YOU are the secret


Every artists dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.

~ Henry Ward Beecher

I was recently chatting with a friend about making art. The basic conclusion we reached was that there is nothing new to be made – but only you can make it the way you would. If I were to make the same thing, it would be completely different and unique to me. Likewise, yours would be uniquely yours.

  • This week’s artist is – Chris – of Wanderlust Gallery. Matthew’s sister shared these works and we thought they were too much fun not to share. For even more, check out their website!
  • Frida Kahlo¬†would have been 117 on Saturday!
  • This pencil guide should have been called Explorations in graphite.
  • Here’s part 2.
  • And those led me to this article about water soluble graphite.
  • These 5 ways to stop being your worst creative critic are good advice for everyone!
  • What happens when your favorite paint colors are discontinued?
  • We love our Sta-Wet Palletes – having kept acrylic paint workable for at least a couple of weeks in one. Here’s some advice on how to keep your paint even more consistent in one.
  • Golden has virtual paint mixers for both their Golden and Williamsburg paints.
  • Color mixing with color triads.
  • Why did the watercolor artist become a detective? Because they were great at solving “hue”-dunnits!
  • ūüėé Fun Fact: American Gothic by Grant Wood depicts the artist’s sister and their dentist as a farmer and his daughter, not as a farmer and his wife as commonly thought.
  • There are a lot of events happening this week – more than usual since it’s Independence Day tomorrow (we’ll be closed Thursday, but see you Friday!) Here’re all of the happenings (including the stuff below).
  • Four Days For The Fourth – Paint a Patriotic Mural! Saunter over to Hermosa Caf√© and pick up a paintbrush to participate in the community mural. Each year Hermosa Caf√© provides a huge canvas, paints and some outlines to create a Patriotic Mural. Fun for adults – and also great for kids while adults are having tea and coffee! It is interesting to watch the picture emerge over the four days.
  • Four Days For The Fourth – Scavenger Hunt – Win a $50 gift card for solving the puzzle in the Scavenger Hunt! The Hunt starts Wednesday July 3. Pick up an instruction sheet at the Durango Welcome Center, then solve the clue to the first location. Go there to get your letter/number/symbol, and your clue to the next location. Once you have found all 13 locations, rearrange the letters/numbers/symbols to form a phrase. Submit your completed instruction sheet by 5 pm on Saturday July 6. Three lucky people will win a $50 gift card!
  • Word Honey Poetry Workshop is tonight at 6 at the Durango Public Library.
  • VFW Post 4031 is hosting a Independence Day holiday Ice Social! This Ice social is being held in conjunction with the Southwest Civic Winds Concert in Rotary Park. Ice Cream, of course, along with Hot Dogs, Chips and sodas will be served. Today from 6:30-8 at Rotary Park.
  • Line up early on Main Avenue for the annual 4th of July Parade. The theme this year is Play It Like A Local! Summer in Durango is all about us locals doing what we love: hiking, biking, rafting, concerts, festivals, campouts, and more. Expect some imaginative floats as well as bands, singers, cyclists, horses, fire engines and more. The Parade starts at College (6th Street) and Main Avenue at 5:00 pm and ends at 12th Street and Buckley Park. Bring a small American flag to waive and stand at attention when the VFW Color Guard passes by. Judges and announcers will be on the 800 block of Main by the Main Mall. This event is free to spectate. $5 entry fee for parade floats.
  • After the parade, head straight for the Transit Center to celebrate into the night. The City of Durango and KSUT Presents bring you food, beer, dancing and two awesome bands. At 6:00 pm, Desert Child returns to start the party and get you on your feet and dancing. At 7:30 pm The Motet will take the stage to rev up the night. Arrive to eat and dance, stay for the fireworks! This event is free. Participants may buy their dinner and drinks from one of the many vendors. The activities area features corn hole, face painting, henna tattoos, and Ruby Balloon. Bring a lawn chair!
  • Fireworks will start at APPROXIMATELY 9:15 pm. Best view is from the dance at the Transit Center!
  • Friday is the first one of the month – so it’s First Friday art walk from 4-7. Every¬†First¬†Friday¬†of the month, businesses, galleries, and the spaces in between host local artists of all kinds! Find live music, original performances, featured artist showcases, and artisan pop-up markets all across town. Learn more about events happening this month at¬†
  • Four Days For The Fourth – Music & Movies in Buckley Park – Friday evening, watch the classic movie, Sandlot, on a 20′ movie screen! Bring your blankets, chairs, family and friends to enjoy a night at the movies together at Buckley Park. Prior to the movie, enjoy live music by local singer songwriter Leah Orkowski, followed by a dynamic performance from the Durango Aerial Arts and Acrobatic Circus. The music begins at 7:00 pm. The movie will begin 15 minutes after sunset. This event is free. Popcorn and sodas are available for purchase.
  • Four Days For The Fourth – The Ultimate Halving Competition – Show off your carving skills by entering the 11th Street Station Halving Contest on Saturday July 6 at 2 pm at 1101 Main Ave. This is a tournament-style contest with three age groups – 6 and under, 7 to 15, and 16 and older. Contestants will be provided with an age-appropriate utensil and will cut in half food items from the 11th Street Station food trucks. The most even cut advances to the next round. Prizes for 1st and 2nd place. Pre-registration encouraged by texting 970-749-7204.
  • Four Days For The Fourth – Hot Dog Eating Contest – Hot diggity dog! Join the Hot Dog Eating Contest at 11th Street Station, located at 1101 Main Ave., on Saturday July 6 starting at 5 pm. Three age groups – 6 and under, 7 to 15, and 16 and older – with a max of 10 contestants per age group. Whoever eats the most hot dogs and buns in the time limit wins! Time limits are: 6 and under, 2 minutes; 7 to 15, 3 minutes; and 16 and older 4 minutes. Prizes for 1st and 2nd place. Pre-registration encouraged by texting 970-749-7204.
  • Free Concerts in the Plaza – Dave Mensch – Tuesday from 6-8 at the Three Springs Plaza. Dave’s sound echoes influences of Dave Matthews, Staind, Matchbox Twenty, Bob Schneider and Daughtry, while his inspiration comes from the singers and songwriters of today and generations past! All Concerts are FREE! Invite your friends and family, bring your lawn chair or blanket.
  • It’s the time of year when there are lots of live music events, open mics, live jam sessions, etc, scattered about the area throughout the week. There are too many to list here, so if you’re looking for such things, head over to¬†
  • There are classes/workshops/projects available at the 4 Corners Gem and Mineral Club, the Bayfield Library, Create Art and Tea, the¬†Dancing Spirit Center for the Arts,¬†Durango Sustainable Goods,¬†Let’s Letter Together,¬†the¬†MakerLab, the Scrapbook Nook,¬†Seed Studio, and the Durango Arts Center.¬†There are a lot more things happening that I don’t include – so if you’re ever looking for something to do, start at
  • It’s a good time to get out and make art in the field (plein air, urban sketch, open air studio, whatever you want to call the process.) However you want to make art on the go, we have some supplies and gear to help. Swing by and check them out for yourself!

So often, people struggle to find their style. By simply making a lot of art, one’s style emerges.

One of my favorite parts of teaching paint-along style classes was seeing how differently the projects turned out. We all started with exactly the same materials, followed the same instruction in the same order – and yet our pieces turned out quite differently. They were clearly the same subject but dramatically different sizes, colors, spacing, etc.

You are the secret to making your art. No one, ever, in the history or future history of the world, will make something the way that you do. The world needs your art!

Matthew & the Art Supply House crew