About Thaneeya McArdle - our inspiration for this lesson:
As much as I loved the fun, open-minded environment of Warren Wilson and its beautiful natural surroundings, its Art Department was still in its infancy at that time, so I left for a school with a more established program. I applied to the Savannah College of Art & Design and received a scholarship, but reality set in before the school year started when I received a bill in the mail for $20,000 - just for the first year's tuition. Yikes! I decided to take a more practical route and spent four years at the University of South Florida on a full scholarship. Most of the artwork I created there falls under my Composite Realism category and reflects a time in my life when my artistic output correlated with my search for a sense of identity through my cross-cultural connections.
After graduating in 2004 with a BFA in Painting, I've happily meandered in other contemplative ways - traveling the world and creating more art, employing a variety of styles and themes to express the many nuances of existence that my boundless curiosity compels me to explore. I'm inspired by nooks and crannies, unseen paths, ever-present mysteries and endless beginnings. Always a lifelong student, the world is my classroom and I draw inspiration from all I see around me. With each new piece of art that I create, my skills are continually challenged and expanded, and my concepts become richer and more fully defined. Like life, my creative endeavors are an endless learning process that is often surprising and always enriching.
As the years rolled by I received more and more emails from people asking for tips on painting and drawing, so in 2009 I started typing out everything I knew about making art. Thus www.Art-is-fun.com was born! On Art-is-fun.com I share tips and tutorials about art and art-making - such as this demo on how to paint abstract art and these tips on how to sharpen your colored pencils. The site also includes information about various art styles and subject matter, along with insightful interviews with featured artists. If you like my art and want to learn how to paint or draw, be sure to check out Art-is-fun.com!
In the past 5.5 years, Art-is-Fun.com has delivered over 24 million pageviews to over 8.6 million visitors, and counting. I frequently receive emails from happy site visitors who tell me how much they've learned from my site, and that it's inspired them to start painting or drawing. It feels great to know that Art-is-Fun.com is achieving its objective - helping other people get excited about art, and empowering them with information to make their own amazing pieces! Although my schedule has gotten a lot busier since I first started Art-is-Fun.com, I still enjoy adding new content when my schedule permits.
As Art-is-Fun.com grew in popularity, I began receiving so many fascinating emails from passionate, knowledgeable artists from around the world, that I knew I had to find a way to bring them all together so that they could share their ideas, energy and art with one another. I researched the possibilities and decided to create a social network, which I dubbed "The Art Colony"! I spent months creating the design and setting up the details of the site, then opened it to the public in June 2011. Every day on The Art Colony, members from all over the world share their art, help one another, and connect with each other. The friendships formed on The Art Colony transcend the boundaries of location, language and age, uniting artists simply by their shared love of making art.
It was a joy to watch the community blossom, but after several years my personal and professional schedule had grown so busy that I could no longer run The Art Colony. In September 2015 I handed ownership of the site over to one of the moderators, happy in the knowledge that the site would continue to take on a life of its own.
(Side note: After getting married I kept my maiden name, because the idea of changing it never crossed my mind. I'm just not that kind of girl!)
These days you can find me creating new art full of color and detail, designing new coloring books, drawing on the iPad, experimenting with Copic markers, hanging out at The Art Colony, and occasionally adding new lessons and content on Art-is-Fun.com. And of course, traveling! In October 2014, Marcus and I gave most of our stuff to Goodwill, put the rest in storage, and became full-time nomads, traveling across the US and abroad. We've fed kangaroos, walked the Golden Gate Bridge, explored ancient cliff dwellings, watched snow fall in June, and got lost in the bustle of Mexico City. I post photos on my personal Facebook page and my travel Instagram page, so feel free to check out our adventures and follow my accounts if you like.
If you want to know more about me and my art, check out my FAQ where you'll find answers to tons of questions I've been asked over the years.
If you want to keep up with my latest art and activities, you can visit my blog, follow me on Facebook, or my new Instagram and/or Tumblr profiles, where I post my art as well as images from my travels and daily life.