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Stephanie Birdsall — Conscious Painting & the Power of Intention

The BoldBrush Show: Episode #85

Show Notes:

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For today's episode we sat down with Stephanie Birdsall, a floral oil painter and pastel artist with a keen eye for creating a sense of romantic atmosphere in her work thanks to her use of natural daylight. She tells us about her artistic journey including her time at the City and Guilds of London Art School as well as her experiences with Richard Schmid, Nancy Guzik, David Leffel, and Sherrie McGraw. We also discuss how to navigate the art world including building credibility, producing high-quality work, and finding the right galleries. Stephanie emphasizes the importance of confidence, conscious painting, and being intentional with your work. She also shares with us her deep love of teaching others and also tells us about the advantages of joining painting societies and clubs in order to network and learn from like-minded individuals about how to improve at your craft. Finally she tells us all about her upcoming workshops!

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Stephanie's Instagram:



Stephanie Birdsall 00:00
Paint does not jump off our palette onto our Canvas. We have to put it on our brush and put it on the easel and I want every brush stroke to be conscious. You. You know you load your brush, you put the stroke on the way you want it to be. You're responsible for everything that goes on it. It doesn't just happen. So those times I tell my classes, no dabbing. You know, just going over and over something isn't making it better. You want to think about every stroke and consciously put it on, so that you're involved in what you want it to be.

Laura Arango Baier 00:41
Welcome to BoldBrush show where we believe that fortune favors the bold brush. My name is Laura Arango Baier, and I'm your host. For those of you who are new to the podcast. We are a podcast that covers art marketing techniques, and all sorts of business tips specifically to help artists learn to better sell their work. We interviewed artists at all stages of their careers as well as others were in careers tied to the art world in order to hear their advice and insights. For today's episode, we sat down with Stephanie Birdsall, a floral oil painter and pastel artist with a keen eye for creating a sense of romantic atmosphere in her work. Thanks to her use of natural daylight. She tells us about her artistic journey, including her time at the City and Guilds of London art school, as well as her experiences with Richard Schmid, Nancy Guzik, David LaFell, and Sherry McCraw. We also discuss how to navigate the art world, including building credibility, producing high quality work, and finding the right galleries. Stephanie emphasizes the importance of confidence, conscious painting, and being intentional with your work. She also shares with us her deep love of teaching others, and also tells us about the advantages of joining painting societies and clubs in order to network and learn from like minded individuals about how to improve at your craft. Finally, she tells us all about her upcoming riches. Welcome, Stephanie to the BoldBrush show. How are you today?

Stephanie Birdsall 02:00
Fine. Thank you, Laura. It's great to see you. I'm happy to be here.

Laura Arango Baier 02:03
Yeah, I'm happy to have you. We were having a very great conversation just before we started. So I'm, I'm so excited about this episode. I love talking to people like you who have so much knowledge and so much, I guess, you have this air of always earnestly wanting to help. I don't know if that makes sense. But I can sense it. And I love that. I love that. And I sense it a lot with people who are teachers, as well as you know, living from their work. So, of course, we're gonna dive into that later. But before we do, do you mind telling us a bit about who you are and what you do?

Stephanie Birdsall 02:41
Okay, my name is Stephanie Birdsall and I'm a painter. I work in pastel and oil. And I was completely a pastel artists until Richard Schmid looked at me one day and said, if you're doing this and pastel, why aren't you painting in oil? And I had painted an art in oil in art school, but not done it in years. Somehow I fell under pastel. And so I started painting oil again.

Laura Arango Baier 03:09
Oh, do you still do pastel?

Stephanie Birdsall 03:12
I do. I just do oil more when there was a time when I was living in Florida and I was doing a lot of plein air painting. And I had to easels in my car. And I would go out and have set up my oils. And my pastels. And there was one beach scene one day, I had started the day before. And I think when the sun was out, I worked in pastel and when it was overcast, I worked in the oil. So I just went back and forth. And it used to be that I would be working in pastel and wish I was working in oil and vice versa. So and they really influence each other. There have been times when people walk in my studio, and they don't know that a pastel isn't an oil. So they're very interrelated for me, even when I hold my breath sometimes.

Laura Arango Baier 04:01
Interesting. Yeah, I could never tell the difference. Actually, when I went on your website, and I was looking at your work, I was fully convinced it was all oils until it said pesto. Like what you could do.

Stephanie Birdsall 04:11
This is still so fun.

Laura Arango Baier 04:13
Yeah, and of course there is you know, a lot of there are a lot of historic figures, like artists who have used pastel and I've also, you know, fallen into Oh, that looks like oil, but it looks so interesting. And then I find out it's actually pastel and it just takes me aback. It's definitely like, very similar. I can totally see it. And your hands, I hope.

Stephanie Birdsall 04:34
I hope you'll try it because there's a way of layering with pastel. That is so much fun that you can put I demonstrated to my students, you know, 12 or 15 different layers of color over each other. It's so fun to play with. You just have to have a really light touch but I think you might enjoy it.

Laura Arango Baier 04:54
I am intrigued. I'm definitely intrigued. Because there is I mean obviously with oil feels, I feel like it takes a lot longer, of course, because oils have to dry especially, we're going to do layers. So I can see the benefit of pastel. You know, being a dry medium, it's probably a lot faster than oils in that sense. And I do love the layering idea I've used colored pencil before I need you. I mean, obviously colored pencils wax, but it has a similar sort of effect of with a light touch and a lot of layers, you can really achieve a lot of interesting color notes in there, which I love.

Stephanie Birdsall 05:29
Come to my studio sometime you can play with my pastels.

Laura Arango Baier 05:32
I would love that. I would absolutely love that. Um, but yeah, so I wanted to know, because you have an interesting, I guess, a bit of an interesting background, right? You studied actually at the City and Guilds London art school? Why did you decide to go there?

Stephanie Birdsall 05:52
I think Laura, I've always been a wanderer and at the time, hate to date myself, but it was in the 70s. And I did not know where to go to get serious education. And so I applied to 28 schools in Europe. And the only they wanted, you know, five page essays in the language, and I spoke High School, French, that wasn't going to work. I got accepted to two schools, I think one in Scotland and this one in London. So I went to I was gonna go to the City and Guilds for one year. And I just went over there and stayed for five. Wow, to get a serious education. Having said that, I don't know that I did, I did get exposed to life drawing for the first time. But more than that, it was just a great time to be there. You know, to live in London, in the 70s. Sounds old when I say that. But it was a perfect time, it was totally safe. I just had a ball. You know, I don't know how much I learned. But I had a great time.

Laura Arango Baier 06:58
You know, that's part of the experience, and especially being a wanderer and being an artist, I feel like so much of our work, really does rely on our lived experiences. So I have no doubt that you gained something from their Stephanie Birdsall 07:12 weather. The other thing I just want to say is back in those days, the studios were all natural light. So I feel like I that my only wanting to work in natural light. Probably started way back in my 20s. Yeah, because that's what I started in. And that's what I find beautiful. So I think the biggest influence that school had on me, was probably light.

Laura Arango Baier 07:42
I can agree with that. Because, you know, I was we were talking about this earlier, but I want to mention it again, because it's so fascinating. Your work definitely has a very gentle sort of look. And I was telling you earlier to how I thought it's very fell, but also very Schmid. And you mentioned that some people think your work is very romantic looking. And I think it's because of that softness, and that subtleness. So it makes sense that it's the natural light.

Stephanie Birdsall 08:11
It is I don't, I'm not gonna say I never have those hard, hard edges. But when I do have to work with an artificial light, the edges are so different to me when you have the natural light. It just sort of floats over everything.

Laura Arango Baier 08:25
Yeah, there's more air almost. It's like it feels more like. And it's funny because I guess the word would be atmosphere, you know, because the light is penetrating everything instead of being so direct because I do agree. I think studio lighting can sometimes be very, very harsh. And it can produce really great dramatic paintings and portraits. But at the same time, you know, if you want a bit of that soft romantic look, then you need to have different lighting and of course now the Northern Lights are the best. Right? Yes, you have a new studio I'm so jealous. I know their southern facing window here and I just get the sun all on my face can

Stephanie Birdsall 09:11
I give you curtains? What I did in Rome because I enrolled the the room I use it's a studio has a southern facing skylight. And so I got a roll of heavy vellum. And I've put it over the skylight. And so now all the light is diffused because it really just used to beam right in. So it's not a North light, but it's softer and it's really lovely. So I have a Muslim curtain that I pull over my north facing light. Sometimes when the sun's out because there's an old big white house across the street and it just bounces so badly in my eyes, I pull the muzzle and across it. But that heavy element and I'm sure you can get it here I gotta roll in row Um diffuses the light beautifully. You might try that.

Laura Arango Baier 10:06
I will definitely try that.

Stephanie Birdsall 10:08
And for anyone who's painting in a southern facing window, and I tell my students is to that vellum is like magic. But it has to be vellum, I got, you know, white fabric, I tried all sorts of things. And the sun when it was bright, would come through and still cast that light beam of sun and shadow. And as soon as we put the vellum up, it just diffused it.

Laura Arango Baier 10:35
Fascinating. I'm definitely going to try that because I mean, obviously, like in the past have used similar things. Definitely the linen curtains or they've hung them above like Windows to really get more more light reflected. But I'll definitely try vellum.

Stephanie Birdsall 10:49
I think it was I must. I must have gone through at least five things. I use black. I use white. I tried muslin. Develop does it because it's a tighter weave. I mean, it is completely tight weave. And again, I got the heavy I didn't get the lightweight tracing paper, but it it diffused the sun much better than any fabric because fabric has little holes in it does.

Laura Arango Baier 11:14
Yeah. Oh, wow. I'm gonna add that to my list of things to buy, because that is awesome. All right. And then yeah. And then I did want to mention, because you did study a bit with LaFell. And I've been with Schmid. How was that experience for you to have studied with? With Richard Schmid. And also of course, love fell because I'm a huge fan of Phil, and of course, the painters and how do you find it that has affected your work?

Stephanie Birdsall 11:46
Confusing. certain level, I have to say that there are things that they both say but like off the chart, Peters and and Sherry McGraw, and yet to gusik, for that matter. But, you know, Richard really did the most beautiful, sensitive color, and Nancy's color magic. Sherry and David have such volume and depth and weight in their paintings. And so I go back and forth, I mean, trying to put everything in, I think it's fused into how I see, but I hear both of them are all of them in my head all the time. You know, I'm painting something and I want the volume on a lemon or whatever it is, or even a peony. And I hear David and Sherry how they're describing form and how incredibly gorgeous it is. And then I hear Richard coming in on the color side. And so I'll be looking for, you know, different colors I can bring out or things that I can add into the shadow. And one of the things that I learned, I think, from Richard and I also am going to bring up my main pastel teacher, I think it was Albert Candell. And he early on stressed, same value, different color, which is so much fun. So when I'm teaching pastels, I'll take two pastels. And let's say I'm going to do a purple and a green, I'll make a line of the purple. And then I'm going to make a line of the green. But my goal is that your eye skims over it and can't tell when you're changing color because the values are so right on. And that is such a fun thing to do. And Richard did that. All the time. When you look at his paintings, you know, you'll see a leaf. And suddenly there's pink or rose, or lavender, but your eye it's like eye candy. You don't know that he's changing color. It's so subtle and beautiful. And I think both of those things, the form and the beauty and the light. And the brushstrokes on all these people. It's just, I've been really blessed, I think to be able to work with the people I've worked with. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Yes,

Laura Arango Baier 14:17
yeah. And they're to this day. I mean, like they're, I think they're still very influential for a lot of people. I mean, I don't know anyone out there who hasn't read. You know, Richard Schmidt's alla prima. I think it's at this point, a Bible for everyone.

Stephanie Birdsall 14:33
It is and I think these people are historical figures. At this point. Yeah. Because I think they've all changed painting within their lifetimes. And I think what they've taught and what they've seen in their books they put out now we've got videos and things. I think they're forever

Laura Arango Baier 14:59
Yeah, as they are definitely timeless in the way that they've first and the way that they've painted and also the way that they've taught, I think it's very much like that, that torch of the old masters, but obviously, in today's world, which is a lot more modern, and has Well, I guess a lot more things that the old masters probably would have loved. Like, artificial light, for example. Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. Um, but yeah, I mean, for example, like I, the very first book I ever purchased was actually a book. It wasn't by law fellows by one of his students, and I can't remember the name of it right now. But it was a manual for painting. And it had all of these notes. And it was like, I had never been to a school at that point. I'd never been to an art school at that point. And I was just, every time I read that book, I felt like, I got a little bit better and a little bit better. And I understood it. Yeah, more. Yeah.

Stephanie Birdsall 15:55
I agree. I just go back and read these books. And every time I read them, I get something new out of them. Yes, yeah. The other thing I feel really strongly about is, we learn when we're ready. I actually met Richard in 2003, at his retrospective at the Butler. And he said, I'd like to ready. I actually met Richard in 2003, at his retrospective at the Butler. And he said, I'd like to paint you so I went and sat for the Putney painters, which was great. And then he said, You know, I'd love to help you if you ever need it. And I'd said, I want to come paint with you. He said, Come paint with us when we paint outside in the spring. And I did. And that was the start of my relationship, which is probably 2004 With Putney painters. But Richard wanted us to paint with him. He didn't want us to come there to be taught, although he couldn't help himself from rocking around and helping us or he do a demo. And I think I'd been there probably eight years off and on because I first I commuted from Naples, Florida, then from Tucson, I'd go back and spend, you know, I would go back when they have to Putney painters back to back or two weeks, I'd go back and get as many as I could. But I remember watching him do a brushstroke. And I was like, Well, Richard, this is amazing. And it had to do with him doing an edge and edge and, and pushing down with his they were mongoose. Then, on the edge anyway, I was blown away by and I wrote him like a Thank, you know, for joining. It's kind of like, Where have you been? I've been doing this the whole time. But I wasn't ready for it. So even in reading the books, we read something or watch someone and suddenly it resonates because we've gotten enough. And put our knowledge that we can suddenly understand something that we never did before see it. And that's the magic of working with teachers or even painting with other painters. I mean, it's amazing what we get from each other. I'm still watching everybody I know to figure out how they do it.

Laura Arango Baier 18:06
Yeah, there's always something that that can be learned all the time, I think, you know, as a creative endeavor, right. And as creatives, we're always learning more, we're always like, there's always something else. There's always something to the craft. And we all paint a little bit differently. So we all have, I guess, like our little kind of like our little branches on this big tree and our way of doing things and the kindness of others. It's fascinating. It really is. Yeah. And you also reminded me, yes, you also reminded me of the quote, you never stayed step into the same river twice. And I kind of feel that way about reading, you know, or you're a different person every time you read it. So it's, it's pretty cool.

Stephanie Birdsall 18:54
It's cool. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier 18:56
But speaking of teaching, you also mentioned in another interview that you kind of never considered teaching, like it wasn't something that had crossed your mind. And yet, you teach. What changed your mind.

Stephanie Birdsall 19:12
Oh, I did a good I did a demo somewhere. Or maybe. I don't think it was when I made my first video, but I did a demo somewhere. And actually, it was Jamie Markel. I think who asked me or No, maybe it wasn't. I was Holbein sponsored me at one point because I love their pastels because they're heavy and they're solid and they're great for glazing in the way that I work. And they asked me to teach a workshop. But it was more a seminar sort of thing. Like I think it was a one day thing at one of the the marketing events or you know the shows where you have all your or art supplies. And I never done it. I'll never forget I was in LA, I was walking down the hall, the hotel. So nervous, like, so nervous. I was so nervous and scared. I've never even forgotten that feeling of walking down the hall in the convention center to where I was going to teach for the first time. And what was greatest, I had a guy in my class, who was kind of confrontational, yes, sometimes you get those people that are sure they know more than you. And they're not well, they don't really know why they're here. And he came up at the end of the class. And he said to me, you know, I really didn't think I was gonna get anything out of this. But thank you really good. So that was my first experience.

Laura Arango Baier 20:50
Yeah. Wow, that's, that's nice.

Stephanie Birdsall 20:56
I was intimidated. But I think the thing that gives me joy with teaching, and it's why I teach is to see people grow. And I always tell the students at the beginning of my workshop, I'm here for you, you are not here for me. So let me know what you need. Because my goal is to meet their needs. And for them to walk out. As better painters. I asked them to bring whatever problems are working on to my workshops, I hope to solve their problems and push them out the door, being better painters, if they never saw me again, they get take home. And that's, that's what feeds me. When I'm teaching, I mean, I just love being able to relate and help and, and inspire. Because I think so many people know more than they think they do. And the other thing I'll say to people, because I'm very conscious of this is, if someone asked me a question, in a workshop, like for instance, do you think this needs more yellow, I look at him and I say what do you think? If you have the question, you have the answer, because you wouldn't question it, if you accepted it as being the way you wanted it to be. So these are some of the things that I say all the time. But I believe that we have a lot more if we just trust ourselves. And I also think painting speak to us and you need to listen, my painting, they'll say I need a little more yellow here, or a little more blue here or a little more light here. So it's kind of learning the relationship, the personal relationship we have with every painting. For that, that's why I do what I do.

Laura Arango Baier 22:46
That's really mind blowing, because it really is a conversation with the painting, you're bringing life to this, this image. Right. So like, for example, like the grapes behind you bringing life to the grapes, and they are becoming more and more separate from you. And yet, you know, they're still you in a way because you're putting them down. But at the same time, they're separate enough that they can ask for things. Right, the painting is speaking, that is so cool. I never thought of it.

Stephanie Birdsall 23:17
And the other thing is that I had a course that I was teaching called Conscious painting. Paint And the other thing is that I had a course that I was teaching called Conscious painting. Paint does not jump off our palette onto our Canvas, we have to put it on our brush and put it on the easel and I want every brushstroke to be conscious. You, you know you load your brush, you put the stroke on the way you want it to be, you're responsible for everything that goes on it. It doesn't just happen. So those times I tell my glasses, no dabbing, you know, just going over and over something isn't making it better. You want to think about every stroke and consciously put it on so that you're involved in what you want it to be. So you hope you know I got my whole teaching thing.

Laura Arango Baier 24:10
I love it. It's it's great. Because I mean, obviously it's easier said than done. But you know that conscious act as well that is so important. You know it because it implies intention. Yeah, yeah. And I feel like that, that reflects a lot of life as well where if you don't live your life, with intention and with consciousness, you know, you don't know where you're gonna end up. You're gonna end up anywhere, but with Yeah, with intention and consciousness. You can really you know, look on a map and be like, I want to go there and the way to go there. I have to go this way.

Stephanie Birdsall 24:48
Yeah, it's very true. Every brush stroke one puts on a painting is new. Because that brush stroke did not exist. Before your hand and your brush, put it on it. And if we can remember that, then we, we have more control, we have more ability to make it what we want to make it. But I think these little things are really important. Everything's new at all times, doesn't mean we don't have old, and what we've learned, but every act we take is the first time. And so I think that's part of the excitement of painting. Whether it's pastel or brush, or watercolor, or anything else, oil, it's all new. Wow. Wow. You're gonna, you might want to, you might want to cut this out of the interview. But when I'm, I get up in the morning and roam and with my partner. And we we usually go to compote, if you already get what I'm going to paint for the day, or the vegetables we're going to eat. And there's this wonderful little, it's not really an alley, it's a row, but it's very small. And it's got one of the oldest buildings I've ever seen. I love it. But we'll be walking. And I say to him, when I look down at her feet, and as we take our steps, I see new, new, new, new new, every step is new, we may have walked the same path yesterday, but we've never taken this footstep before that's propelling us forward. And I feel the same way about my paintings. Every brushstroke is new, Every moment is new. And the more conscious we can be while we're in it, the more beautiful I think are painting and consequently our lives aren't.

Laura Arango Baier 26:39
That is, well, again, I'm speechless, because it is, you know, it's a very Buddhist thing to say as well, you know, because every moment really is a new moment. You know, the past doesn't exist, the future doesn't exist. We're just in the now. And that's something that's so important to remember to, like you're saying, because every now is a new opportunity. Yeah,

Stephanie Birdsall 27:04
I mean, if you think of it, the yellow I make today. Even if I were to make an error, I keep saying yellow, but it's because I got a lemon painting up. Even if I'm using approximately the same mixture, it will not be the same as yesterday. Because I'm making it today. And we probably want to go on to some other such, but I love this.

Laura Arango Baier 27:26
Yeah, me too. Me too. Because, you know, I really love it when painting. And life kind of emerged into this, this allegory because it really is, you know, a reflection of life. You know, every moment that we paint is a lesson that we can learn about life and vice versa. So I love this conversation. But I don't know if you're if you're ready to dive into the more boring logistic matters,

Stephanie Birdsall 27:53
you're looking into the regular stuff. Okay, well,

Laura Arango Baier 27:56
I'm actually very curious to know how, how is your trajectory? From, you know, student to living artists did you have for example, like a day job and then you quit it when you were making enough money? Or what was it like?

Stephanie Birdsall 28:12
Well, I'm when I went came back from so I'm impulsive. I came back from London I hadn't seen I hadn't been home in two years. And I came back and went to see a friend of mine that was living in Westport, Connecticut. And I'd never been to Connecticut before. And I loved it. So I just moved there and left London left all my stuff there. Just moved. I wanted to be an artist. And I was also doing etching and printmaking at the time. And so I got involved with some people in heritage show in printmaking. Westport ahead, I'm trying to think in Westport at the studio. I anyway, worked as a waitress and painted and actually learned how little I really learned in art school. And that became my searching class. From there. I went back to it. Lanta, which is where I was from. met someone got married, moved to California. That's where I got into printmaking. There's an art to printing out Chile in La Jolla. That France, Francois de lo was at and so I did printmaking there how to show. crazies it sounds. I didn't have a gallery. I really didn't know what I was doing. I was trying to paint but I really didn't know I need a lot of years under my belt. I ended up selling real estate for a while and having a family and then I got to a point where I couldn't not paint anymore. And I was painting in my kitchen at night. I eventually got a studio there and that's when I really got into pastel And from there, it just took off. Because at the time pestle, became my medium I quit real estate, I ended up being a mother for. But I painted all along. And I realized that my eyes are painting, even when I'm not. And the years that I wasn't able to actively have a studio, I realized I was still translating with my eyes. So I noticed that, you know, when I'm driving, I will be looking all around me and I'll be looking at will use Connecticut because I'm here right now. But there's a lot of green, or there's a lot of snow or whatever. But I find myself noticing the difference in the trees a mile up the road, to three quarters a mile to next to me to the grass, and seeing the difference in the values and the colors, and the shapes. And I think we start to look at everything like a puzzle, the pieces come together in shapes and colors and values. So I realized that I look at things. I can't say look at everything in a painting, but in a way it translates into my mind. I lived in Colorado for a while and became very conscious of the blue skies on the snow. And how, you know, blue, the snow was here because of the color of the sky and the reflections. And it just I think once you get started, and I don't, it's not about if you mixing colors, I love to mix colors. And even my first year in college, we had to mix colors. We had these little color squares, I don't remember what they're called, but they're still out there. But we had to make them you know, out of our palette. And I love it. I feel like there isn't a color I can't mix except there's a certain pink to aisle This is Dahlia that's impossible to mix. But Are my eyes just they take things apart. And I think that started to happen. before I ever even really learned to paint from that color exercise. I went to University of Georgia for a year. And that was when he exercises and that taught me to break down color. So I know I'm really segwaying off all this but anyway, just I just am passionate about I never wanted to be anything else. When I was in high school I chose between writing music and art and the art one out because I used to love to write and I played piano and classical guitar. And then at one point I wanted to be a rock star that didn't happen. So anyway, the art one out it never left me. It never left me. Wow, I just got to a point where after I started pastel again, I got to a point where I felt like I could start to make it my life. And I did. And that's got to be I don't know, 25 years ago, 30 years ago.

Laura Arango Baier 33:08
That's awesome. That's very inspiring. Because you know, you didn't you didn't give up on on that. It's almost like it's so funny because cuz I do find that a lot of artists that I interview, it's we have like this calling, right? And a lot of these people like you and other people I've interviewed, they don't give up on the calling, they keep going. They'll do anything.

Stephanie Birdsall 33:34
Ya know, when I had kids, if I had an I'm not saying it's the best way to do it. But if I had a half hour to jump into the studio, I would do it. You know, you grab it because you can. And it's such an immense part of my life. I was thinking I do love to travel. But I traveled to paint. I don't imagine traveling without my paints, or something. You know, I sometimes wonder this is gonna sound so awful. What do people do? I go somewhere and I look at where the paintings gonna be in it. Or the museum or maybe there's a gallery I want to go to but that's what pulls me to go to a place it's a place that I want to go paint. And maybe I don't think I miss out on a lot. Maybe I do but that's what pulls me to go to places.

Laura Arango Baier 34:28
Yeah, wow. I'd love that. By the way, do you have any travel tips for people who are traveling with paint?

Stephanie Birdsall 34:37
Um, let me think about that. Yeah, don't overload yourself. I this is another thing I did in the reason I liked Holbein because I worked in pastel for about 12 years before I went back to oil but I had a travel set of half sticks because they're so dense that would fit in these I don't think I don't want out here I can So you can get plastic curious because they're square and they're really dense. And at one point, I taught something called a pocketful of pastels. And I would take 12. So I made a box for Holbein based on Richard Smith's color charts, the basic 12 color charts. And you can pretty much mix anything with it. And I'll do that in my classes and say, Oh, you need 2000 Look, we can do with these two. And I used to have 1000 pastels, but traveling may be cut down. So you can take a handful of pastels, amount of board, a bottle of water and a brush because I've got underpaid. And that's all you need. So I've climbed down waterfalls sat on a rock, I climbed up mountains with very little. And when I'm traveling, I've gotten lazy though, because I like to use a lot of color. But the interesting thing was when I left art school in London, I only knew how to paint with six colors plus, plus white, I used a cool and warm yellow, cool, warm, red, cool, warm blue and white. I didn't know there were other colors to paint with until Richard. So I pretty much learned to mix everything out of that group. So I can travel very lightly if I want to, and I've tried Saurons palette, but I don't think you need to have everything in the world when you're traveling to paint. So I try and go really light because first of all, I don't want to walk around and carry all that stuff. It's too much. And if you want to do any hiking, you want to go as light as you can. So I do know people that drive up and they only paint out of their car. And that is such a gift when you get to do that when you can drive up to where you're going to paint and just be there. Or unless you have someone helping you carry your stuff, which is great, too. But I think you travel as light as you can you get the lightest easel. I have a very light tripod that folds into four and will fit into carry on or backpack. You just go light.

Laura Arango Baier 37:11
That's true. I mean, yeah, it's funny, because I realize now it's like it doesn't really apply to me very well, because I'm I'm a limited palette person anyways. I usually only have four pigments. That's it. I'm happy. Yeah, it really is. Um, and I think, you know, it is nice to have like extra colors sometimes for certain things, especially green because I feel like with the limited palette, it can be very hard to mix specific greens, obviously, depending on the pigments you have. Green can be add red, of course, specific reds can be so hard. I think those two are the most challenging, in my opinion. But if you can do it without you know, all the extra stuff. Yeah, I agree. It's, it's great to just use what you have. And then I mean, you don't even have to copy reality anyway.

Stephanie Birdsall 38:03
So you don't somebody said to me once and I tell to my classes. Like if you're painting green, does it feel green? Doesn't have to be exactly that green. But it has to feel like green or demonstrated green in your painting. It's not always about is it exactly that green? But does it feel like green? Does it feel like yellow? Does it feel like red? Yeah,

Laura Arango Baier 38:33
yeah, I think definitely we were in like a time where I think photography has definitely affected the way that we view color and specific color as well. Because if you had told someone like the way that we view color and specific color as well. Because if you had told someone like Monet, right, or like any of the Impressionists really like Koro if you had told karo that's the wrong green. Right? He would look at you like you're crazy.

Stephanie Birdsall 38:56 Exactly.

Laura Arango Baier 38:59
Yeah, I'd be like it's whatever I want it to be right and his absolutely mesmerizing.

Stephanie Birdsall 39:05
Works here but if it works, it's right. Exactly.

Laura Arango Baier 39:09
oh my god. If it works, that's right. Oh, we're gonna have to write that somewhere. So I can remember because it's so true. I think you know, we try so hard especially when you're just starting out you try so hard to really get it exactly as it is. And and you forget that it's okay to get close enough as long as the drawing is correct. As long as you know how you're saying like there's a few green does it feel like it's you know, working? That's fine.

Stephanie Birdsall 39:34
So value if the value is right, the color usually works. Yes.

Laura Arango Baier 39:41
Yeah, that's true. You can get away with a lot just with correct drawing and collect correct value. Like from there. You know, the icing on top? Really? Yeah. Yeah. Oh my gosh. Um, so I wanted to know, what advice would you give to someone who is looking to To become a full time artist.

Stephanie Birdsall 40:04
I well, I think you, I mean, if, if you feel like you're what you're doing, it depends on if you're, I mean, full time art can still have a side job. You know, it really can, there's nothing that says you can't be a full time artist and have a side job. Because when I was getting started, I had a side job, but I was still painting 345678, I would stay up and paint all night, if I had to, I think it has to do with a lot has to do with what you're producing. And if you feel confident in it, and competence is a big thing. I think if we get a certain level of confidence, being able to achieve what we want in a painting, not that we ever do achieve it, but little bit of it, then you go for it. But you know, the brass tacks of it is I think, entering different competitions. I think that was a lot for me, because it got me so I entered all the pastel things I could. And I think that got me a comfort level. It also got me some notoriety or name recognition or whatever. But it also put me out there where I could see what other people were doing. And doing successfully. The gallery thing I can honestly tell you going back all these years, the gallery that was willing to take me in this is pretty much when I was out of art school was totally the wrong gallery. But I was so excited to be in a gallery that I did not care. I was just grateful to be in a gallery. But what that did for me actually is it made me able to go on to the next gallery. And it gave me credibility. Because I was in a gallery. So I think if you want to have a life as a professional, you have to build your credibility. And I was a plein air painter, I've done a lot of plein air before Tucson heat change chased me into the studio to do still life. But, you know, I would be I painted with Rocky Mountain plein air painters when they were still painting together and what two of the galleries I'm in came about because I was at those events and competing in their shows. Because we'd have to have to hang a show at the end of it. So I think you need to get out there and get visibility. And I know Instagram works now and blogging works. I'm not a blogger, it's not that I don't want to be I just get overwhelmed. But um visibility, credibility and doing the absolute best that you can I still think to this day, you don't put your work out if it's not your best. And I think Richard used to say, talking about galleries and shows good work, doesn't bring bad work. Bad work brings good work down. So you want to put the very best you've got out when you start exhibiting. Because you're judged by that, you know, I'll never forget this. I had a doctor in one of my classes in Tucson. And he came in and he brought this painting and he's sitting there explaining very that, well, it looked like this and this and this. And I said to him, Well, I said you know, so and so when you're hanging in a museum someday, nobody knows what it looked like they only see what's in your painting. So your painting has to work, I can't see whatever, you know, mountain was out there or tree or anything else, I only see what you bring to me. So what you put out has to be your best, certainly at the time that you're doing it. And the truth is, none of us can do better than what we're able to do in this painting at this moment. So you only put your best out. I have probably hundreds of pastels and paintings in here that are not my best that never went anywhere. Every once a once in a while I look them I'll think you know this has blah blah blah, maybe I might go back and work on it and maybe I might not. But I keep the ones that have something in them. A lot of them are not finished because they weren't going anywhere. But I'm probably very self critical on what I do put out there and what I do think work. So you have to have that critical voice. But you have to build on your positives and you and recognize when you've done something that works, and works well. That's what goes out. That's my advice.

Laura Arango Baier 45:08
I love that. At BoldBrush. We inspire artists to inspire the world, because creating art creates magic. And the world is currently in desperate need of magic. BoldBrush provides artists with free art marketing, creativity, and business ideas and information. This show is an example. We also offer written resources, articles, and a free monthly art contest open to all visual artists. We believe that fortune favors the bold brush. And if you believe that to sign up completely free, a BoldBrush That's BOLDBRUSH The BoldBrush Show is sponsored by FASO. Now more than ever, it's crucial to have a website when you're an artist, especially if you want to be a professional in your career. Thankfully, with our special link forward slash podcast, you can make that come true. And also get over 50% off your first year on your artists website. Yes, that's basically the price of 12 lattes in one year, which I think is a really great deal considering that you get sleek and beautiful website templates that are also mobile friendly ecommerce print on demand in certain countries, as well as access to our marketing L center that has our brand new art marketing calendar. And the art marketing calendar is something that you won't get with our competitor. The art marketing calendar gives you day by day, step by step guides on what you should be doing today, right now in order to get your artwork out there and seen by the right eyes, so that you can make more sales this year. So if you want to change your life and actually meet your sales goal this year, then start now by going to our special link forward slash podcast. That's I love that because you know, it's good to remember that, you know, someone like you, for example, as these gorgeous paintings, you know, you still have your stuff, you're welcome, you still have your stacks of stuff that you don't think is, is up to par right with what you want to put up there. And I think it is, you know, it's a good reminder that it's okay, to make a bad painting or painting, you're not satisfied with it, you just put it away somewhere.

Stephanie Birdsall 47:19
I don't think most artists are ever really satisfied with their paintings. And I probably shouldn't admit it. But half the time, every day I go to paint, I feel like a beginner. I feel like I'm learning every time I go to paint all over again, I'm not sure. I don't really feel like I have a specific technique for that I know how to do anything, I just go do it. I love brushstrokes. I love playing with paint. You know, I love the way it feels when it's going on the canvas. I love the way pastels layer and they're magical and the edges you can get I love all that. And painting is an experience. It's our knowledge, but it's also the experience of what we know. And what we bring to our canvas or paper that becomes what it does. It's so magical. I mean, how lucky are we? It's so magical. It's like crazy, that we even do what do you it really? Indescribable?

Laura Arango Baier 48:23
It is. Yeah, it is. It is definitely you know, when you really think about it, we are putting on a flat surface, you know, three dimensional thing. And we're fooling people into thinking that this is real, or at least you know, some semblance of real. And I think we take it for granted.

Stephanie Birdsall 48:44
We do I tell my students, whoever I tell this to, I tell them I want you to be able to feel like you can reach into my campus and smell that flour, or pick up that Apple and bring it out. And it's not again, it's not that it's going to be a copy or an exact thing. But it has to feel like the Apple, it has to feel like the peony in my dreams. You look at it, and you the painting is more than just visual. You feel what it feels like. That makes any sense.

Laura Arango Baier 49:19
Yeah, And that's the the poetic side of of painting, if you really consider it, you know, like the fine art side of painting where instead of imitating something you're you're recreating the feeling of something, you know, that's like in for example, like when Aristotle's Poetics he wrote, me says right, the imitation of something is the poetic thing. Right? All imitation is poetry. So in painting, right copying an Apple versus you want to make this apple so compelling. So yes. Yeah, exactly. yond Apple, it is the Apple beyond the

Stephanie Birdsall 50:00
Yes. years ago, someone said to me, and it was way over my head at the time, but paint the smell of coffee. I didn't have a clue what he was talking about. If you weren't supposed to we're gonna paint a cup of coffee. I would want you to feel like you could smell the coffee. But it was just he was trying to get his point across and it just went.

Laura Arango Baier 50:29
Yeah, it wasn't the moment it was. Yeah. At least you remembered it later on. Like,

Stephanie Birdsall 50:34
I've never forgotten it.

Laura Arango Baier 50:36
Yeah, just one of those things. And it's funny because it sounds very modernist, very contemporary to say, oh, paint the smell of something. But when you really consider it, it still applies to painting and fine art and in realism. It's going beyond reality, because that's what it is. I mean, we're not here to make perfect replicas of things. I mean, we can if we want, that's an option. But there's something so much nicer to infusing a piece with more, right with the life with the something.

Stephanie Birdsall 51:16
I don't know what right the beyond two things when I was in art school, I spent one summer driving from Atlanta to see a friend in San Francisco. And I remember waking up one morning, and I probably had a camera. I'm guessing I had a camera, we didn't have a phone in those days. Sounds old. But I remember getting up one morning, slept in the van part of the time stayed with friends other times. But to this, it was New Mexico this amazing. over whelming sunrise, that because New Mexico was flat with the mountains in the distance, it was just everywhere. So I went back to London, it was my last year there. And we all built our own canvases at that time and size them and primed and everything. And I built a nine foot by 11 foot canvas. Because I wanted to paint a sunrise that you could walk into and be surrounded now I'd paint a little sunrise and hope you'd be sucked in. But in those days, I wanted to be as big as I felt it was, you know, at the time, which is so funny. And I ended up giving it to a someone in a band and they were driving their van with a title on the top, down the road by the side of the Thames and it flew off and got impaled on the fence before heading into the gym. So that I mean, just the stuff that you do. But what I where I want to go from this. And I want to recommend to people that paint from photographs all the time, or that go out and take photos and then come and paint in their studio, I want to recommend because now we've all got phones that do it, that you video what you're looking at, not just take a photo, because if you're going to project it on a computer or even look at it, you know a lot of people use big screens. And I do sometimes when I've been somewhere I don't use it that often because I'm not good at it. But you know, if you have a monitor, when you play the back, you hear the sounds of the birds, you hear the rushing water, you see the wind through the trees, you see the bees in the garden, the light on the roses, the little bit of movement they have, you're creating the experience the experience in a way that I don't feel a photograph can you're making it more of a three dimensional feeling. And I think when you work from something like that, it has more of what you saw that attracted you than a photo does. I love painting rocks in waves. And I'd rather be on the beach or in the mountains whenever I'll drop anything to go paint a waterfall, but I don't. And I'm really bad if I paint a plein air painting from life. I almost never go back and work on it because I don't relate to the photo and the way I did life. But I have started to do some videoing so that I take the experience with me and for me it's more real I can get more into that feeling. If I can hear it and see it, then photos.

Laura Arango Baier 54:43
That makes a lot of sense, because it's definitely more immersive than just a flat image because you don't like obviously the image only shows you this much but obviously there's a lot more around you. Maybe there's more people maybe there's I don't know like tall grass that's brushing on you You so even like pointing down and around that that would be really great to to remember where you're standing. And yeah, that's a great one.

Stephanie Birdsall 55:08
One thing I also learned from David, in theory is this concept of air and space. And I think that affects my landscapes, my still lifes. photos tend to flatten things out. When you do a video, somehow you still got that air dimension in it. So it's just something I do I want to pass it on, because I like it.

Laura Arango Baier 55:32
It's genius. It's genius, because honestly, I'm one of those people who's very timid about plein air. And it's very funny because I recently discussed this with one of my guests, but I have never tried plein air.

Stephanie Birdsall 55:45
you need to come see me.

Laura Arango Baier 55:47
I think I might. I don't know there's just something so Well, for one, I don't think where I live is very good for plein air in the sense that there's a lot of mosquitoes and I really didn't want to have to deal with them. Because that would really suck. But I think also I'm much more inclined to want to try Nocturnes instead of you know, regular Plein Air, which also that also has its own, you can do that, I would love to do it. If I can visit you and you just show me how to do Nocturne, I will buy a ticket, you

Stephanie Birdsall 56:23
just see the light on your hat or a light over your easel. Or I recently took an amazing photograph of a street that I it was after rain. So the collections are amazing. But I thought God I'd like to get out of here after one of the rain sometime. And actually try it. So when I go back I'm gonna take, we used to have little book lights that we put on our easel now. I mean, a friend of mine gave me a hat that's got a light in it. But we you know, you put on one of those lights like plumbers or carpenters use or you light your canvas. Okay, this is another thing if you're going to paint Nocturnes that I think is really important, is always lay your paints out in the same way in the same place. Because then it's almost muscle memory, when you're going to mix a color, you know where your palette knife has to go. So even if you can't really see it, you're going to be close. You know, if you don't have great light, you know where to dip in, on your palate. And that's one of the things I do with my plein air. And in my studio, I pretty much know where everything is. So if you blindfolded me, I'm not saying I could get it exact, but I can get pretty close, at least going into the right color family might not be the bright blue, but it would probably be a blue. Because I know how it feels to go to those colors. Right?

Laura Arango Baier 57:45
Yeah. Okay, I'll see if I could book a ticket to Connecticut or row, either wanting

Stephanie Birdsall 57:54
extra bedroom in both.

Laura Arango Baier 57:56
Yeah or you can come visit here. I mean, in Norway, you know, we do get three months of only nighttime. So that's also a plus, I would have extra hours. Sounds great. Yeah. Yeah, it gets very dark here. But we have the Northern Lights. So that's a plus. Special.

Stephanie Birdsall 58:12
Yeah, it is. Yeah.

Laura Arango Baier 58:17
But yeah, I also wanting to get back to talking about a little bit more of the I guess the boring sort of nitty gritty, which I mean, it's not boring, I guess boring compared to the act of painting. I feel like painting is always much more fun. But I wanted to know, because you've worked with galleries. And I'm guessing also for quite a while. So you've known how they work and all of these things. And I wanted to know, first of all, do you recommend working with galleries? And second of all, what are some challenges that you have faced when working with galleries?

Stephanie Birdsall 58:50
Okay, first of all, I think galleries are very valid. And the reason I think they're valid is just like a painting when you walk in, you experience a painting or a sculpture, whatever it is in person. So you get to actually react to it and I actually sell a lot online and I love online but when I go into a gala and a gallery, it is an immersive experience. And a photograph to me never completely describes the painting the edges the color, it's not really accurate, you can get a good enough feeling for it. Do the other interesting thing with galleries is that you reach new people. You never know. First of all, if we're online, someone's got to be following us or see us through a recommendation or podcast or this or that. One of my favorite galleries is a limb West in Phillipsburg Montana. I'm going to still live so there right now. I don't really lino, anyone from Phillipsburg, Montana. I don't know the people that are going into her gallery now maybe they'll see me on her website. But I have sold from people who don't. And people that don't know me, that walk in and love a painting. I think the paintings need to be in galleries as well, so that they're speaking to the world. I mean, there are emissaries, when my painting goes to Gallery, a little bit of me is going there, and they're meeting me. So I think galleries are very valid. And, to me, the best galleries work very hard for their clientele. And I do not mind paying them a commission. They're working for it, they're paying the overhead. I think a lot of them used to advertise in print more, but they all have online press presences. And I know as a person that I can show you a painting and talk to you about it, and potentially educate you enough that you want to buy it. That doesn't happen when you just look online. A good gallery person can tell you about the painting, tell you something about the artists create a romance and a story about it. So I think galleries are valid. I do think there are galleries that are better for us and others. And a lot of that has to do with the type of painting that we're putting out there. You know, for me to put a snow scene and a beach gallery is unlikely to relate to anyone unless they're what are they called snowbirds that come down in the winter to someplace. So I think you have to look at the type of gallery that you're putting your work in my very first gallery was a Contemporary Gallery, and I put in my, you know, representational figurative sort of stuff. I didn't sell anything, but I was happy to be in there. So I didn't care. You know, it's just great to be in a gallery. But that was not the right gallery for me. So I advise people to find a gallery that sells work that relates to what they do. I'm not saying that if you do landscapes, you want to be in an all landscape gallery. But you don't want to be a representational landscape painter, and go into a crazy Contemporary Gallery, your works probably gonna look funny. So think about where you're going in. But I also think I've had people go into a gallery. Okay, my, one of my other galleries that I've been in a long time that I love is Susan Powell, in Madison, Connecticut, and she has my work in the show right now. When I first met Susan, I was in Vermont painting with Putney painters, I was only doing pastels. And she said at the time, it's long time ago, I don't really work with pastels. But I like this painting, I'll take it well, she sold it in two hours. Because the painting spoke to someone and it happened to be a good pastel. So you just don't know. But you want to have your gallery believe in you. I think that's the very most important thing. If you're a gallery owner, and salespeople connect with what you're doing, they can talk about it for you. They can sell it, but you kind of want them to love you and your work. So that's what I would look for.

Laura Arango Baier 1:03:22
Yeah, they have to be your number one fan, aside from you know, once one's mother or significant other. But yeah, that's very good point. You know, we're just in such a strange sort of time now where it is very easily possible to sell work online. And some people even shy away from galleries, or even say, oh, no, they take 50% of my money. Like, why would I do that? without remembering that, you know, this gallery does have a list of collectors. And that's one of the things you're really paying for with that commission. And like you said, overhead and they even ship the painting. Oftentimes, it's their own cost. So, I mean, there's a lot that goes into it, and there is value and I completely agree.

Stephanie Birdsall 1:04:06
And not all galleries take 50% Most of my galleries are 40 There you go. But I sell on both. I do. A lot of times when I sell online, it's someone that knows my work. They've collected me in the past or they've seen my work in galleries, they're familiar with my work. And those are usually the people not all the time, but they're usually the people that I sell online to. So they have a familiarity of my work in person not all the time but they know a little bit about what they're getting.

Laura Arango Baier 1:04:41
Right? Right, do they but they don't buy directly from you do they do you just direct them to the gallery or how do you how do you handle that with the gallery?

Stephanie Birdsall 1:04:50
If I’ve promised something to a gallery? I absolutely run it through the gallery. If it's someone that that has See my work in the gallery? The gallery is part of it. If it's someone that's bought me cold online, I will sell direct. But when somebody asked me if I have worked for sale, I usually list my galleries. I don't want to lose galleries. I really don't I think they serve a an exciting purpose of connecting people who may know nothing about art to art. We need them. Yeah. Most people that I can't say most people, so many people buy on impulse. You know, it's an impulse buy, they see a painting, they love it, they take it home. If they don't get in your studio or accidentally See you online, how are they going to find you? So I think always of marketing are valid. I have sold directly. But it's usually someone that has come out of the blue or someone that's no main collected me in the past. I sell a lot through my students sometimes to their families. Right. But they buy from galleries to, you know, equal opportunity.

Laura Arango Baier 1:06:20
Yeah, no, I appreciate that. Because I'm loyal. I mean, yeah, that's the important part. And that's also why I asked because I think since it is, I wouldn't say it's uncommon to work with galleries these days. But I think a lot of the listeners maybe haven't worked with the gallery before. And I like, you know, I like asking these things, just in case like, Oh, what if I have something in my studio and someone wants to buy it, but I'm represented by a gallery, right? Like, how do you handle that?

Stephanie Birdsall 1:06:47
If the gallery and again, if the persons came through the gallery, I think this sale belongs to the gallery in all fairness. Or certainly they need to be talked about it if, again, if I post something, and it's going to go, it always goes to Gallery. If someone comes to me and says, I saw your work in legacy in Scottsdale or something, I would call legacy and talk to them or sex and gender. If they're coming from there. I feel like the gallery is the procuring.

Laura Arango Baier 1:07:22
right? Yeah, that makes sense.

Stephanie Birdsall 1:07:24
Sometimes, they just say, oh, go ahead and sell it yourself. Or sometimes they get a fee. But most of my galleries I've been with for a fairly long time. I feel like I've got a good relationship, we support each other, and we're honest. And they don't always want something out of a sale, you know, that's coming out of there. But again, I've had students families buy from me, and they're buying directly. So I think it's all you just have to be ethical. Yes.

Laura Arango Baier 1:07:55
I completely agree. Yeah. And, you know, that's, that's another great point. You know, like, usually, it's like students who might buy like, like, if you're teaching a workshop, they'll buy like, your small studies or anything that you've brought. And of course, you know, that's all you it's not the gallery.

Stephanie Birdsall 1:08:12
So it's your students by other students work in the workshops.

Laura Arango Baier 1:08:15
I love that. That's fascinating.

Stephanie Birdsall 1:08:19
That's habit number times. Isn't that great?

Laura Arango Baier 1:08:21
Yeah, I love that. It's so nice. That's the other the other side of the coin of you know, the Yeah, I love that. It's so nice. That's the other the other side of the coin of you know, the internet versus in person where I think there are still those benefits of in person, like workshops and events, where you can meet other people in person and actually connect with them and learn from them. We were talking about this earlier as well. You know, the sight of you never know who you're going to learn from, you never know who you're going to run into. And it's so important to put yourself out there. Which actually, I wanted to ask you because you did mention it. You're you're part of quite a few societies and, and clubs. Do you think you mentioned this earlier? But I also wanted to ask, do you think it is beneficial to join these societies and these clubs and, you know, do you think they really do help in terms of networking and marketing?

Stephanie Birdsall 1:09:15
I think they absolutely are. I have made so many great threads friends through going to some of the events like the OPA national convention was just two weeks ago. I wish I didn't go to this year because I wasn't around but every time I go to one of those first of all to nonprofit, which I love, I love the nonprofits. I see people I haven't seen that I see once a year or I haven't seen in 10 years. I learned because they have great demos. It can't takes me it gets me away to into an absolutely you know art for days where that's all that's going on the tipsy you learn from each other are amazing. And the OPA I'm not trying to really push Opa, but I'm using it because it's the most recent thing. They have shows all the time when you get your work in those shows and some of their on our online, some of them, some of them aren't. But you're getting exposure and visibility. And when you go to those shows, you just plain can't help but meet people. So I think those are great opportunities. And there are a lot of good organizations out there I am I going to say you have to be in every organization that's out there. I couldn't keep up with it personally. But I think he pick and choose what you want to do. But some of the plein air events are so much fun. I've been at the plein air convention before and I've demoed there, and I've painted there and I see people that I would never see again, if I didn't go or I get to paint with someone that I used to paint with, you know, eight years ago in Tucson. I mean, they're all great opportunities. I think in person, I think we can't do everything online. We need to get out there and see touch and feel, you know, and sit and talk.

Laura Arango Baier 1:11:14
Yes, definitely. I completely agree. And actually speaking, you have you have an upcoming workshop, and I'd love to hear about it. I do it's it.

Stephanie Birdsall 1:11:28
I'm sure many of you of you out there, especially if your finger paints have heard of Everett, Raymond Kinsler. And Everett lived in Easton, which is the next town over and has one of the most beautiful studios ever, with the most incredible, huge, least 20 foot Northlight window ever. And his wife, Peggy has started to hold workshops in the studio, which I think Everett would have loved and ever, it was larger than like, amazing, amazing, man, it didn't matter who you were, he had time for you. And so I'm teaching there in May the 20, to the 24th, I've actually got I've had a cancellation. So I still have another place left, maybe two. But it's a beautiful space, and a beautiful place to create. And I do my best to make it creative, knowledgeable, fun, intense. It's just a wonderful spot. And we'll hopefully be doing peonies. I'm hoping the last week between the 24th They'll be blooming. But we'll be doing mostly florals or I like to paint organic things. So my workshops are fruit, vegetable flowers, if they're items are usually going to be you know, metallic metal, bronze, copper, something that's from nature. And that's we'll be painting. And it's five days because I like five days, in three days is great, but I always feel like I have one more thing I want to say, oh, it's five days and contact me for my email if you're interested. But it's, it's a really special it's a really special. And a five day workshop for me is probably I take forever to set him up because I go to at least five nurseries, farm stands. I go all over for days, gathering things. And I'm thinking the year before what I want to paint the next one. I mean, my want the one that I had last fall was I built up the center I had corn stalks going up I had, I don't know how many little vignettes. But it was colorful, it was beautiful. It was it's an event aisle and I normally don't let my students in until the morning of because I want them to walk in and be surprised, you know, be overwhelmed by the beauty or the interest or the color. So I don't know what I'm doing yet, but I'm thinking about it all the time. So if you can come to Eastern I'd love it.

Laura Arango Baier 1:14:09
Yeah, because oh, that sounds so fun. I love a teacher who loves teaching.

Stephanie Birdsall 1:14:16
I'm passionate. I just adore it. I can't do it all the time, because I'm wasted afterwards. But I love it because I just love working with the people I get to work with. You know, again, it's an experience how great it is that I get to talk to people and teach them and get feedback. I've learned more from teaching in a way that I ever learned on my own because when I have to walk my talk, and I have to think of what the answers are and I have to do research to be able to answer questions. So I think it's I love it. Yeah, I'm also going to be working with epiphany doing some video stuff which is new for me been afraid of it. It's one thing to talk to you. I love to talk. But I have this like kind of fear of painting in front of the screen and doing stuff. So this will be new for me. I'm going to do it. I've done some videos. But I hope to start that in the next month. So we'll see what happens a little scared, but it's like teaching the first time. I know if I make myself do it. Like it over.

Laura Arango Baier 1:15:23
Yeah, you'll it'll, it'll come naturally after a bit. It's a little bit awkward in front of the camera, I think at first and then you kind of forget it's there. Yeah, good. Yeah. Yeah, I'm sure you'll do. Great. So yeah, well, where can people find more of your work?

Stephanie Birdsall 1:15:41
Well, my Instagram account is SBIRT. Artist. And my Facebook is as well. And I do try and post new work there. I bad about it. But I have some real they do that. I have a website. That's probably out of day. But then I'm at a loom gallery West. Susan Powell Fine Arts in Madison brush works gallery in Salt Lake sacks in Denver. I think that's it. And I will be teaching a workshop at Bob Tonkin studio in Madison, Mississippi, the end of October is great. And I do some private teaching online. If you're interested, contact me. But that usually ends up with someone who's been in a workshop or knows how to teach. Yeah, and here I am. You can get me here. Yes. My wonderful website with FASO.

Laura Arango Baier 1:16:43
Yes, definitely. It's funny. You say it's out of date. I think your work on your site is beautiful anyway, like, I don't see it. Like, I don't see why she says it's out of date. It's great.

Stephanie Birdsall 1:16:55
Thank you. It's, I just need to do more, you know, it gets, you're probably this way too. But if I'm doing things on the computer, I'm not painting. Exactly. And especially when you paint with natural light, I probably shouldn't be doing the computer work at night. And I try to but when I get up and it's a beautiful day, I want to go outside and paint or want to go to my easel. And so a lot of stuff gets pushed aside.

Laura Arango Baier 1:17:24
It does. Yeah, that's part of the never ending, I guess, time management issue that I think most artists face, which is do it later. And then it's been a few years and you're like oops,

Stephanie Birdsall 1:17:35
Exactly. I take it my taxes done the last day. Yep. So that's good.

Laura Arango Baier 1:17:42
Yes. You don't want to get in trouble with the IRS. Oh, well, thank you so much, Stephanie, for your wonderful company and for your awesome advice. I absolutely love this conversation.

Stephanie Birdsall 1:17:55
Me too, Laura. And I really do wish I could paint with you some time. So we will make it come to Rome but gotta gotta to outside. Okay, when I go outside, I just have to say this. No, let go. It's like, I get a shot of adrenaline. I'm so excited to be outside painting. I don't necessarily do my paintings to be gallery I go because it's so much fun to be surrounded by nature in real life. And out there and yes, I'm surrounded by real life in my studio, but there's something about the wind, the breeze, the sound, the way it feels. I have to get you to do that.

Laura Arango Baier 1:18:40
Okay, you might convince me here. Don't be scared.

Stephanie Birdsall 1:18:43
I'll walk you through. We can have a FaceTime and you go outside and I'll talk you through it.

Laura Arango Baier 1:18:49
That'd be great. We could chat. Oh, we could totally try that, too. Yeah. Well, thank you so much again, Stephanie.

Stephanie Birdsall 1:19:00
Pleasure, Laura. I want to talk to you again. Yes, call me.

Laura Arango Baier 1:19:04
We will. Of course.

The BoldBrush Show. Interviews with today's finest artists and creatives. Watch here or listen on all major podcast services.