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Shape, composition, line, value, direction of light... color, temperature. But what does it mean?


I should take only one of those, and I spoke about symbolism in my last post, so let’s go from there. Making marks, aka mark making, painting. The stuff of caves!

After 20 years painting, I’m still learning heaps. I’m painting a lot during the lockdown for coronavirus and I have the luxury of taking structured webinars that reinforce actually painting. Practice... it really does make all the difference. I should paint daily while I can, I let paint dry on my pallet still, and have to scrape it off and put out fresh paint more often than not, but


I am passionate about painting, learning about painting better, I could talk about painting all day... I’ll try to keep this post to 1,000 words or so, but I still long for 1,000 paintings. I think Picasso did something like 60,0000 works of art in different media, ceramics, drawings and whatnot.

Speaking of which, I do have some favorites, artists. I don’t know If I could say I’ve been influenced by them all but maybe subconsciously. If I was more conscious, I would source the Masters before each painting I do... a form of meditation, maybe, programming. Instead there are value sketches, proportions, toning the canvas. Sketching a subject before painting for a value map and composition are highly underrated. I’m really trying to discipline myself to do that each painting, but sometimes I just measure the Fibonacci canvas points and dive in.

So Van Gogh comes to mind... I don’t really paint like any of these artists, although I wish! I have my own style, thankfully. For me it was Escher, then Dali, Lichtenstein, Warhol or maybe Max then Picasso and Matisse in terms of awareness. Rembrandt came later after Hieronymus Bosch. I’m aware of the Delacroix, Velasquez, Courbet, Surat, Vermeer, the old masters, and Baldinis, narrative, iconic, symbolic and portraiture, but Sargent stands out for me as does Monet, Schiele , and Klimt. Wyeth, Mucha, Hokusai, Loomis, Zorn and many, many others, just to name a few. Munch, not so much, or Diebenkorn, Kline, and Pollick. I’m just not abstract enough. But it’s all modern art after Duchamp.

Okay, with that out of the way... in my current webinar with Walt Bartman, he asked why did you paint that, how does it make you feel? What feeling do you get from that painting, and be able to answer that. Yikes! It’s much harder than just painting what I see. Am I closed off, not in touch with my feelings... I just wanted to paint the flowers. I didn’t make up anything about it. We are supposed to be painting from that place and making art.

‘You don’t need to worry about perfection. You will never get there’ ~ Salvador Dali


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