Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Painting from the Heart



From the lack of comments to yesterday's post,dissecting the elements of a painting doesn't seem to be of any interest. I agree. We did that in art school and every painting class we ever took.

Carbonetti, author of The Zen of Creative Painting added a twist intended to grab the spiritual among us. She used the word Zen" in her title and lifted painting up to a higher level to appeal to those of us interested in Eastern Philosophy. Well, while the results of painting are often spiritual, painting itself is just painting, hard work through which our passions, our obsessions or our needs are revealed.

After reading the principles of harmony by which mandalas are "read"--the very same principles taught in art classes around the world and finding flaws, the author lost me. My favorite book for freeing up my approach to painting remains A Passion for Watercolor by Stefan Draughon, where no painting principles are discussed, just the delight of painting simply and directly. Indeed, the only how to advice given in this book is to use fresh tube paints every time for rich color, nothing less than 140lb weight paper, and whatever brushes you can find that would do what you wanted them to do. I have added make-up brushes to my collection.

As far as mandalas are concerned, I think every painting an artist does is a mandala. Each painting reveals the artist's true self--and her state of being.

With my cold now settled in my lower back, but easing up, I will be heading down to the studio today to sit on that stool and confront my three women, a painting about bonding I suspect. While I started with a reference photo from a magazine and was proceeding leaning on that photo,as you can see above, it's time to paint outside the lines and make it mine.

I leave you with my first Hai-ku ever: Laundry. I have no idea what possessed me? I may have been inspired by the book? While I actually did do laundry yesterday and was happy my last load was in the dryer, "laundered clothes" could very well be a metaphor for personal beliefs reconfirmed.

Laundered clothes, tossing, turning
Last load in.
Loathsome chore no more. Big grin.

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