Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The concept of instant art

I taught a private art lesson tonight, concentrating on the basics of watercolour.  I found these shells, not on an exotic beach, but in a store and bought them because I loved the shapes and pale colours, so used them as the subject for painting.

I often find with beginning artists that they want perfection without realizing the work that has to go into moving to a higher level of competence.  Individuals want to jump all over the board in different mediums and subjects and each new thing they see, that becomes their new goal.  Its difficult to pull them back to earth without breaking the bubble of excitement.  I want that excitement to stay and stay with the hours of practice and learning that still need to come.

I did this little piece alongside my student and it isn't complete, but it was wanted to take home and practice with, so I let it go.  I think we all have that level of enthusiasm when starting something new.  The difference between continuing on to learn a skill, learning part of something or abandoning it altogether is each person's need and determination to succeed.

Also in an 'instant' consumer society, people expect everything to happen quickly, including art.  The practice of art - or art done well to be more precise - is not served up, double sized in 3 minutes.


Jan said...

Jeanette said: "The practice of art - or art done well to be more precise - is not served up, double sized in 3 minutes."

Well, darn! I think MacDonald's has spoiled us!

But I happen to agree - it takes a big enough interest & desire to continue to do what is necessary until you get it right.

But is jumping around exploring different media necessarily wrong? I know I get extremely bored using only one medium for an extended period of time. With some new media I'm willing to put in the time and effort to attempt to master (& some are an ever on-going challenge like watercolor!) but some are just done to break out of the comfortable little box I've built. Sometimes I'm surprised that I like the new medium and will continue with it and some are related to "play-time" only.

Jan said...

Gotta quit hitting the send button so quickly!

I also wanted to compliment you on the shells painting - you have that enviable knack for capturing the essence of the subject with just a seemingly few strokes & having it still look great.

RHCarpenter said...

I, too, am guilty of jumping around, especially in the first few years of painting - I wanted to try everything. Now I see that learning the basics and attaining some stable quality is more important...but I still need to break out once in a while to energize myself. I imagine it can be hard for a teacher to be tough enough but not too hard to stifle the creativity of a new student.

Jeanette said...

No Jan, experimenting in different media is good and encouraged. But gaining some realization of whether you like the medium or not or giving yourself enough time to gain competency in it, is the challenge.

We all use various media but find ourselves eventually returning to our comfort zone and that which suits us best.

Jumping around and using different things is good Rhonda. Eventually you find your niche, but even then its still good to tinker with other mediums and try new experiments. Its how we all learn.

Sheona Hamilton Grant said...

Nice post Jeannette.Strangely enough never jumped around, fell in love with the graphite and have been faithful ever since. Maybe I should have a wee jump this year...experiment...

Ernest Friedman-Hill said...

Thanks for the view from your angle, Jeanette. This post is a gem.