Saturday, February 28, 2015

Over Twiddle and Tweak?

Another Thirty Minute Session. Was it worth it?
Yesterday's Thirty Minute Session; From scratch to  heavy handedness. 

This drawing was worth another session. It would make a worthwhile painting.  When I posted her on FB
yesterday, I suddenly thought she looked a bit ghoulish.  She needed to be softened up.  So, today, another thirty minutes was spent using more knead than pencil and a stub, a tool I seldom use.  She lightened up.  I also came across some measurement errors and corrected and I defined her left hand.  Did I over twiddle and tweak?  I don't think so.  I think a small break in time between execution and achieving satisfaction is a part of the process.  The danger of twiddling and tweaking is in getting too picayune. Knowing when to stop is the skill to reach for.

In abstraction too.  Gerhard Richter's  abstractions are superb.  I met the painter through Sara and Robert Genn's Newsletter. I went to You Tube and watched his process.  He reminded me of the period in my life where I just loved the  paint itself and seeing how colors behaved with other colors.  Without the limitations set by subject matter, painting really is a blast.  BUT YOU MUST KNOW WHEN TO STOP.  There's nothing worse than an overdone abstract--every element in the composition nailed down and static--every color fighting for center stage.  Richter's work is anything but still, anything but garish.  If you have fifty minutes free  this weekend watch this documentary on his evolution as a painter.

 
If you have only three minutes to spare, see his process. Who says you need a brush when a squeegee will do grand things? If you love color interacting with color without the distractions of subject. This is a guy to know.


14 comments:

  1. Also being willing to overwork and screw up what you love best about a painting has its positive value. I learn a lot from my mess ups.

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    1. Me too!! Trouble is I have a tendency to screw them all up! 😄. This one I think I may have stopped short of carrying things too far--enough anyway to move forward.

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  2. It's a coincidence that you say how you like to see colours reacting with other colours. Qiang-Huang said something similar on his blog yesterday: QUOTE: "...there are two kinds of artists. The first kind is really interested the subject matter with well defined 3D forms, like portrait, figure, and still lives. Then gradually expand their ability to cover landscape and even abstracts. I may call this kind of artist "form based" artists. I am belong to this kind. However the other kind is really interested in color patterns so they paint mainly landscapes and latter on expand into still life, figure, and portrait. I may call the second kind the "pattern based" artists. In both groups, there are many excellent masters, but very few can master both. I am very curious why there is this kind of differences." UNQUOTE.

    I tend to place you in the 'few' he mentions that can master both and I would be interested in your analysis of the above, Linda.

    Don't like the idea of you both going through a period of uncertainty, being unsettled and 'worried'. Hope things resolve themselves to your advantage soon.

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  3. Watched the second video!

    Am I allowed to say, "I don't get it?" I'm just too much of a philistine, my logic battles with the idea of producing images that are totally random. In antithesis; I could get pleasure from writing a program that would drive a machine to make the same images .... which is, I guess, illogical

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    1. You're welcome to say whatever. I tried it. I liked it--the interaction of colors, the accidents, the surprises--but after a very short time, I found myself wanting form--or at least the suggestion of form. To me, Richter is the ultimate abstraction artist--or less complimentary, a creator who bypasses any real connection between himself and the viewer. They say he's reclusive, doesn't like talking about his art. Perhaps there's nothing to talk about? The viewer gets it or they don't. His art is about vague feelings related via color interaction on a grand scale. Now that's something viewers get. Gigantic canvases of magnificent colors and interesting surfaces do wow the crowds. They really shout look at me! If you watched any part of the longer video, you did see he is an accomplished realistic painter. I didn't watch long enough to hear his answer to why go from something to the intangible?

      As for periods of uncertainty, we all go through them from time to time throughout life. This is just a change of work-life period for Ellis--but he has me to help him get through it and find his new purpose.

      I 'll get back to you on what Qiang-Huang said. I want to contemplate that for a bit.

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    2. I am a form artist and a pattern artist. Even when I paint forms, I am very conscious of color patterns--repetitions. Landscapes are wonderful for this. Flowers in a vase, I make sure there are repetitions where there are none. The painting must stay on the canvas; color repetition and patterns make sure that happens. Pattern is composition. Back to Richter. I regard his art, as decorative (he'd hate that word). I regard it as architectural; it dominates a space and dictates what will or won't go on in that space. I regard his work as experimental and very unpredictable--very much how life is. It's also delightful. It has the element of surprise for him and the viewwers.

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    3. Thanks for that, Linda. It's given me a lot to think about.

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  4. I like the softening with the stub. And it would make a great [and different - a bit quirky] painting!
    Kathryn

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    1. You know me, I love quirky. Quirky holds my interest. I was pleased with what the stub could do, but I suspect I have to buy them by the dozens; they quickly pick up the graphite dust and become pencils themselves. Useful at times, but not on fresh stuff. They may be a one time only tool?

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  5. I watched the Gerhard Richter video and have somewhat mixed feelings. As you do, I absolutely love seeing what happens in the juxtaposition of color against color. There is something magic in watching how one color reacts to the presence of another - to change a color without changing the color itself is somewhat magical. I enjoyed the abstraction and the color play but his work left me wanting more. Whether it was the randomness of his work, as John pointed out, or his lack of expressed intent that left me cold I am not sure. I have never seen a Richter in person but recently saw some of Mark Rothko's large canvases with fields of rectangular shaped, soft edged color combinations. I had no expectations and was completely surprised to find that they filled me with emotion. Learning more about Rothko later on, he did have a vision and a purpose to his work -perhaps that was what I was reacting to - the mind of the artist.

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    1. Abstract art based on color interactions seem to deal with ambiguities, thoughts, feelings, we can't quite put into words. I often think of art as being a language, a conversation in picture form between artist and herself, between artist and viewer. I think the ambiguousness of the work makes some people uncomfortable, the ones who must have recognizable forms they can relate to. I associated Rothko's work when I first saw it as a kid with a double hung window! Later, having never read anything the artist had said about his work, I thought it was about the spacial qualities of color. I do believe now, it was about associations. Having seen where his colors went over the years and knowing that the artist committed suicide after he painted that yuk brown and black one. In that sense, Rothko's work was autobiographical. He used color (and rectangular forms) for expression; we all do that. Richter is about color and mechanics--he's a field painter on a large scale. --I am drawing people and painting them at a time in my life when I don't have any loved ones close to me and wish I did. I am painting people/portraits, because they are structural. I can construct them on paper and that satisfies my need to build. We all use art to fulfill something that's missing and all our forms are legitimate.

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  6. I am saving the video to watch later. Love the sketches...!!!!

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    1. Watch the short one, it'll give you the gist. I watched the long one because I like to see how artists evolve. His representational work has merit. The object of question is his use of the squeegee. Does he love seeing what the tool can do? Or does the tool do what he couldn't but needed to do for expression? I do love the interaction of color wet into wet.

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  7. I think that it was worth it. Certain areas has become more defined in shape etc. Feel more precise if you know what I mean. Nice sketch btw.

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