Thursday, June 27, 2013

Robert Genn's twice weekly letter, "Make a List"

One more, this is an excerpt from Robert Genn's twice weekly letters dated October 30, 2012, and is titled "Make a List":

"Stepping into an environment with an open mind and no plan is possible.
Such a serendipitous attitude can surprise with joy and unforeseen
opportunities. But you can also be caught unprepared and blind to both
potential and problems. Just as walking right by a particular o...wl in a
certain kind of forest is possible, you need to know how to find what
you're looking for. Go out with a list.

A list from a recent mountain sortie suggests looking for:

+ Foreground design that echoes background design.

+ Large patterns of complexity and arbitrary abstraction.

+ Contrast of light and weather for potential drama.

+ Opportunities for neutralized and gradated grays.

+ Opportunities for high colour in counterpoint.

+ Authentic form, inside knowledge and specific detail.

Some artists may not find it necessary to write this sort of thing down
and keep referring to the items while shifting the easel. Beginning
artists, particularly, should write them down. For advanced and focused
artists, list items can be more automatic and burned into the creative
psyche. For all of us, self-briefing before going out or starting a
project sharpens artistic wit.

If you catch my drift, a list is the unseen backbone of passion. A list
gives work the appearance of effortless creativity. Make a list."

Wise words...

One more Robert Genn twice weekly letter "The Alchemy of Art"

Another excerpt from Robert Genn's twice weekly letters, this one is dated April 15th and is titled "The Alchemy of Art":

Painting is not a witch's brew. With applied curiosity and reason, a
dedicated student can grasp the processes. Often straightforward and
practical, the best processes are the ones you figure out for yourself.
Further, there are laws. They're not like the law of gravity, wh...ich
pretty well guarantees an apple will fall on the head of a Newton who
sits under it. The laws of art are conventions, and are there for the
breaking. Lots of them exist, both for practical and eternal reasons.
Here are just a few:

Too many colours mixed together make mud.

A poorly thought-out painting is almost always weak.

A beginner's scales lead to a professional's concertos.

Painting is easy, but painting well is difficult.

Most art is not improved by a committee.

Chance and accident are best guided by a knowing hand.

Good artists never blame their tools or their situations.

Doing it is better than talking about doing it.

Asking "What could be?" leads to what is.

Paintings are for all time. Quality is always in style.

You can't put in a nickel and expect a dollar tune.

The flame of uniqueness still needs regular stoking.

There's no such thing as an undiscovered genius.

In painting, drawing is still the bottom line.

Great artists know well the joys of studenthood.

Better work is made by workers who love their work.

Robert Genn's twice weekly letters.. they are real gems...

I am getting caught up on Robert Genn's twice weekly letters, and I found this to be thought provoking ( this is an excerpt from his May 17th email on the art of negative thinking):

"Success, it seems, favours rigorous self-criticism. Here are some other
interesting items I gleaned from the book (by former
Indiana and Texas Tech college basketball coach Bob Knight, aided by Bob
Hammel: "The Power of Negative Thinking: An Unconventional Approach to Achieving Positive Results."):

Never gloat. Don't talk too much. Don't seek praise. Failure is endemic.
Success is being hard to please. Be intolerant of failure. The easiest
person to fool is yourself. Know your weaknesses. Be tough. Never let
scanty positives override glaring negatives. Don't be a good loser.
Don't satisfy yourself by just knowing you can do it. Do it."

Yes indeed, food for thought.....
I know, I haven't posted an image and my blog is all about images, (art is visual)..... I just thought this was worth sharing with those that haven't seen it.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Maritime Museum Plein Air Painting on Canson Paper, 8" x 10"

It was a beautiful day today here in New York. Breezy, not too hot, sunny, just beautiful. I went out with a good friend to do some plein air painting. The last time I tried this (2 weeks ago), I trashed everything I did. Three paintings (and I use that term lightly...) went into the garbage. I used primed paper that I made, I think it was Golden pumice gel.

Back to basics. I like Canson paper, I don't have to think about an underpainting, all I need to do is select the color and have at it. That's what I did. This time I didn't use the ever popular tobacco, but instead I used an all time favorite of mine, dark gray. It's a nice cool neutral, and it proved to be an excellent starting point for this particular subject. At least for me it was, it felt right.

Here is a photo of my subject:

Here is what I ended up with:

© by Christine DiMauro, all rights reserved.

Size is 8"x10" ish.... a bit shorter than 10" on the long side. I'm hoping the more I do this the better I will get.... I didn't capture all the colors I wanted to, I think more greens might have been nice. I also wanted to capture that redish color in the tree (the one with the light trunk), but I was having a hard time finding that right color. I sort of danced around it and never addressed it properly.... but I am a fan of blues and purples, so it works I think.