Friday, July 04, 2008

Painting and talking

Single tomato study II
Acrylic 8 x 10 canvas
copyright Jeanette Jobson

Last night I taught a class and was asked if I could do a demonstration of a painting in acrylic. Oh yeah, no pressure....

So I chose the little tomato that I was going to paint anyway and gave it a shot. This is about an hour's work done between painting and talking about what I was doing. I really find it difficult to do the creative aspect and provide a running commentary at the same time. I start out painting, explaining why I'm choosing a colour or how I'm applying it to the canvas, then I find myself trailing off as the painting side of me takes over. I'm left with expectant faces, waiting for the next step and I have to jolt myself back into verbal mode again.

Does this ever become easy to do or is it always a challenge to function with both left and right sides, switching constantly?

I will go back and finish the painting, as there are a number of problems with it. The tomato itself is too perfectly round, the highlight colour isn't right and the shadow is sloping off downhill. I'll tweak the colours and background a bit. I really need to do more painting to be proficient at putting all the information down in an hour or less. I'm always amazed at those who can produce wonderful images so quickly with paints.


vivien said...

it has a lovely luminosity

I agree - being put on the spot like that is awful!

I get asked to do talks and demos to sketchclubs - but I'll only agree to do workshops. I can talk informally and demo techniques and ideas but not finished works then!

laureline said...

Jeanette, I've often wondered how Charles Reid and other artists are able to talk while painting---to explain what they're doing, I mean. I think both of your tomato studies are lovely. There's such clarity and subtlety in both---an unusual combination.

Marsha Robinett said...

Oh my yes...trying to demonstrate, answer questions, and explain what you are doing...this definitely interferes with the creative process.

I believe with practice one would become more proficient. But for now, as you said, I find myself going off into "Artist Mode" and forgetting to explain anything...or stopping to talk and the drawing also ceased to progress!

There is a happy medium and we will both achieve it someday...won't we?

Jeanette said...

I like the colours in it and am amazed I got that far under the circumstances. I can see why you would only do workshops. Its less stressful Viv.

Laureline, perhaps its a skill that comes with much much practice. I've done some more work on the piece today and finished it, glad you like the studies.

It really is just like that Marsha. The two areas of creative and verbal are miles apart and one will always suffer when I use the other. I'm sure we'll work out the middle road. :)

Billie Crain said...

if it helps any i've seen demos done by well known artists and they have struggled terribly with the verbal vs the creative aspect of teaching. i applaud your ability to teach art and i really don't know how you do it. i could never teach as i don't go about painting the same way twice.