P.S. It’s almost like magic when you make up your mind to learn something. Years ago, my dad wanted to learn about a certain type of investing, so he found the world’s leading expert, befriended him, and invited him to visit him at the lake. They cooked something up, and the guy moved in for the summer and they worked together every day for three months. Within three months, my dad was also one of the leading experts in that topic. 

That concept led me to the idea of teaching people to paint with the world’s leading experts. At my Adirondack event, two people painted well right out of the box, though they had never done it before. I learned that in both cases, they had watched a lot of my videos over and over. Though they were not learning in person, video can have the same impact. That’s why I’m so driven to capture the biggest names: so the world can have their minds forever and they can train more people than they ever could in person. 

If you want to learn anything, make up your mind, devote the time, and you’ll master it. 

The other way we’re doing this is by creating online events. These events are immersive, and the magic of immersion is that you can ramp up fast by devoting a concentrated amount of time. 

For instance, if you decided you wanted to learn pastel, you could set aside four eight-hour days for instruction from a top master, and focus on pastel all day. At the end of those four days, you could have a clear understanding of the concepts, because of the time and repetition. Will you be a master after four days? Nope. That takes decades. But you’ll have ramped up fast and you’ll understand the core principles, and then you just need to practice. Then, a year later, if you do it again, you’ll be way ahead, and you’ll understand concepts you did not understand before.

We do four events a year. Each is four days, and each is designed to immerse you to help you learn fast. Thousands of people have learned to paint for the first time when they did not believe they could, and thousands of others have elevated themselves by devoting four days a year, and, in some cases, four days several times a year. 

The other thing I find fascinating is that I learn faster when I’m forced out of my routine and comfort zone. For instance, I’ve been an oil painter most of my painting life, and I had no desire to learn other mediums like pastel or watercolor, because I still have not mastered oil, which is a lifetime of work. Yet when I started these online conferences, I felt the need to practice what I preach, so I studied at Watercolor Live and Pastel Live, and in both cases, it had a positive effect.

Not only was I learning something new, which was invigorating, my brain was constantly asking, “How can I apply this technique to oils?” The result was that I was reinvigorated, and I learned new things I could apply to other things. And the best part is that I discovered that I now want to do different mediums when I’m in different moods and want different effects. 

My next four-day event is Pastel Live, which is coming up this August. It features master pastel painters, each of whom do things differently, and who paint in different styles. It’s phenomenal to see the outcomes people get from attending. It’s a great entry into art for those of you who want to learn for the first time. And a great way to capture a lot of information from great artists and put it in your brain. 

I’ll be hosting and hope to see you there. PastelLive.com

Eric Rhoads

PS: Never in my life have I seen so much strife, so much conflict, so much polarization over the state of our country. You cannot solve it on the 4th of July, but you can destroy relationships by trying to change the minds of those around you. Before you open your mouth with a beer-induced disagreement, remember, these are people we love, who we want with us again next year. Keep it civilized. Have some fun. Change the world on a different day and celebrate the freedom we still have.

PS 2: Do you remember that feeling you got as a kid when you were lying on the floor coloring, feeling about as happy as you could?

Do you remember someone admiring your work and putting it up on the fridge for all to see?

I loved that feeling, but lost it somewhere along the way. But it was rekindled when I was about 40, with my first art lessons. Even though I had moments of frustration because my hand could not do what my brain had in mind, I still was in a state of joy making art.

One of the reasons I do what I do is because I love seeing people light up when they realize they can create art, even after they have told themselves they don’t have the talent required.

One of the best and easiest ways to learn art is to start with pastels, which you use kinda like crayons … pick a color and lay it down on the paper. It’s a great medium for newbies, and it’s something you can do your whole life. Pastel gives you a lot of flexibility, some brilliant, intense color (more intense than any other kind of painting), and you don’t have to learn about brushes, oils, and cleaners. It’s as simple as stick-to-hand-to-paper. (I’ve posted a couple of pastel paintings I love below.)

You may have heard me say I can teach anyone to paint. It’s true. Even those who don’t believe it themselves. Because painting is a process, not requiring talent. (Talent comes later, when you want to get to the highest levels, and talent is really just lots of experience and time painting.)

Take some time for yourself this August to attend Pastel Live online. You’ll never regret it. And take our Essential Techniques Day first. Pastel Live is four total days of top artists teaching techniques in different styles and approaches to pastel. And it is not much more than a dinner out with friends. But unlike that dinner, this will provide you with joy for a lifetime. In fact, if you attend and don’t feel you got your money’s worth after the first day, let us know and we will refund 100% of your money.

I encourage you to sign up now. Pastel Live, August 17-19, Essential Techniques Day August 16. Save up to $600 here.