The joy of teaching art is learning about so many new mark making techniques from your students. Yes, as the instructor, I am always sharing the tricks of the trade with my students in my classes. But, I must say, as I stroll around the room checking on student progress I discover quite a lot of cool methods that students share with me. Case in point is the novel approach of scraping wet paint with the bottom end of an acrylic paint tube. Look at the lovely textures and marks (right side of image) thats swiping with the end of the tube of paint makes. Thanks to Jill Pasanen for this tip.
Just in time for Halloween, some thoughts on our fear of the other, the people in the shadows, or merely those that don't look like us.It's tempting to rile yourself up about the 'other'. But that's not the real challenge. The challenge is inside. It's the self-sabotage. The projects not shipped, the hugs not given, the art not made. The real boogeyman isn't the other. The one we're afraid of is with us all the time. http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2016/10/fear-of-outsiders.html
If you spend a good amount of time in your art studio fussing over and over on a painting that is screaming "cover me with Gesso" or "throw me out" you have probably reached the point where you should just go ahead and "ruin it"! In other words relinquish the "plan" you had for this piece and just "let whatever happens happen".
Below is an excerpt from a five page letter the artist Sol Le Witt wrote to Eva Hesse.
"I have much confidence in you andthough you are tormenting yourself, the work you do is very good. Try to do some BAD work — the worst you can think of and see what happens but mainly relax and let everything go to hell — you are not responsible for the world — you are only responsible for your work — so DO IT. And don’t think that your work has to conform to any preconceived form, idea or flavor. It can be anything you want it to be. But if life would be easier for you if you stopped working — then stop. Don’t punish yourself. However, I think that it is so deeply engrained in you that it would be easier to
I am trying to come up with a title for an upcoming Art show. Some days it seems like every good name has been used. I have done what so many artists do when they are searching for a name that will grab attention and hopefully bring interest in their work.... they stare at their body of work hoping the paintings will begin speaking with a brilliant answer! I've talked to my abstract mixed media collages all week and so far nuttin'. My watercolors were silent too and my pastels and ink pieces are also keeping under the radar. I've considered following the advice of a favorite author and blogger, Austin Kleon who suggests that one "Steal Like an Artist". Should I refer to the big box of old Art show promotional postcard from others and recycle a name? Would I be better thinking of a name without referencing others so that I can pretend i was original? At this moment in time, I am Ferklempt! Hey that has a certain ring to it....maybe that's going to be my name for my show.
Like so many other artists, I seem to have my favorite palette when I am either painting or creating Mixed Media Abstract collages. A fan of the colors of the 1950s, I'm just not happy unless I have done a piece with a fair amount of turquoise, chartreuse, grey and of course some mixture which includes one of my favorites...Payne's grey along with whatever blue is hanging around on my paint table. It is really hard for me to reach for the warmer colors, but adding an accent of red, or orange or pink is so critical when you need to spice up a piece!
Right now I am in my studio struggling with a HUGE painting I am working on. I'm out of my comfort zone and wondering just how many layers of paint this piece can take before the painting weeps in agony. (Or maybe it is just me weeping in agony). The ability to stick with a project through thick and thin (no pun intended) took me years to learn. At certain points I have actually "attacked" my painting in a frenzy of heightened frustration. After all, if you are at your wits end, why not go ahead and "ruin it" ! Interestingly enough, some great things happen after these painting storms. The splashes of paint, the drips, the bold strokes seem to add just the right touches to reawaken a piece that was previously viewed as hopeless and that we wonder if we should kiss goodbye.
Depending on my mood, sometimes I cart home a bag of rags I use in my studio and give them a washing with Oxiclean and they turn out just fine. Than on other occasions I have gotten so much gooked up paint on an old rag that I toss those nasty ones into the garbage....well not exactly. You see, in my studio the garbage might not get emptied in awhile and that is intentional. Because in the garbage may be some tossed out pieces of work that I might revive from the dead. Or as in the case of rags, I actually like what happens when I want to remove paint from a large painting I am working on and use a rag that is stiff and scratchy from layers of dried up paint. You get a lot of interesting swipes and marks when using a rag that has clumps and lumps of old paint on it.
Did you ever wonder how artists come up with the subject matter for their artwork? Which comes first a concept, a color scheme, a design or a story in your mind that yhou are trying to illustrate? For many Abstract Mixed Media artists, the work evolves and the "content" establishes itself later. In this piece shown, I was loosely thinking about "salad". So yes, I did indeed mix several colors of "green" paint and I did have an underlying concept going on in my brain. But for the majority of my work, the work dictates the narrative after the fact and each person who views the work, has their own intepretation of what they see.