“We must paint only what is important to us, we must not respond to outside demands.” Robert Henri
It is the New Year and a lot of classes are starting up. Sometimes people take a class so they can paint like the instructor. That is so wrong on so many levels. What is important, is to take the skill or technique you learn and use it in your own way.
Good art is more than composition, balance, use of light, and how the artist moves the viewer’s eye throughout the piece. It is about the message, or what the artist is trying to communicate to their viewer. Since an artist’s goal is to communicate, make it meaningful, make it personal, and make it yours. The only way to do that, is to paint something that has meaning for you. It is one ingredient when present in your art moves people. Its inclusion in your art can make all the difference in the world.
It takes courage to be an artist, because if you are good, you are putting your heart and soul out for the world to see. Every artist has something that they want to say. A message to get across. It might be memories of events, the human form, architecture, the interaction of people, social injustice, or just how different shapes, lines, colors and textures interact with each other. Know what you want your message to be and be true to yourself. Take the new skill or technique you learn and use those that work for you, to get your message across. Show the world what motivates you to paint.
There is a lot of pressure from the outside world to paint like those who are being successful at a specific point or time. It may be a good exercise but is it who you are?
As a “Creative” I look, I see, I feel, I create. What motivates my work is Nature. What motivate another is going to be something different. It is one of the reasons that when I teach, I teach techniques, so students can utilize them in a way that works for them. Each artist, or want to be artist, needs to create their own dialog with the viewer. Revealing a little of yourself in your art is a good thing. It creates a memorable dialog with the viewer.
Take a class; learn what comprises a good composition, color theory, and how to use different mediums. Then apply them to your personal message. Don’t see them only as the instructor uses them. Think what can I do with this technique to get my message across? What is it that I feel passionate about?
“I do not think a day passes in my life in which I fail to look with fresh amazement at the miracle of nature. It is there on every side. It can be simply a shadow on a mountainside, or a spider’s web gleaming with dew, or sunlight on the leaves of a tree. I have always especially loved the sea”. Pablo Casals cellist Oh how his words resonate with me! But that is me and may not be you.
Be yourself! Create what is meaningful to you.