Some of my favorite paintings of 2014
If you listen to a music piece you are first pulled in by the melody, and, depending on the piece, the voice or instruments. But there’s much more: the thing you can’t explain! It grabs you, it touches you, it makes you hum along and gives you chills or a general feeling of elatedness. Good music does that! Never does it occur to you to think about the craft, the notation, the hours of practice or how the song is structured.
Visual Art can do the same thing, a performance or a painting. In my opinion, that should be the goal of a fine art painter. To create something more than a techy painting. There are so so many artists out there doing a really fine job of copying photographic reference, creating super accurate work, solid forms and… boring paintings, devoid of any life.
The problem is that, in order to become solid painters, we have to put big efforts into our craft and it’s mostly all left brain, techy. Washes, blending, edges, color mixing, palettes-brushes-paper. Many painters create hundreds of color swatches, whole sheets of them. What is that good for? Now you know what happens if you mix x and y pigment. Great. While I understand the desire to learn about color mixes, I think a better approach would be to arrive at your signature color mixes during actual painting time. It’s a bit like practicing a guitar solo ‘dry’, without the music that has to go with it. If it’s not within the context of music, it is worthless! Same goes for color mixes! Ok, now that I have offended just about everyone, it’s time to move on 😉
Balance is the key word between the craft and what goes beyond (see, there’s not even a word for it!) You won’t find the rhythm, the lyrical nature of the subject if you copy what you see with your left brain. You’re missing the deeper message. So a balance of both worlds is in order.
Being connected with the subject matter is important.Focusing on the beauty and strength of the subject is another. In the end, all your senses have to be involved or else you’re just pushing around pigment on paper. Don’t get suckered into the techy parts too much but let it happen on autopilot. Go with the gut, get into the zone when it’s done and you step away, spent but happy, looking at the result and you ask yourself: How did that happen?
I want to wish everyone who’s following my artistic journey a Merry Christmas and a happy and successful 2015. See you all next year. My workshop schedule is here