Collioure café.

What does the little French town of Collioure (pronounced coal-your) have to do with you?

And more specifically why should one small café in that town interest you?

(I'll explain why in just a moment.)

First, let me set the stage by reminding you what I said last week.

I've been using the art of Anne London as one example to demonstrate the things you can learn from studying another artists' work.

And not just studying, but actually using the ideas you find there.

Two excellent ideas prominent in Anne's work are:
1. Simplifying her images. Eliminating all but the most essential detail and…
2. Using nicely designed color shapes to enclose her subject.

You can see here that she used a nice diagonal shape from upper right to lower left.

And she used just enough detail to create the strong bond between the baby's face and its mother's.

The thing I want to again emphasize is that to use ideas you like in your own work, it isn't necessary to copy that artist's style.

In my case I didn't have to use Anne's washes and charcoal technique to use her ideas.

I took the two ideas I liked most from Anne's work and used them in my own way.

In this case with watercolor.

Notice I simplified my image, and I created an interesting shape with my background color.

I even borrowed Anne's use of line to help define part of the bear.

Instead of charcoal I used watercolor.

Okay, we know the ideas Anne uses in her work are great with animals as the subject.

But good ideas aren't necessarily good ideas if they only work with one subject. Ideas worth copying should work with almost any subject.

And that's where I ended my blog post last week.

I said I would show you that Anne's ideas, and the lessons you can learn from them, work with more than just animals.

And that's where a small café in the little resort town of Collioure comes in.

During our recent trip to Spain my wife and I made a couple day side-trip to Collioure.

At right is a photograph of one the many small cafés there.

If the lessons to be learned from Anne London's work (or any artist) are actually good ideas, they should work with this subject as well.

You can see I've simplified the image and concentrated the most detail in my star – the little café.

I created interesting shapes using the shadowed areas.

I've created a strong diagonal that runs from lower left toward the upper right.

And I've tried to add my imagination to Anne's ideas and use them in my own way.

This is how you develop into an artist.

Best Wishes,

Gary Gumble
Founder of
Without art the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable. (George Bernard Shaw)

P.S. There is one more important lesson you should learn from this Collioure café.

It's probably not quite done.

I need to set it aside for a day or two and not look at it.

By then I will see it more objectively.

Despite having signed it, I'm feeling it needs changes.

I'll know for sure in a day or two.

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