“One must act in painting as in life, directly…” Pablo Picasso
I have written lately about letting the “inner artist” out after we make a simple plan. The plan being:
- Knowing what it is you want to say in your piece. INTENT
- Getting the correct supplies to do it with and knowing how to use them. MATERIALS
- Laying in the major shapes. FORMAT /COMPOSITION
I have had several questions about making “the plan”. Therefore, I am going to address each one separately since each of these three, very fundamental things, have many parts. Today’s blog will cover “INTENT”
Your intention will change depending on why you choose to create
- Hobbyist: Likes to work with hand, interested in the social aspect, its a challenging thing to do, its fun. Your basic audience will be family and friends.
- Semi Professional: Goal is proficiency, want to complete, would like to sell but not important. Work is consistent and you are working on a body of work. Your audience has expanded beyond family and friends to the community.
- Professional: It is your life’s work, a driving force in your life, you have built a body of work, you show, compete, have a website, sell, and your audience becomes the global marketplace.
Knowing where you are on the spectrum will help you determine your intent. When you are just leaning your intent can be as simple as learning how to use a specific medium, paint a portrait of Aunt Sally’s dog, do a landscape of a photo from your vacation.
But, if you have been painting awhile and want to enter shows, build a body of work to pull from, and maybe eventually sell, you need to think deeper and figure out what is the motivating factor in your art. What drives you! This is when you must start to think about the “Artists Statement”. A statement about what motivates your work and why you do it. When you know that, you seldom look at a blank canvas and say I don’t know what to do. You see something that touches you to the core or get an idea about something you feel passionate about, and start working on it.
By the time you have reached the “professional” stage, there is no longer excuses for not painting. It is the priority in your life. It is disciplined hours in the studio, constantly coming up with new ideas and the new arrangements of old elements. Having a voice that speaks, creating dialogue with your viewer and wanting to continue that dialogue.
I have been painting a long time. I have three bodies of work, but they are all motivated by the same thing. I know my intent when I start to paint. It is to create a dialogue about nature, to show my reverence for it. I have a body of realistic landscape paintings done in pastel with watercolor under paintings. I have a body of mixed media abstract paintings motivated by the natural elements in nature. And, I have a body of strictly collage work motivated by and incorporating some of those natural elements. Your intent might be very different than mine but knowing what make you want to create is very important.
This doesn’t mean occasionally; I don’t try something else because we all want to keep growing and learning.
In the next blog I will talk about part 2 of “The Plan”, materials.