Thursday, February 27, 2014

Three Pears

Three Pears 8x10 inches oil on canvas panel Click here to bid.

Here is a bit of what has been going on in the studio since I returned home from my Caribbean vacation.

I have been working on some alla-prima pieces, more direct, freer and quicker paintings like I do on my Pochade Box Blog that features mostly Plein Air work. The Three Pears were painted in one sitting, wet into wet (alla-prima).  I am looking at this as a process to get in more paintbrush time and put something out there every day.  Bring a little discipline to my studio time and be more constructive and productive. However my main focus is and will remain with the Venetian and Flemish schools and the traditional indirect painting methods. 

Pochade Box painting alla prima.

The majority of my works are done in-direct, the method that is the technique of painting in layers, where the painting is built up gradually in several layers, with the use of both transparent and semi-transparent paint, glazes and scrumbles. The grapes still life piece is at the dead layer stage of underpainting. I did a preliminary drawing, working out the proportions and composition drawing on paper and transferred it to a panel. I am working through the grisaille very slowly, going for a very refined underpainting paying great detail to the edges and values.

When I was doing commercial art I would produce three to five illustrations a week, I was glad to leave that behind me. Since then I have concentrated on the art of seeing, taking the time to slow down and really digest a idea/concept/picture and truly enjoy the process of painting. Painting has a transcendent power to connect a shared experience, to bring back an emotional connection with the sublime. The familiar and the everyday hold great beauty when we open our eyes. So for me paintings are meditations on and reflections of life. My theory of paintings is that by developing the skill of observing/seeing based on the live experience creates the most powerful form of realism.

However too much contemplation can lead to analysis paralysis, not to support any Contemporary art stereotypes but artists can be real procrastinators when left to their own devices. Someone once referred to procrastination as “the thief of time”. So I feel I need to turn up the volume a bit. Sounds simple enough, I just have to do two things; create work and put it out there. To that end I have added an online store which I can offer work for sale through auction at Daily Paintworks.

Since we are on the subject I might as well put an end to a couple of other stereotypical ideas, the misconceptions that art is easy, that artist do not plan ahead, that it is all freewheeling, easy Jamaica fun time when artist are creating. I think if most people knew how much work goes into being an artist they would be amazed and very disappointed, all of the artist I admire are dedicated professionals who work very hard. But then hell, if it was easy everyone would be doing it. Art takes dedication, persistence, patience, talent, a thick skin, and hard work.

And my favorite artist myth is of the tortured creative, bohemian self-destructive soul that is lost in his art like in the movie Lust for Life (the story of Vincent van Gogh's obsessive devotion to his art as it engulfs, consumes, and finally destroys him.) Whacking his ear off, chasing prostitutes, drinking to excess and getting into knife fights with other famous artists like Paul Gaugin.

We should pay attention to this one, because we have lost so many creative people to this scenario, all types of artist, get cast into this role when they are unable to take criticism, and have some delusional idea of perfectionism. This self-sabotage, I suspect is fear, the fear of success and/or the fear of failure. The fear of criticism, economics, sales, acceptance, of putting yourself out there. If you allow these things to get a hold they will choke the life out of creativity. It can kill inspiration, imagination and invention.  And procrastination is just an aspect of fear and self-sabotage, it is a self-fulfilling prophesy of the worst thing we worry about. So the truth is most artists are just procrastinator, why?
Because art is hard work.

Fear is the enemy.
Be brave.
FILDI   ............... Ze Franks explains this best in video below.

Explore - Question - Learn - Enjoy, Jim


Film -  "Lust for Life"

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