What is Necessary?
In my continuing search to speak with paint as simply as possible, I am finding that what makes something compelling is intricately tied to my own headspace, and therefore more “words” are sometimes required. Nevertheless, I am carrying on with my explorations.
Since I decided to learn to paint in 2009, I have consumed whatever type of education I could get hold of. In the beginning it was exclusively magazines. I moved to DVDs and high quality books at some point (all of Schmid’s videos and his 3 main books). Those merged into workshops and attending demonstrations. Actually, these things overlapped. I was an omnivore. These days people are making online subscriptions to little jewels of demonstrations and video lessons.
I have purchased from Daniel Keys (http://www.danieljkeys.com/downloads)
and currently subscribe to Quang Ho’s Made for Artists (https://madeforartists.net/).
Fellow Tennessean Lori Putnam also provides mentorship and easily digestible content here: https://loriputnam.com/online-learning
David Leffel and Sherrie McGraw have live studio visits and Q&A sessions on their YouTube channel, but here I link to their Facebook page, as it offers an explanation and details: https://www.facebook.com/blfafans/
These days, I keep to myself. I suppose I always have, but I mean that I constantly clear away other’s voices. It’s a lot like weeing a garden. Very few workshops, no magazines, no more DVDs.
Perhaps we are all after the same things. I don’t know. Because I don’t know and because I have trust issues, I seek my own way of speaking, of re-presenting, but I do crave the feedback of artists as fellow travelers. However, I know that I am responsible for my own progress, and the paths that others have made are good, but they are not mine. It is up to me to learn mark making, color mixing, and the other phrases that will make up my painting story.
Sometimes I want to present nature as I find it, sometimes as I feel it. I bounce from a pursuit of naturalism (realism) to abstraction, always asking why did I choose this and what is needed? My drawing is really bad, but I know it can improve, so I don’t worry about it. It is a critical tool. I just don’t force it because I know that what I’m after goes beyond drawing.
The images included here show a few details of my explorations into what is actually Necessary. Is thick paint needed? Strong color? My learning now has moved from lectures to self-guided study. There is no final exam, no quiz. Only the pursuit of purpose. So many stumbles.