Sunday, September 1, 2013

Paint what you love? maybe . . .

For some reason this oft-repeated advice has been bouncing around inside my head for a couple of days, and I don't even know why.

I do know that it's exactly what I did for years. After all, why not? If you love to paint, and don't know WHAT to paint, it's a happy solution. And, honestly, as long as you (to quote Mike Bailey), "paint paint paint paint paint paint PAINT paint paint paint paint"  (continue "paint" for about 10 years), you will certainly be learning your materials and techniques.  Absolutely nothing wrong with being very confident in your skills while creating artwork with images that give you joy.

However, I know also that many artists feel that the best creativity comes when you DON'T love your subject. After all, when painting a portrait of someone close to you,  you are not likely to  indulge in a green face or blue hair  (I do know one exception, but the "someone close" to that artist was NOT dear to them - anymore - and was represented in all the ugliness that their personality suggested - exceptionally creative, that portrait. yet accurate).

I've been happily painting cats and flowers for some years now.  I've often zoomed in to exaggerate

But very unexpectedly, I began to feel ready to move on. I feel like I've spent a couple of years now figuring just how and where to go from where I've been.  And just recently I feel like I'm beginning to find my way to a new and exciting place.  I'm painting what I love, but I've  more creatively defined what it is that I love.  Not just flowers and cats.  But high contrast. Dramatic shapes. Negative shapes. Patterns.  These are the things I love, regardless of the subject matter.

I posted recently about a breakthrough. I've included here the next painting along these lines, and I have a feeling I'll be sticking with this idea for a while longer.  

PS - Does anyone know why I can't get my tall narrow pictures to load into blogger in their proper vertical format? I keep resizing, but they keep on being set to landscape format.  Oh well. This one is not signed yet, but I WAS thinking it was to be portrait format. Maybe I"ll change my mind.

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