It happens so often, that artists actually stop working on a painting sometime after the vital moment when they should have stopped. Spotting the optimum time to stop working on a piece is just so difficult as unless you could see into the future the you cannot anticipate whether your next few painting decisions will better or possibly worsen the painting’s outcome. For this reason a good many paintings are over-worked and without a lot of experience this optimum moment can pass you by before you know it.
This is a painting I have been working on today. It takes some concentration to be disciplined in the craft and it is best to work when feeling energised. Once an artist tires and concentration waivers then sloppy decisions and actions are made leading to frustration and disappointment in the outcome.
I liken this process to swimming. Whilst striving to get one’s swimming stroke right you need concentration, some discipline and energy. Once the energy is depleted you fall back on old sloppy habits, inefficiency and then more tiredness is the outcome. My painting and my swimming can go the same way. This painting of a wolf is unfinished in my opinion. It is just a matter of how far past the optimum point I persist…..
Here in the UK we are having challenging time dealing with constant rain and stormy weather. Having just had a day of rain that was the equivalent of the amount of rain for a normal month things do not like they will return to normal very soon. Thousands of people are without power and many having to abandon homes and farms where flood water has taken hold across great swathes of land. I am staying firmly holed up in my attic studio watching the rain lash down across the hillside and listening to the roof creaking in the wind. I am trying a larger painting and the drawing is under way.
Meanwhile amidst the weather and the winter animals which are on dry land continue to hibernate along with us hoping that Spring will arrive very soon.
Despite the fact that I live in a smallish town in the Cotswolds UK there is a significant population of artists. I nearly said thriving artists. They are thriving as far as their art might be concerned but I doubt that they are thriving as far as their contribution to their cost of living. There just has to be another job in the mix to enable most artists to “indulge” themselves their creativity. I digress…..
Stroud in the Cotswold Hills (UK) is a town of artists and creativity, music and alternative therapies, alternative remedies and alternative people. We have Open Art Studios in May and festivals of Music in the Summer and all sorts in between. Our Museum is the best ever for a small town, and within the same building is an exibition room which celebrates art of all varieties. We are lucky enough that the local Museum is currently hosting a selection of art from Matisse. Cut-outs (collage shapes cut with a scissors) was Matisse’ form of art which he made during the 1950’s.
To be honest, this work which must have been quite a revelation in that era does not do alot for me. But it must have been quite a development for that time and the evolution of different creative expressions have enabled us to have the freedom to create across all sorts of media and mix them up too, the ultimate in this being Mixed Media.
Still, even if Matisse is not your bag it is good to be in the presence of original art and have feelings toward different styles and media from the art world. You might want to buy only what you like, but witnessing and processing what art history and contemporary art has to offer will help develop your own view about your art and your art process and where it sits on the spectrum of creative expression.
My artist friend here is using her creative expression to mimic the art!
I am always on the look out for reference material for animals and their behaviour for my designs and paintings. It can be such a distracting task with all the wonderful things to see on the internet! Having stumbled upon this picture I could not resist but reblog it. The photograph of this bird is stunning. It is a lilac breasted roller bird and the link takes you an article about the photograph by Dr Merrigan aged 75 years old. Click the image or the link below.
A lilac-breasted roller bird photograph taken in kenya.
Bird photograph featured in the Telegraph in 2009.