Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Viewing Artwork

Many of my students know how I feel about looking at the artwork of other artists.  Do it!!  Do it all the time.  Seek out those artists whose work you admire; that will lead you to other work.  Soon you will develop a file of wonderful artists whose work will inspire and instruct you every day.  I don't advocate copying other artists work.  That usually isn't a good idea, especially for a beginner, since they are trying to find their own identity, and just learn their way around the materials.  But working in the 'style' of another painter, perhaps emulating their brushwork, their technique, their subject matter, is a good way to learn how to work with the mediums you choose, and then combine those techniques with your own ideas... leading finally to making your own statements... a whole creative process.

I have over 350 artists whose work I keep on file on my computer, some with more than 20 of their paintings, just to look at, learn from, and, yes, drool over.  This is my constant source of support when I have few live painters to work with at any given time.  I think it's important to talk with other artists and look at their work in person, also.  A friendly critique of each others work is ALWAYS helpful.  Viewing the work with another artist or group of artists gives you more eyes, more opportunity to 'see' the work through the filter of 'new' eyes...  If at all possible, join a class or take a workshop, as this is one of the best ways to share the struggle to learn art! 

Some of my favorite moments have been in museums... when I came upon the work of John Singer Sargent in the Houston Museum of Art, seeing Edgar Payne's paintings at the Gilcrease in Oklahoma, viewing Mary Cassatt's work at the McNay museum in San Antonio, and Alice Neal's paintings in Houston... wow, tears to my eyes, overpowering work involving many many hours of love, pain, and, well, WORK!   Never underestimate the power of work, and struggle, and effort... it will pay off in the end!

Well, rambling done for now... sorry I was long-winded, but I just finished looking at 3 of my favorite artists on FB and going through their portfolios... it got me going!

A new Title....

Hey folks... Since I have been writing this blog, infrequently as it has been, my blog NAME has bothered me.  It has never quite been what I wanted or meant to imply what might be in the body of the blog.  So... after much deliberation, I have come up with a new title... please let me know what you think...