Thursday, September 19, 2013
30 in 30 - Day 19
I usually post paintings of varying levels to document my journey as a painter. For those who follow my blog, you know I've posted some great paintings and some decent paintings and some OK paintings. The one I painted today does not meet my quality standards. It's not that it's completely horrible, but it is one that I chalk up to experience, brush miles and learning but will move on from it. It's the first 'wiper' I've done in a long time. This is one that just doesn't cut the mustard as they say.
I suppose in a way, the 30 in 30 is breaking down the fear of the blank canvas and instilling more discipline to get in front of the easel more frequently. Yet I do not necessarily think doing daily paintings is wise. If you look at a lot of the daily paintings, what they really are are studio sketches and exercises.
Yes, there are some who can do a painting alla prima and end up with a fine piece of work. I've done that. But what I do more often is spend time THINKING about the design of a painting, composing and arranging, and then hitting the canvas with an alla prima approach. Sometimes, I'll adjust a painting over subsequent days. But usually I leave my alla prima paintings alone once the main painting session is over.
As I get used to the notion of daily painting, it really becomes quite obvious that the real benefit is performing your duty as a painter regardless of how you feel and exercising discipline to get in the studio. I love that aspect of this part of the journey.
I liken the daily painting to playing scales on the piano. You need to practice your scales to get dexterity and fingering down. But scales are not compositions or master works. They are practice and like I said above, practice is essential. But as a piano player, just doing scales leaves one empty. You have to play a SONG, adding those rich tones and rhythms that move the spirit and soul!
So I think that's where I'm going to head over the remainder of the 30 in 30. I think what I'll do use the momentum I have built to continue the daily efforts to get in the studio, but with the focus on creating larger more "fine art" pieces of work.
I've got about 12 paintings this month. Add that to the paintings I did just prior to the start of the 30 in 30, and I've probably got about 20 paintings all together of varying quality. Some were good exercises, some, came out pretty well. But I'm feeling the need to paint a SONG, something more robust and fulfilling. Something with more design and intention, less of a studio sketch, more of a fine art piece.
We'll see. I've got some ideas for tomorrow and the next painting. I need to get a pencil in my hand and get some designs flowing, and from there transfer it to canvas.
Time to go wipe that panel and get ready for the next painting. It's great. I used to beat myself up for creating substandard paintings. But now I recognize that there's valuable learning in all that we do...from the ones that turn out great to the wipers. It's all "brush miles" and it's all necessary for growth and development.
God bless. Until next time,