Saturday, December 27, 2008
Happy New Year for 2009!! AUGURI !!
The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.
I am always in such a hurry to “cut to the chase” when it comes to art books. I head straight for the part where the artist talks about process….if I like the image that is.
I started a painting about 2 weeks ago and I know where many of my weakness’ lie which is the reason I paint very few landscapes.
So the first thing I did was to write to, the brilliant, Deborah C. Secor (http://www.deborahsecor.com/) to ask how to avoid my most typical mistake (whilst painting from photos especially): how do I make the trees not look like big black blobs?
Of course she got right back with: Keep the values of the trees much the same as the surrounding values. (Sometimes the obvious just escapes me.)
Then I pulled out John Carlson’s wonderful book (Carlson’s Guide to Landscape Painting: ISBN 0-486-22927-0 http://store.doverpublications.com/) from 1929 that Dover Publishing has re-issued since 1973 and, this time, instead of jumping to all the tabs I have put through-out the book I started reading: 1. HOW TO APPROACH PAINTING.
It is probably the first time I had ever read the first chapter and I must quote a few paragraphs here because he has summed so much up of what I have been trying to say, and live, so for long:
”It is true that all great works of art are simple (as is a child’s work), but the simplicity in them is not born of ignorance. Real simplicity is engendered by the insight of the artist into the abiding qualities in his motif, and an ability to choose these qualities for his use, omitting the dross. His is a superior sensitiveness, if you will.
But if mere “feeling” or sensitiveness to beauty would produce a work of art, artists would be legion. Such is not our fortune.
Power, whether physical or mental (or “artistic”) comes with the exercising of the God-given faculties. It is difficult to go forward, but the backward slide comes with no effort. Or, to put it differently, when effort is relaxed, we retrogress, whether we will or no. All this does not mean that by mere hard work, or by merely growing old, one can become anything desired. There are men who work and grub incessantly, work so hard that they have not time to see! A deserving but pitiful state. The inspirational and impressionable moments are shut out.
The true artist works rather in great gusts of effort, and in smaller gusts of apparent lassitude. He is not lying about “waiting for some inspiration”. He is in the travail of the dreamer entering into expression.
Now when you see the artist sitting thoughtfully before his blank canvas, don’t call him lazy. Realize what huge gulfs exist between a thing of dreams and the exact science of mathematics. Know that the dream is as necessary to the birth of any idea as mathematics is to the exactness of its consummation. An artist must neither be too dreamy, nor too mathematical. He must dream and he must paint.”
I rest my case………..Happy New Year!!!! Nance
http://www.nancemcmanusstudio.com/ is the new website...have a look!!!
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