Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Two Paintings..Two Moods; A Compulsion One Night...Different Another

In three weeks, I'll be talking about the place of the gesture in painting. Many are familiar with the concept in drawing. I'll be talking also about working with limited palettes, building and developing a color language, and deliberate purposeful brushwork...

Two nights ago, I returned to a site locally to paint, and to film the painting for possible use in the webinar series. I wanted to share the joy...and the very apparent risks of attempting to paint that last one hour's light. Believe me...difficult enough of course for most to paint, but imagine also being a self-videographer at the same time setting up the camera, positioning etc., I still haven't had time to go thru the footage yet, but will begin likely tonight.

An advantage painting a familiar place, having painted it a number of times before is by exhausting one approach, one strategy or several, your familiarity is geared to tackle a more creative intuitive aesthetic approach.

Both paintings above are from the same location...both, the sun low, setting, to the right...and executed that last hour. Both are neutral midgray mud palettes (which I'll explain in three weeks). Yet both appear they could be done by two different artists.

Mood of nature, and your own mood as an artist play a big part. Your commitment to experiment, play...and celebrate with paint versus say any obligation to maintain a regimen of one style or approach to please a rep and publisher is also a part of it.

Deliberate practice calls for you to push yourself outside your comfort zone. While painting is a vehicle for celebrating...deliberate practice is not always fun. The idea is to stretch...and with such stretching comes the heightened (and for many frightening) chances for failure. But the artist wanting to grow learns to embrace and welcome any failings that promise to give opportunity to learn something.

Many might not realize this...nor think it so...but a good many artists you follow, perhaps even hope to take workshops from got where they got from capitalizing on their failures. If they have not settled into the comfort of their accolade and market, but maintain a desire to grow regardless, they are still producing stinkers...though they might not share those. Sharing your stinkers has a way of lowering your status at a time when you want high impressions to continue reaping benefits of reputation...both in painting sales, but also workshops.

To my own thinking...this is that very fragile place any good instructor finds themselves in. Artists first and foremost, wanting to pay bills, establish reputation and so forth...and yet instructors at their very heart's core mindful of their own earlier learnings, difficulties encountered and the hard work to overcome. Teaching naturally calls for a certain transparency, a "REVEALING" of how things actually are, which knocks down some of the public relations state of maintaining high regard.

In the above paintings...different compulsions to paint are apparent. That "why?" of the jugular grabbed by the moment mandating to be painted. One compulsion one night might gravitate to the presence of darks and strong character of the trees. Another night might call one's attention to the bathing of the light, the color...the poetic sense of the moment.

Thing is...its all good. One needs to learn to embrace what might otherwise be intimidating so that your concern is less about proving yourself capable as an artist, to giving into your passion to be a painter.

As may click on the image to bring up a larger view...


Teri C said...

Thanks for your words of wisdom.

Ida M. Glazier said...

Both paintings are wonderful, to me, yet they have such different moods and feel to them. The more representaional has such a nice quiet glow, and good feeling. the other has also a good feeling---but is so different! An abreveation, sorta, but with the joy of color! I really like them both, and found your thoughts about painting to be interesting and worth thought!!

Deb said...

You said:
"Thing is...its all good. One needs to learn to embrace what might otherwise be intimidating so that your concern is less about proving yourself capable as an artist, to giving into your passion to be a painter."

That's a great quote, worthy of re-visiting frequently.
Thanks for a great post overall. Looking forward to the webinar and videos especially.