“One must detect and capture the artifices of the great masters, but shrug off all restraint in front of nature and represent it solely by one’s own inspiration” Edgar Degas
I look, I see, I feel, I create, and that usually starts with a pastel painting. I love the affects you can achieve with pastel, or the mixture of watercolor and pastel. You can move it around and manipulate it like no other medium. You can work loose or you can be very precise.
When I see something that touches me, that I want to save in the memory bank, I start by doing a pastel painting, sometimes with a watercolor under painting, and try to capture its essence. As I enter the zone, where the painting takes over and I become lost in the work, of say painting a marsh, I am feeling the grasses: their texture, their sharpness, it’s smell, and somewhere in my very complicated brain, I am placing those thoughts, to be used later, in abstract work. I am thinking about what lies beneath.
I had a professor once say, “if you want to paint something well you have to become it”. At the time I wasn’t sure what he meant, but I do now. Paint what you love. Paint what you know. Paint what you feel about it. Paint what speaks to you in the way that speaks best for you. No matter how you choose to interpret something, it must come from someplace deep inside. This is true of all of the arts. Ask yourself, what is it about this scene, this subject, this sound, or smell, this feeling, that makes me want to work with it? All of our senses are “alive”, and feeding us sensory information that should comes out in our work. When you are done, look at what you have created. Ask yourself if it says what drew you to it, and made you want to work with it?