Sunday, February 3, 2013

"Visual Memory"

(unavailable....8" x 10"....Water Soluble Oils on Gessobord)

"Color is the visual memory maker of life." This is a totally abstract piece with color as the focal point. The quote is totally unreadable and isn't even there really. Some days I simply need to experiment. This was one of those days.

It is often said that we learn more from our mistakes than we do from our successes. I heartily agree with that quote and today is a prime example. It is a totally experimental piece of work that I am calling "Gestural Landscapes". Some of them will succeed and others will not. And that is the nature of experimental work. 

So the point act as though you are going to create a masterpiece by working on good surfaces with good materials just in case. One of the major things I learned about this piece is that my left side of the brain got involved too much. I was over thinking the process and consequently overworked the piece. Yesterday's piece was far more successful because I had a very hard deadline (mosaic class coming to my studio) and I could not "fuss" with the process.

This harkens back to all of my narrative about the value of timed work. Often, the imposition of a timed situation causes it to work out better. I absolutely think that is the case in this type of work. But alas, it is very difficult to break lifelong habits of "tweaking" a piece to death. I also remembered a very wise teacher who said that the hardest decision an artist makes is knowing when to stop.

And so it is with abstract pieces. They are called abstract because of the abbreviation of an image or no image at all. So if you are compelled to try this kind of work, my advice is to keep the bands of color simple with just enough laying down of the color with a brush or palette to cover up the surface and perhaps to blend with the edge of a previous color and then leave it alone. Overworking is the death knell of gestural and abstract pieces.

You might wonder if it is wiser to wipe the paint and begin again or to keep the piece as a reminder of what not to do. I definitely vote for keeping the piece in tact. One of the purposes of doing experimental work is to do a lot of it and then compare and contrast your work before selecting the one for exhibition. And there you have it...just a few more things to think about.

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