Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Re-thinking Studio Painting
Painted in the studio today. Weather is a bit foul so I stayed in and painted a 14x18 of cows. I bought a big pack of 14x18's and 16x20's to try and motivate myself to paint a tad larger but so far they have just sat in my storage closet mocking me.
This afternoon I took a break and had a massive bowl of ice cream and went through the John Singer Sargent book "Sargent Abroad." Ya'know, sometimes I get lazer focused on what's being done out there in the market, right now, by the artists who I admire and would someday love to emulate and I forget to "go back" and look. It was the first time I had picked up a Sargent book in a while and just looked. And yes, it floored me.
Most artists you can watch paint and figure out what they are doing, how they do it. Even if you can't yet, you can see the way they paint and work at it until you can do it. I think watching Sargent paint would have been like watching magic. Even after you had seen him do it, you would stand there scratching your head in amazement not having a clue as to how it started with blank canvas and now looks like that. There is a description in the book by a lady who describes how he painted a plate of flowers. She said the watercolor was just one big pool of pigment and when it dried it was this wonderful little painting of flowers on a plate. Sounds like magic to me.
I don't know if it was the Sargent book or the ice cream this afternoon but this studio painting thing is starting to grow on me.