Posts Tagged ‘painting’

Taking Time Away

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Drat that old catch-22! I needed to get away from the studio so I could do better work, but the very process of getting away has made it more difficult to pick up where I left off.

110602 Where Today Meets Tradition

It was time to recharge my batteries, get a change of scenery, learn something from the old masters, and stimulate my creative juices. So in early May, my husband and I took a two-week trans-Atlantic cruise that led into an additional two week tour of Italy. As exemplified above in “Where Today Meets Tradition” (#110602), the month was filled with people and experiences and scenes we’ll long remember. My wonderful, digital (film-free!) memory cards recorded more than 5000 pictures from which I should be able to draw subject matter for a long time to come. Our European sojourn was followed by more domestic travels, including a family wedding, which kept me away from my studio for an additional month.

But now that I’m back home and anxious to get back into some serious painting, I find much of our time is filled with catching up on the “little (and some not so little) things” that fell by the wayside during our absence. It was a welcome and necessary hiatus, but it has been difficult to get back into a productive artistic mode since our return.

The question now seems to be where do I go from here? How has my creative thought process changed, what have I learned, and how will my artwork reflect these changes? I’m afraid that only time will tell. Learning is often subconscious, and despite brilliant ideas and concepts flashing like lightning bolts across our minds, the transitions our processes undergo are often so subtle as to remain unnoticed for a long time. Or if a new process is consciously applied, it takes time to polish and perfect it and make it our own.

Stay tuned. I hope to develop several series in the months to come, based on images from our recent travel experiences. But they will have to develop one painting at a time. So bear with me, and together we’ll watch what happens.

Just my style, Part 2

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

In Part 1, two weeks ago, we recognized that one aspect of artistic style depends on the artist’s personality and way of viewing the world, selecting subject matter, and applying an intellectual and emotional approach suited to his or her nature.

Pink Hibiscus with Bud

Another aspect of style depends on mechanics of the craft—the way an artist typically uses both skill and available materials.  Each artist will resolve certain issues inherent in the painting process in a unique way by applying his or her understanding of the mechanics involved and the materials at hand.  For a painter, mastery of materials includes knowing what can be expected of the various types, sizes, and shapes of brushes; pigment characteristics and typical interactions; characteristics of various painting surfaces; supplemental materials such as frisket, screens, sponges, drawing implements and mediums, and so much more).

An artist’s style will reflect her level of mastery of technique and her understanding of the medium.  Understanding and control of those mechanics and the characteristics of the materials being used will influence her decisions when it comes to problem solving.  If she typically wields her brush a certain way, or uses a characteristic selection of colors, or consistently applies certain techniques to her work, these elements will eventually become a trademark of her style.

In Part 3 we will look at the importance of the artist’s personal aesthetic.