Saturday, June 26, 2010
Rules? I don't need no stinkin' rules!
No, this is not my painting. It is Wolf Kahn, a hero of mine. You see, there really are rules in painting. Warm colors in foreground, cool behind comes to mind. Now, Wolf does sometimes use a realistic palette, blue skies, brown earth, green grass. Most of the time, he just goes with his heart. Lots of heart in his work. I want my work to be like that. And looking at the paintings I deemed worthy that now march around the walls of the little yellow house, mostly tiered on the studio walls, I can see that there is charm there, yes. But something was off. Not exciting, for one thing. Well, not anymore. I am always excited when I finish one of my paintings, wow, I did that? Later, I wonder what it was that got me so fired up. And I think I have found the missing link. After Pepperwood, I am signed up to do a workshop with Dana Hooper, a local artist whose work I very much admire. Her work is so dynamic, it fairly leaps off the wall at you. She was the one that did the 6"x8" cupcakes that sold for $1,050 at the Art for Life auction two years ago. The material list arrived yesterday, and I was not surprised to find 1) a limited palette of brilliant pigments, some I had not heard of, some I already had; 2) small canvases, at least 5 per day; 3) BIG brushes, the smallest 1/2 inch, all flats. That is a dynamic combination, and one that kind of bends all the rules. Well, that's what made Monet and Van Gogh and Cezanne and Matisse and Picasso and Modigliani what they are. All trained academically and were capable of rendering a perfectly photographic realism. And all veered off into their STYLE, the one that stamps their vision firmly into their work, so you can point at one you have never seen and know it is a Monet. It took some time, didn't happen overnight. Well, me too. But it is coming. Yes.