As you may know, I am proud to be a member of a local art group, Girls Just Wanna Paint (GJWP). This is a group of women artists that meet once a month to share & view work, converse, and come up with monthly painting challenges.
I was invited to become a member of GJWP about 6-7 years ago. Girls Just Wanna Paint is a small group of experienced painters, many of whom have followers and collectors all over the country. Several of our members teach painting classes. All of them weave their heart and soul into their paintings. I am still trying to figure out how I got so lucky to be a member of this wonderful, kind, and talented group of women!
As an artist, there are so many benefits to being part of an art group. Here are my top 5 (in no particular order):
Receive meaningful, actionable feedback from other artists
We gather once a month as a group to review our monthly challenge. Each member is allowed 5 minutes to discuss her painting, process, and receive constructive critiques from the other artists. This undivided attention and feedback is invaluable. Each artist is able to gather ideas on how to make the painting better or how to work through an area of the painting that is “not quite right”. There are plenty of supportive comments and compliments as well. Let me just say, there’s nothing like hearing “breakthrough” to describe one of your paintings. The feeling is priceless!
Exchange information about the local Art scene & resources
We exchange information about exhibits, workshops, materials, and juried shows. We discuss websites and other sources for art materials. There’s nothing like a personal recommendation from someone you trust and these women are connected!
Participate In Art Shows
We are a diverse group of artists, with many different styles and preferred mediums. This strengthens our appeal when we present an art show as a group, as we’ve done several times over the years. Our artists have talents & specialties in many areas including mosaics (Sally), oil painters (Jeanne, Mary) and acrylic painters (Kelley). Our subjects range from feminine flights of fancy to landscapes (Page) to watercolor sketches (Jody) and still life (Paula). We create art to suit everyone’s taste (or almost everyone 😉 ).
Learn about new & different techniques from our own “experts”
Sometimes we discuss an artist’s way of painting, for example glazing techniques (Tori) or painting over gold leaf. It is fascinating to see how one member captures the buildings, greenery, and people while sitting at a cafe sketching with a Sharpie or Micron pen (Jody) ~ incredible! One of our members (Peggy) just received a huge distinction from the Pastel Society (she has a Olympic size gold medal which I would wear everyday but she has yet to don it), her talent runs so deep and she is always willing to share her knowledge.
It can be lonely & solitary work to be an artist. Being part of a group gets me out the studio and interacting with other artists. While the primary focus of our meetings is always the artwork, there has been the wonderful additional development of a very close and deep friendship among our members. I feel so safe and comfortable with these girls that I have shared personal struggles and felt embraced by them and I hope I have offered this as well.
I truly believe that artists paint with their hearts and their spirit is visible in their work. I am so happy to be part of this magical group known as Girls Just Wanna Paint. It is inspirational and uplifting to be a part of a creative community. I love seeing the work of my fellow artists and I know if I get stuck I can turn to my “girls” for motivation. They pick me right up and their encouragement means everything to me.
I can truly say that I have grown so much as an artist thanks to the women in this group. If you are an artist, I encourage you to join an Artist Group. If you can’t find one in your area, why not start one? There are so many online resources available to help connect people with similar interests, I say go for it! There’s nothing like making personal, real life connections!
If you have any questions about Girls Just Wanna Paint or art groups in general, please leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer 🙂 . Be sure to visit the Girls Just Wanna Paint blog to see all of our monthly challenges and learn more about our members!
P.S. Remember, the best way to get your daily dose of inspiration and behind the scenes between blog posts is to follow me on Instagram, @pamelacopemanart and for my Interior Design work, @pamela_copeman_design. If you’re looking for a piece of original art for yourself or someone special, please take a peek at my paintings for sale in the Pamela Copeman Art shop! Of course you can always contact me about custom work as well.