Friday, October 10, 2014
Paintings are like books
A painting is like a book, there is a beginning, a middle and and end. But paintings seem to come with more twists and surprises along the way, although some books can do that too.
There is a beginning to each painting; this is where the planning takes place. It involves subject, composition, sketches, value studies, colour studies and palette choices.
The middle can be no man's land where things can go very well or go very poorly. That section rests on mindset and experience. There is a point where every artist believes their painting is beyond disgusting. They believe they should never paint, why did they ever believe they could paint and that they'll give it all up and start knitting. With experience comes the knowledge that this is simply a phase of unfinished work and progress is not often pretty. Knowing that fact and keeping in mind the vision in your head sees me through to the end.
As the end approaches, all that angst from the midsection is eliminated and you can see things coming together. There are still moments of trouble, where those 'just one little stroke here' can be the death of a painting that you spent hours on. Like approaching wild animals: slow movements, gentle touches and never look into its eyes. That last section is putting the painting far from you and not looking at it for a week or more before deciding if any adjustments are needed.
I've just put #7 to the wall of the series of 15 wooden boat paintings that I'm working on and #8 is at the beginning stage. Unfortunately I can't show you the full painting until the exhibition, but you can see glimpses here and there to pique your interest.