Friday, June 21, 2019

When Is A Painting Finished?

collectors deciding which paintings to buy

When is a painting finished along with "How long did it take you to make that?" are questions that I hear the most.

As for how long did it take you to make?  "My answer is 60 years of practice. " I don't punch a time clock, nor do I write down my hours in the studio. I do know that because of all my 60 years of being a working artist, I never stop learning or pushing the techniques I use to discover my own voice.

"When is a painting finished?" Now that is another story. Sometimes I work on a piece until I think I can do no more and put it away for some time before I re-visit it. I just completed a painting that I "finished" three years ago. I like it much better now. I will post the changes next time.

Cold wax and warm shadows
These collectors couldn't decide on one painting, so they bought two.
encaustic, 24" x 24"
I have a viewing room where collectors can see one painting at a time in a relaxed atmosphere. The whole house is my gallery and it can seem like visual overload. Usually the client will get up from their chair and enjoy pulling older painting out of the stacks to see what they can discover. Here is also where I re-discover paintings that I am not quite satisfied with and either destroy or continue working on them.
The stacks

This array of paintings go back years. Some are the last of various series or painting I want to keep.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Why Learn to Draw?

When I was a freshman in the University of Illinois, majoring in art, we had to spend the first semester drawing in black and white. We also worked from plaster casts and human skeletons. We kept drawing until the image was perfect. I loved it. One time I chose a dried corn cob to draw because it was the most complicated. I carefully rendered each kernel. 

Later in my career, I was sometimes belittled because I could draw. One comment I received in a group painting from a live model was. "That looks just like the model!" And it wasn't a compliment. I suppose that statement was supposed to undermine my creativity. Another opinion, from an artist working in a gallery was a scornful pronouncement was that drawing isn't necessary to paint. My answer was that since I could draw, I could paint anything using the same principles , and he could only paint non-objectively.

This classical training has served me well. If you can draw, it is the basis of all future art creations.

More reasons to learn to draw: Wrtiten by Hessam Moussavi, Lead Civil Engineer - Oil and Energy professional:
Improved Creativity
Improved Memory
Improved Communication Skills
Improved Problem Solving Skills
Stress Relief
More Positive Emotions
Release of Hidden Emotions
Increase of Emotional Intelligence 
Improving the Senses
Better Hand Mobility
Becoming More Observant of Details

I particularly agree with the last one: Becoming More Observant of Details, and I know it improves hand-eye coordination.

The images below prove that I am not stuck with just drawing realistically. I use everything I know about space relationships and composition that I learned in my classical training.
A pencil drawing done when I was 18 years old in my first year in art school

Oil and Cold Wax Abstract

From the "Her Journey" series

Encaustic and Oil

Cover of a Magazine

Seated Nude, Encaustic

Latest series, "The Lightness of Being" encaustic and mixed media.