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             oil painting, of river at sunset by John Hulsey
            Chiaroscuro             30 x 40"             OIl            John Hulsey

   We all learn from each other.
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  Having spent a lifetime exploring and finding purpose and fulfillment through art, we decided to build this art and painting website to share what we have learned and to inspire others in their creative lives. Much of the important content (over 400 articles) you'll find here is instructional - the steps to making paintings in oil, pastel or watercolor -  often illustrated by videos, slide shows and Step-by-Step demonstrations. As a member, each month you'll receive a new in-depth educational or art travel article along with a new, illustrated Voices of Experience interview with a top-flight artist. Enjoy the free content. We believe that you will find value and inspiration in it. If you do, please consider joining as a member now to access all the members-only in-depth articles and to add your valuable support to this important effort. And don't forget, members receive discounts on all the useful products, downloads, books and live workshops in our Store.
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"Together, John and Ann have decades of experience to share in watercolor, pastel, and oil painting, and they are some of the savviest, committed plein-air painters I’ve come across. Their expertise makes The Artist’s Road a one-of-a-kind resource and Artist Daily is lucky to have them as contributing writers to our Plein Air blog".
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       New Member Content This Month
        Photograph of John Seerey-Lester Painting   Oil Painting by Duane Keiser
                               Quick Draw                       Voices of Experience:
                         in Dubois, Wyoming                      Duane Keiser            
John Hulsey in Outdoor Painter
Page from the recent interview by Bob Bahr of The Artist's Road co-founder John Hulsey in Outdoor Painter (Plein Air Magazine). John shared with Bob his experiences this fall being filmed by PBS St. Louis while he demonstrated plein air paintiing high above the Mississippi River near Alton, Illinois.

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                   Enjoy this week's free Artist's Road Perspectives   
            The Savannah Hypothesis
Perspectives No. 207

Arcadia 1830 Painting by Károly Markó
Arcadia                          1830                       Károly Markó

   In his 2009 book, The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution, Denis Dutton argues that human tastes in the arts are evolutionary traits, shaped by natural selection. His thoroughly-researched, thoughtful and well-reasoned arguments seem to overturn a century of art criticism and academic theory, which has often postulated that those tastes are determined solely by the surrounding culture.

    “Our love of beauty is inborn, and many artistic tastes are universal across cultures - such as the preference for landscapes that feature water and distant trees, like the savannah where we first evolved.”

   While Mr. Dutton examines all the arts, not just painting or landscape painting in particular, it is the concept of a universally admired landscape that we find most interesting. One of the statistical bases for the notion of a universal landscape came from a 1993 study by Soviet artists Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid, who created a detailed analysis of people’s artistic preferences in 10 countries worldwide. All participants were asked what they would like to see in a picture, interior or exterior scenes, what colors and shapes, what kind of animals, people, and so forth, on down the list. In extrapolating their results to the general populations of the countries polled, the authors claimed that their report represented the artistic preferences of “close to two billion people”:  “People in almost all nations disliked abstract designs, especially jagged shapes created with a thick impasto in the commonly despised colors of gold, orange, yellow, and teal . . . almost without exception, the most wanted painting was a landscape with water, people, and animals.”

   The overwhelmingly favorite color in the world turned out to be blue.

   Mr. Dutton proceeds to analyze why this should be so, first debunking the notion that this universal preference has anything to do with the calendar or print industries. There is a large, deep body of literature and psychological research on how and why humans relate to certain types of landscape. By far the most often desired is the verdant African savannah - the same landscape preferred in the poll mentioned above. This green savannah landscape has all the elements necessary for human survival - food (both animal and vegetable), water, a clear vista (prospect) and shelter (refuge), and ease of navigation (walking). Mr. Dutton argues that this visual preference arose out of the evolution of early Pleistocene Age humans over a span of 80,000 generations, during which they developed all of the modern human traits, including language and art making. As he adroitly points out, “Habitat choice was a crucial, life-and-death matter for people (and proto-people) in the Pleistocene”. Those early humans were on a camping trip that lasted a lifetime and finding a camping spot that would provide all the necessary basics would have been high on the agenda, every day.

   Food for thought, landscape painters!

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                                 Painting Workshops

         John Hulsey Painting Workshop Provence, France. ©J. Hulsey
                                                        John Teaching in Provence, France
  Few educational experiences can beat watching a professional at work for quick learning. If you are a beginner, John will show you how to get started the right way. Or, if you are an experienced painter and want to take your skills up to a new level, then this is the learning experience for you. You will be able to soak up valuable technical advice and pointers while watching John create a demonstration painting each morning. In the afternoons, learn the secrets of the pros first-hand, as John gives you the kind of individual advice that not only can make your painting stronger, but cuts your learning curve in half. Consider enrolling in one of our painting workshops today.
                       
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book cover painting nocturnes the artist's road
New Release!
Our new eBook (also available in softcover edition), A Primer on Painting Nocturnes.
Get inspired and then get out there! Filled with examples of night paintings, technical tips, night palette colors and a step-by-step demonstration.


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About Us
Photograph of John Hulsey and Ann Trusty in Glacier National Park
We are artists, authors and teachers with over 35 years of experience in painting the world's beautiful places. We created The Artist's Road in order to share our knowledge and experiences with you, and create a community of like-minded individuals.  You can learn more about us and see our original paintings by clicking on the links below.
About Ann
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 Hulsey Trusty Studios

We are also regular contributors to the Plein Air blog at Artist Daily.

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