Saturday, December 11, 2010

Alla Prima or else!

from Robin Cheers and The Artist's Magazine

I have this problem with coming back to a painting that is unfinished. I generally don't and my studio is littered with unfinished paintings. I really have to be in the moment with the work or I totally lose the inspiration and motivation. I try to time things so I don't have to leave a work unfinished, but I just read this little tip that might help me get back in the groove if I do have to stop work mid-painting.

Tip File: Taking Note
The following is an excerpt from the December 2010 issue of The Artist's Magazine, in an article titled "32 Insider Tips."

Pauline Roche, two-time finalist in our Annual Art Competition, has this tip to share: "Sometimes when I step into my studio to continue working on a piece from the previous day, getting my thoughts back to where they were the day before can take a while. To help me get to work faster, at the end of a painting session I jot down a few notes about things I might be thinking about doing next ("soften edge of left arm" or "make background a bit more opaque"). Somehow, having a specific task or two gives me a kick start toward getting back into the flow of things." —Pauline Roche

To read the entire article, click here and order The Artist's Magazine's December 2010 issue.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Finding Something to Paint

from the blogpost of Mike Rooney

A lot of times during a workshop, students ask me what my thinking is when i'm looking for something to paint. so i decided to give you some of my mental processes when i'm out trying to find something to paint. these are in no particular order-

  • stay in particular areas that you've found lots of things to paint, on a consistent basis, in the past. sort of like a fisherman tends to go to the same places or "honey holes" because he knows that fish hang out there. He knows he's caught fish there more times than not
  • you have certain things you like. say a backlit boat, or a cottage with late afternoon light on it, etc. so go out looking for things you know have worked out for you before
  • squint at the potential scene you're contemplating. make a square out of your fingers to frame the composition to see if the arrangement of fuzzy shapes is interesting.
  • i have places i go when i don't mind being around curious bystanders, and places i go if i really want to paint alone. have a few places of your own depending on how you feel that day
  • when you find a place you like, "crawl" every inch of it, trying to get to know the place. the longer you paint there the more things you'll consistently find.
  • times of day and seasons can change familiar places and give you many more opportunities. go back to old haunts. boats get moved, new buildings get built, old trucks get put out to pasture in a field that didn't have one in it last time you were there.
  • you can drive by a scene a hundred times and all of a sudden its as if you're seeing it for the first time and it needs to be painted. keep your eyes open at all times. you never know when you'll see something that just needs to be painted. and it may be on your own block or on the other side of town. you don't have to go far to find things to paint
  • i get an "ahaaa" moment when i see something that needs to be painted. its the contrast, or the color, or the shapes. something makes you want to paint it. go with it when that happens to you too.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Perfectionism versus Impatience

From Kate Merriman

I subscribe to the email newsletter of a very talented sculptor named Steve Worthington.  On his blog, he recently shared some great insight about his creative process, particularly about the wrestling match between impatience and perfectionism.  I thought you'd enjoy it!

Back to my pet portrait commissions now!  Cheerio!
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