Painting Insights: Q&A with Adele

I am passionate about painting and teaching. So it is no wonder that I love living at the intersection of those two worlds.

Here are seven more questions and answers about painting that many of you ask me frequently.

How long does it take to finish a painting?

The length of time it can take me to complete a painting varies.

Adele in Studio

Since I work on multiple paintings at one time, I tend to go through different stages on each one.

It is typical for me to work on both a series and multiple paintings at once.

However, when I get closer to the end of an individual painting, I work on them one at a time.

I can take me several weeks to complete multiple paintings.

The length of time it takes to complete a painting varies by size.

Do you name your paintings?

I typically label my series as a color study, landscape, or abstract.  

How many paintings do you work on at a time?

When I do abstracts, I create four or five at a time.

But the size of the painting also makes a difference in how many I can work on at a time.

When I work on 6 by 8 paintings, I find that I work on painting two to three of them at a time.

Is there a process for working on your paintings?

When I’m working on a series, I find that the paintings feed off of each other.

When I come to a stopping place with one, I can move onto the next one in the series.

When I come to a stopping place with that one, I am then able to move onto the next one in the series, and so forth.

This approach is helpful to ensure all the paintings in a series are related with the same types of marks.

They are like cousins or siblings, but they are all individuals.

Working on a series takes me a while to complete because I don't ever work on one painting at a time.

Can someone learn how to paint even though they've never painted?

Absolutely. Anyone can learn how to paint.

Painting is not magic.

Yes, there are technical skills to learn for either abstract or realism.

But like anything in life, you can continue to improve once you learn the basic skills and practice them.

The more you practice, the easier it becomes to paint.

Why do you enjoy teaching people how to paint?

I love teaching absolute beginners because they come in thinking “I don't have a creative bone in my body.”

Sometimes they say, “I don't know how to draw a stick figure.”

But when students come to my class open minded, they can and do see results.

Time and again I see the transformation as my students come out of my classes as wonderful, talented artists.

It is fun to watch the growth of someone who thinks they can’t paint as they learn how to create.

Is there a secret for learning how to paint?

Part of the secret is learning to be open, free to learn, and not judge yourself.

If you go into a painting class with a predetermined “I can't do this” mindset, you can have a challenging time being successful.

But since anyone can learn how to paint, you simply have to learn the skills and practice them.