Monday, November 08, 2010

On Landscapes

I get a lot of enjoyment from painting these minimalist abstracted landscapes. The process for me is frequently more meditative than expressive right now. I start with a basic idea for a composition in mind and from there a dialogue develops between me and the painting. Sometimes I end up really far from where I originally intended to go. In actuality, the painting tells me where to go more than anything else.

So how does a painting tell me what to do, you might wonder. What I don't think many non-painters realize is that regardless of what type of art you are creating, I think most painting artists spend more time looking at the painting than actually painting. When an artist looks at a painting, that is when we are listening to the painting. There is a sense of "feeling" when something is off, weak or, when we are lucky, exciting. It might say, "increase the contrast here" or "More color saturation there". For me that feeling guides my work...listening is about feeling what my instincts are saying...the intellect plays a very secondary role in the process. It's job is to take the information that we are getting from the painting and translate it into action. After the action is taken, you stand back again and listen for what has changed and then repeat the process. Sometimes that action is calm and meditative, other time the action is physical and full of energy. For me I need both types.

In my opinion, when an artist is really on their game, their paintings are a pure expression of their authentic self, good or bad. This can only happen if they are really listening to what is going on between themselves and the painting.

If your experience is different I would love to hear about it!

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