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Here you will find adventures in painting. . . . Victories, absolute defeats, frustrations, highs, lows, lessons learned, commentary and thoughts from me and other artists.

As an art instructor, I don't wish to hide the fact that I crash and burn often. I will always be learning. So, it all gets shown here . . .good and bad. Every painting we do counts in the learning and experience process. The failures actually are much better teachers than successes. Every piece made is a teacher. That's the fun of it: the challenge to learn.

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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Breaching Fear

"Just Plane Spilled"
watercolor 22 x 30 inches



After a long layoff of painting abstracts/nonobjective paintings, I began to wonder if I could, indeed, do it again. Painting linemen, stilllifes, teaching, presiding over a large national watercolor association, working part time, etc. all take their toll on developing one's skills in the art world. My dear wife has been challenging me to do more of these kinds of works. Alas, I am as most of the other artists I know . . . . .afraid I might not be able to do it once again.

We all fear failure and, worse, going public with it. There is that ever lurking voice "Forget it! You never had it in the first place. Those others were an accident when you really had it. you've lost the touch," etc. etc. One must step up and face it head on, if for nothing else but to once again be able to say, "yes, I CAN."

What a difference in how life tastes when we can say that. Right?

I have had a sketch of an interesting composition taped to my easel for over a year. The day I painted the last painting of linemen (see last post) I decided to take the challenge. Working at it some four to six hours per day (every day save two) has gotten this piece to this place.

It is a fine effort to take on something like this because it forces one to focus on the elements and principles with nothing more to use as a reference, except for the initial shapes of the composition. Then it is a matter of subtle adjustments of value transitions, textures, movements, shapes, tangents, convergences, not to mention color dominances and harmonies. In other words, I have found that painting a piece like this takes every bit of design knowledge and calls into play techniques and color skills which have been developed over a long time. . . . . . . .and all of these can become stale if not used.

The last comment is that this sort of work is pure creativity. Copying, referencing, emulating, reproducing or mimicking cannot be part of this kind of painting. it all must come from within and from the hints the painting offers as the painter moves forward.

Now I can go back to my linemen and put some of these ideas to work . . . but wait! I have another abstract piece that I must complete first!

Yes, I CAN!!!!!!!

5 comments:

Peggy Stermer-Cox said...

I do find your abstract compositions exhilarating. I find it instructive that you challenge yourself to go back and forth between non-objective, still lifes, linemen, and back again. I like that you don't have to choose one over the other. Stunning!

Patty said...

Love this many layered abstract! Especially the spatter that is "under" some of the layers. Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

I see elements of your linemen paintings in your abstract. There's a connection between them.

My thoughts are, if you are unsure about doing abstracts, no wonder I feel timid about them!

Thanks for sharing your art and thoughts.

SKIZO said...

ExcellentWork
GoodCreations

Tonya Vollertsen said...

I love this painting! I like the depth and contrast and the design elements. I am amazed that you can plan an abstract from the beginning draw it out and get the textures and surface interest that you do. I have to just start layering and then respond to what is there over and over until I feel it is finished. I guess that's why I haven't done a purely transparent watercolor abstract yet.
I really like the look of the last lineman painting.