Tuesday, January 1, 2013

"Blue Sky Blessings"

($50.00.......6" x 6".....Water Soluble Oils on Gessobord)

"Blue sky blessings for the new year!" Isn't it wonderful when the sky is blue and everything works out well? Of course, we cannot have a full appreciation for blue skies without also having rainy and gray skies. It is as true in the weather as it is in real life situations.

In recent postings, I have mentioned some of the advantages of timing your work. In the piece today, I limited my time to one hour. This imposed time limit forced me to eliminate excessive "fussing" and extreme detail. (I will confess, though, that I picked an image with little detail to begin with.)

Tomorrow, I may spend a couple of hours on my 6" x 6" to learn how to control my colors and palette knife techniques in a more precise way. The advantage to this back and forth time limit is that it gets rid of the internal critic.   (We all have one!) When your focus shifts from "a leisurely painting until you get done attitude"....to "an imposed time frame"...you will automatically make decisions quicker just by virtue of wanting to finish in the allotted time. 

This way of working will also cause you to become more adept at painting abstractly. However, the basics must be mastered by also working slow. I plan to eventually cut the time down to (30 min.....20 min.....and then 10 min.) We can only imagine what will happen with the increase in speed, but I do know it will become more abstract, more gestural, and more energetic.

Other artists working in other mediums are doing similar things. This is precisely how gestural writing became the "in vogue" style of writing. But this is also like practicing the piano and using a metronome. You can never play a piece at it's required tempo until it is first learned at a slower metronome setting. This is probably the most perfect example of informed practice.

Even if you want to paint faster and more gesturally, it is still important to learn how to methodically mix paint, really think about it, and think deeply about painting a photo or plein aire image and mixing the exact colors you see and paying attention to "scale" and "division of space" and the way the paint is applied.

The bottom line is to do both speeds (slow and fast) and all of the ones in between. It is the perfect time of year to think about such things and plot your practicing strategy carefully. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about. 

Please contact me personally to inquire about this piece.

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