Sunday, June 21, 2009

How to art - Lesson 1...

Occasionally someone askes me some technical question about how I do what I do. I thought I take an opportunity to put together a FATQ (frequently asked technical question) for everyone. Because as we all know everytime I open my mouth gold falls out of least that's what I've been told. And I really should look up the definiton of this sarcasm I keep hearing about...

1. Do you paint wet-on-wet or wet-on-dry? Yes.
2. How do you choose your pallette? I go through all my tubes of paint, openeing each one up until I have a bunch of colors I like.
3. What brand of paints do you rec- OK, this is pretty lame. And I can assure you all my answers will be lame.

Here's the deal: I really do go through my paint until I have a bunch of colors I like. But there is a method. I know by sight what colors are cool or warm, which ones are opaque or transparent, etc. But I don't know names. Name recollection is a left brained function and mine seems to work less and less as I get older. I know the tools at my disposal, I just don't know what they're called.

I use both wet-on-wet and wet-on-dry. Whatever I need to get the painting done. I approach each piece as a problem that needs to be solved. How I solved the previous problem may not be how I solve the problem before me. And my problem solving is a very fluid process. When I start I have an idea of the path I want to take but that could change as I go along. And I am open to that change. I'm a firm believer in happy accidents. All artists should learn to recognize them.

My inspiration comes from shit I like. And it helps a lot that you guys happen to like the same shit. That's inspiration enough.

So I guess you may be wondering exactly what the purpose of this blog is. I've type a whole bunch of words and haven't really said anything. My point is this: Enjoy art for what it is. Too many people worry way too much about the technical aspects or the purpose behind the piece and they miss the point. Granted it's OK to wonder about this stuff. Artists will dissect the work of others. Art critics & lovers will psycho-analyze it. That's OK. But there's time for that later. When see a piece for the first time clear your mind. Absorb what has been placed in front of you. Let your thoughts jumble together and as you take in the piece that was created just for you (and art was created for you) those thoughts will begin to fall into place and your feelings about the piece will take shape. You may be surprised at what you discover.

As a general rule I dislike abstract art but that rule does not keep me from liking a piece of abstract art. Don't choose the art, let it choose you.

This post may seem a little out of place for me. I'm usually talking in a down to earth manner about the business side of art and crap like that. Thought maybe a step back was in order. Yeah, art is my career but it is also so much more. Art is a journey. It is a destination. It's a struggle and a free ride. Art is everything to everybody whether they realize it or not.

I've said before that if everyone in the world went blind tomorrow except me I would still paint. I am not an artist because I create art, I create art because I am an artist.

So next time you run into your local neighborhood artist give him or her a big ol' non-sexual smack on the ass and tell them "Keep artin'!"

We now return you to your regularly scheduled ego trip...

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