Monday, December 03, 2012

A Process conversation

I have decided for a while to separate the "what" from the "how" of painting.  The "what" will always lurk not far beneath the surface for me, but the "how" - well that is different.  I have come to the conclusion that you can stare and stare at a person's work until you are blue in the face but until you come to copy it directly you will never understand how they painted it.  The self-delusion is that through the staring you have begun to feel so intimate with it that you feel you "instinctively" know how he/she did that.  But believe me, until you try it, you don't.  Reflection and introspection is one thing -- doing is another.   It is not that you want to be that person but it is that the way they apply paint has become seductive to you. There must be a reason for that.  I have said in the past that just because you like the way someone applies paint does not mean you have to  also paint that way but it does mean that something in your subconscious is responding to something that was perhaps in theirs.  We are all many people inside ourselves.  And so we have to pay attention to that.  

3 comments:

daviddrawsandpaints said...

A truism if ever I heard one.

It is more valuable than we can imagine to explore the "how" of another's painting, to try for ourselves, to copy if you will. "We are all many people inside ourselves" and although I don't want to be that person I do want to find myself more than anything.

A very valuable posting, Sheila.

Barbara Muir said...

I agree Sheila. The fact is that even if you admire how someone paints, and try to apply paint the way they do, you never really can, because you don't have that artist's hands and eyes. You are you.

I once took a class with an artist who expected everyone to imitate him. I learned so much, but of course never could be him. As soon as I deviated, thinking about my own vision and had enough confidence to choose my own colour and style, he lost interest in having me as a student.

It's a rocky road to travel trying to learn without being absorbed.

Love your work and your thoughts,

XO Barbara

Marie Fox said...

Well said, Sheila. I appreciate your thoughts about art.