Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Painting No. 137 - Trees I

6" x 8" - Oil on Canvas Board

This painting sucks. Royally. But, in the scheme of things it has turned out to be pretty important.

I was tired, out of gas, and out of ideas for paintings when I started this. I knew I needed to paint but was phoning it in. When I finished, I was so mad that I decided something had to change.

At the same time I've been reading a book about William Blake, Fearful Symmetry, that has been shaping the way I see things. In the book, Frye talks about Blake's approach to art and how the artist should see the world. The short version is that your ability to communicate something is directly related to your capacity to perceive what you are trying to communicate. So, the more you look and intensely study the subject you are painting the better the painting will be.

This hit a chord because I had not sketched this scene, barely looked at it in the computer screen and somehow thought I could use that pitiful about of perception to get the painting I wanted.

So, here is what I decided. I am going to paint these trees until I nail it. I am going to study it and paint this again and again and again until it sings. I don't know what that means or how many I will need to do but I am going to grab hold of this and not let it go.

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