Friday, May 31, 2013

Painting Process

An artist friend recently confided that, in his view, the most difficult part of his work (he's a digital/collage/painter-painter) was the beginning...the very beginning, like "what am I going to make?"
It was an interesting insight I thought ....actually, one that has resonance right now as I poke around trying to find the next move.  But, I ask myself  "is it an answerable question...what am I going to make?" Is it a straight line from an answer to that question to completing a piece? Is it even an important question to ask oneself?  Does making art have to have a difficulty component?
In my case, most often, I think it isn't the beginning that causes the most frustration.  I think the most difficult question is "how will I get it done?"  That question has more significance to me than "what is it?"
So I might start with an idea about where I'm going and not too far along I begin the questioning.  Am I using the materials the way I need to finish with some balance?  Do I like the colors or combinations of colors I've chosen?  Were the choices of line, color, brush size and type I made arbitrary, or made with haste so that any outcome I imagined could never materialize?  How would I approach this if I had more training?
Experience is perhaps the denominator here.  My artist friend has lots more,  so the question of what to make is different for him than for me?  I think, maybe. I know that on some level the choice of what to paint is made with lots of energy coming for my unconscious mind.  I think that's pretty exciting...that I might not know all there is to know about the choice at the start.  I have to think also that my unconscious mind plays a big role in whatever is going on when I reject an idea for a starting point.
Anyway, I think just getting going, regardless of the subject chosen, is the most important step in art making.  I like the idea of the concept evolving during the process.  Maybe that's why I have difficulty sustaining the idea that I ought to build a stylistically similar series of pictures?
Pastel and charcoal on paper/18"x24"

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