for my fantasy work.  It adds a dreamy quality, and childlike memory space.  This is my second piece for the Month of Love challenge.  The subject is “Lost in Translation”.  I hope that the piece speaks for itself.  Please feel free to comment or critique.



Heroes, the month of love


The Valkryie was a Norse spirit in the service of Odin.  It was her duty to go to Earth and retrieve the worthy dead.  She would return with the soul of the dead to spend their afterlife in Valhalla.  This is my illustration for the first week of the month of love.  The challenge was heroes.

#monthofloveart, #heroes, #valkyrie, #kirktaskila


January End on to February


Well, that’s all folks.  I’ve come to the end of my 30 in 30 challenge.  I started by Dwarf project to give me an excuse to work on faces and hands.  In the end, I came out with several images I liked and some I probably should have reworked.  I will be compiling these into a sketchbook and running my first kickstarter later in the year.  Probably around March or April.  It appears my February is getting busy.

I’ve decided that in the month of February I will be doing the Month of Love challenge.  I’m going to work on 4 paintings on the subject of love.  The first week’s subject is on “Heroes”.  I’ve worked out my idea and will be working out the drawing today and tomorrow.  I will be posting it by next Sunday.

Also this month I plan on attending two SCA events.  The Valentines Day event in Kalamazoo, MI on the 13th, and the Heraldry/Scribal event on the 20th.  I’ll be teaching a class on creating your first scribal equipment kit for those interested in Calligraphy and Illumination.  In related news, I have become our local groups Chronicler which means I need to get our local group’s newsletter out.

Then I also have plans to create a new website because I’ve been rather disappointed in what I have up at  I need to get a good gallery up online with a webstore that will advertise both original art and prints for sale.  I plan to have lots of original art for sale this year so I hope you’ll follow along.

Yup, I think that will keep me busy.  Thanks to everyone who has commented or shared my art.  I appreciate the feedback.



Finnr, the Coin Maker




When I finally arrived at Eikinskjaldi’s destination, I met Finnr the Coinmaker.  He was busy stamping the Thane’s image and year on the gold blanks that were delivered to him.  He tells me his job was one of great prestige.  Gold only had value after the Thane’s ka was placed into the gold.  Only he could add to the King’s horde. I was given one of these coins for my efforts and study of the Dwarven city.  I was told that this one stamped coin was a treasure not lightly given.  I hold it to this day.

Lit, the Engineer



On my way to the the destination provided to me by the Thane’s advisor, I came across a dwarf curiously studying the floor as he walked.  He carried a variety of tools with him and paced out his steps counting as he walked.  I walked with him for a while, trying not to disturb his count.  When he paused, I asked him what he was doing.  He said the floor was uneven.  I said I couldn’t tell.  He said, “of course you can’t.  You aren’t a Dwarf.”