An original oil painting by June Pauline Zent 30×40 inches

Most artist’s will not accept taking directions from anyone and their most creative works emerge when they are inspired or passionate about someone or something. It gags me to have someone say, ” you should , or it would be better, or you need a thing right there”. I can tolerate and appreciate someone saying, ” It makes me feel happy, sad, excited, depressed, sick at my stomach, or want to through up” than “You should”. I am tempted to reply, “if  YOU think that YOU should then YOU should do it!”

I am not asserting that artist’s do not take or seek creative criticism. They search the work of masters both ancient and modern. They agonize over  color, mood, depth, light direction, contrast, and all technics from someone whose work they deem to be superior. Just don’t try to tell them WHAT to paint. Content is the dividing line otherwise originality disappears. There are exceptions: the painting above was created taking a certain degree of direction.

Masterpiece Canvas in San Francisco emailed a call inviting artist’s to compete in a contest using their canvas. No problem there because their product was exceptional. Actually the floral painting below was selected as an advertisement for their canvases sometime after this competition was finished. I always used their canvas when I could afford it.


An original oil on canvas by June Pauline Zent 22×24 ”

Masterpiece presented ten photos of different subjects for you to select one as your theme. WHOA! directions! I came close to not entering but there was one that contained a little paddle boat peaking my interest. After staring at it for several days considering how to place it in a setting of my own composition an idea came. I would visualize it parked in a lake surrounded with forest with the brilliant North Florida sunset spilling through the trees.

It worked for me and apparently for them because I won third place in the show. True, not a huge prize but I was in the money. Then too since only four prizes were given I felt fortunate to win any place in an international competition.

Every rule that you follow always has at least one exception. But as a teacher I strongly  believe that freedom of content is  essential for originality. I urge students to spend time thinking about how passionate they feel regarding a subject that they plan to paint. I do not teach WHAT to paint; I teach the skills of HOW that are required to paint their vision.



About artzent

I am a visual artist and teacher of Fine art working and teaching in all 2D media. You can see images of my work in many categories, view my biography,comment on artwork, see what's on the easel right now, and more when you go to https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/junepauline-zent I will be blogging here about personal true stories and sharing my life and work. I hope that you will comment and share yours with me!
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  1. I need a love button to press for your artwork! Like just does not do it justice!

  2. artzent says:

    What a great idea! I need one for your blog too. Let me know if you find a way. Maybe we should gang up on word press and demand one. Hey, that’s a good idea for a post for you! Thank you sweetie.

  3. artquench says:

    Your artwork is stunning! We are a new gallery and would like to invite you to submit your work for representation. We promote our resident artists by sending their work out to galleries, designers, museums and of course social media. We also promote our resident artists through our magazine.

    We hope to hear from you,

    Founder/Senior Editor and Curator
    Stacia Gates

  4. Miss June, this is the first time that I really get to realize that you are a TEACHER! Thanks for saying that last paragraph. It’s like an affirmation to what I believe in as well. 🙂

  5. soumyav says:

    So very true! JUne! loved the thought and its very natural that any artist accept suggestions but do not like to be directed coz they wrk by their herats.The originalality comes from deep inside the heart… marvellous paintings of yours…need to write something on it..

    In the waters of a pond, stillness persists,
    I try not to leave it stagnant ,
    but be motionless and still,
    for my boat of hope is on one end,
    providing me with the faith,
    I wish to be amidst such painting,
    till the flower of rhododendron ..
    blooms with fragrance…

  6. Manu Kurup says:

    Really loved the first painting, June. Congratulations for winning the prize and loved the way you described your teaching method. I’m considering teaching as a profession and anything that teachers have to say is important and I’m all ears.
    Like Life and all things love said above, I’m also in for the ‘Love’ button. When you guys are ganging up on W.P, don’t forget to call me. 😀

    • artzent says:

      Ha Ha, thanks for volunteering with the love button. I think that we can use all the help we can get and you are a force to be reckoned with! Teaching is so rewarding that I never plan to give it up. If I can help you please let me know. There is nothing like seeing the Aha ha moment in a students eyes and knowing that you helped put it there! So glad that you enjoyed the post and to have you here.

  7. Congratulations on your prize. Well deserved. Your paintings leave me feeling calm and peaceful inside. I love the Rhododendron!

  8. artzent says:

    Thank you so much Maggie! I love flowers too and that’s why I paint so many of them, Actually I don’t paint for myself so much as for others to see. I am thrilled that you enjoy my work and I also feel as strongly about your blog!

  9. lillianccc says:

    Spoken like a true artist and teacher! I used to take art outside of school and now that you mention it, I’ve never heard my teacher say the word “should.” If she thought we needed some guidance, she would say “try this” and add in a brushstroke or two to get us started. Conversely, I took art for a semester in high school and the teacher would often tell certain students that their work wasn’t acceptable because it “didn’t meet the requirements.” Not the best policy for helping students express themselves I don’t think.
    In any case, congrats on the competition and beautiful work as always. 🙂

    • artzent says:

      Lillian, It is true that teachers are so important in the life of an artist. I give credit to one of mine who I still think of often and am so grateful for her guidance. On the other hand a bad teacher can so discourage a student that we would never see the work that they could have done. Being a teacher has been just as rewarding to me as being an artist.
      Thank you so much as always for your compliments!

  10. Fantastic! Your art is perfection!

  11. artzent says:

    You are the best Stefan! And your compliments are so valued by me; They encourage me to reach higher. Thank you!

  12. Yes, don’t tell me what I should paint or how I should paint – remind me to paint how I feel about my subject matter – Carla, a painter

  13. If I could, I would put this painting to look at during cold seasons and cloudy days. It has so much warmth behind those trees.
    Beautiful painting.

    I go with the idea of not telling someone what to add in an image. People must paint, take shots and draw what they want and they feel like.

    Have a great day !!

  14. artzent says:

    You are so right; its the only way to be original. I did have ten subjects to choose from and was excited about the house boat theme. However the photo that was sent to me was in a totally different setting. The one in the painting was created using a friends wonderful lake that I could look at anytime during sunset. I had planned to paint it anyway and the contest was a good excuse. He was floored when he saw the painting and said “Where did that house boat come from, I have never seen it there!” To me that was a recognition of his property which pleased me. Thanks for your usual inspiring comment!

  15. Sharon says:

    Beautiful, as always! Your paintings make me feel good to look at them.

  16. artzent says:

    thank you for taking the time to come here and leave such wonderful compliments. Hugs to my Cuz!

  17. nightlake says:

    lovely paintings..especially the first one was amazing..like a fairy land

  18. artzent says:

    So glad that you think so and thank you for taking the time to come here. It’s interesting that you described the painting as “like a fairy land” Many think that I am a photo realism artist but that is not all the case. If you look closely you will see as you did that I go beyond realism. I like to call it Romantic Realism. Very astute of you to see the difference!

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