Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
I recently started back to painting after a 2 year hiatus. My primary medium of expression is photography, however I love to paint. I consider myself more of an expressionistic painter in the tradition of the Fauves, Kandinski and Jackson Pollock.
During the past few days of painting, I’ve come to the realization that abstract/non-objective painting is incredibly difficult and I’ll admit I’ve hit a wall and decided to go back to square one and practice my basic fundamentals.
Being away from painting for awhile it seems I’ve lost my confidence and ability to get beyond making one crap / mediocre painting after another, so with that said….it drives me crazy when I hear someone at a museum or gallery stand in front of a Jackson Pollock, Kandinski or well know abstract painting and say “a child could paint that” or “anyone could do that”.
Because in fact, except for very rare exceptions a child (or anybody) could not do that.
“This sentiment is typically refuted with the argument, “But you didn’t.” A more common version of the myth circulating art circles, “It’s too easy,” completes itself with “to take a compelling photograph,” or “to make a good collage.” In each case, the viewer is actually complaining that it’s too hard to separate the good from the bad. There’s no easy answer to this dilemma, except to look at enough art to develop a mature eye.”
I’m not saying it’s easy to paint in a realistic manner. There are skill sets that apply to any style / approach to painting. However artists like Kandinski, DeKooning, Pollock and Kline were very discerning artists and scrutinized every stroke of the brush and/or drip of paint. There are countless creative decisions to make when it comes to interrelating / melding lines, shapes, colors, values and textures onto a given canvas.
Abstract artists must rely on the symbolic, expressive and psychological connotations communicated by the visual elements of design without didactic representational subject matter as their primary method for connecting with the viewers their art.
So its back to basics for me and hopefully I’ll find my painting Mojo once again – but until then I am going to continue practicing and enjoying the process of painting and not worry too much about the final product – for me right now its all about the creative journey whether that be making a photograph or putting paint on a canvas.
“Abstract literally means to draw from or separate. In this sense every artist is abstract… a realistic or non-objective approach makes no difference. The result is what counts. “(Richard Diebenkorn)