Let me compare painting to sewing. I enjoy both activities. I’ve sewed on production lines and to me that’s neither art or craft, only a job and not fun. Sometimes I sew clothes. I’m following someone else’s instructions but I still have to make a lot of creative decisions, which pattern would work best, which fabrics, for starters. When I paint I’m following the steps I learned in art school. A lot of sewing projects don’t work out and a lot of paintings don’t either.
Sewing can be frustrating, but the more skill you get by practicing the more creative you can get because you know what didn’t work before, just like painting.
It’s all just hand work. When I paint, is my mind in a special place? Yes, it’s in the zone. Sewing can also make you forget the world for a little while. Compare the brainwaves. Is there a big difference? When I paint do I suddenly get enlightened? It’s the thing about using your hands and eyes at the same time to make something. It’s not that painting is on some much higher level of the mind. They’re so close I can’t tell the difference.
Good teachers make a lot of difference. With painting or sewing. They start you on a certain path then you have to spend years working on your own.
If you have enough dexterity to sew you can paint but taking a class can help. It’s not something you’re born with. No one is born knowing how to cut and sew fabrics or how to use a sewing machine and painters have to practice their skills too.
I call myself an artist and in the past I called myself a seamstress. It’s not like I rose to a higher level of being.
As always, feel free to opine. I’m not going to fight and you can’t hurt my feelings. I like to hear what others think on this subject.
Is this art or not art? I can’t make the call. I’m letting the viewer decide and I’d like my blog to be a no b.s. zone. That means anyone can speak freely without worrying about hurting my feelings or getting into an argument with me. I won’t censor anyone either.
It’s untitled because I don’t want to influence your decision. If I titled it “nonrepresentational” the viewer would look at it as a pure design. I could give it a title that would make the viewer think of some social or political issue. Then I’d be putting some meaning into your mind and it would be abstract.
What if I had some subject in the back of my mind when I did this but I don’t tell you what that idea was? You could take it to mean something of importance to you. Then you should title it and we can call it abstract.
I could give it a funny or catchy title to make people like it but I won’t do that because when I was in art school they told us it’s a sign of a weak painting if the title makes a difference. The painting should speak for itself. If the painting doesn’t speak for itself it’s weak.
If anyone wants to critique it, I don’t care. My total lack of caring makes this kind of post modern. But really, blast it straight to h–l if you want to, or maybe you like it. To me it’s just another step out of thousands. I have no emotional attachment to it.
Did you ever hear an art viewer say, “That’s not art, my 8 year old could do it.” Then the artist or art expert says, “Yes but your 8 year old didn’t do this.”
Doesn’t that sound like a lame argument? What a weak defense of a painting.
They said the mind seeks balance but we shouldn’t make a balanced composition because when the viewer’s eye sees balance it’s instantly bored and moves on to the next thing.
The way to create imbalance is with focal points. An odd number of focal points is more interesting than an even number because the viewer’s eye will keep going around the canvas. If there’s only one focal point the viewer’s eye will go to it and stop right there. Also, don’t put a focal point dead center on the canvas. That makes a static composition.
Focal points can be created in different ways by using contrast such as complimentary colors or value contrasts, or by making sharp detail on an otherwise blurry painting.
I find composition to be a difficult part of painting and cutting my shapes out of paper and arranging them like Matisse helped me plan this painting. I’m getting a lot of inspiring ideas from Matisse this summer.
About this painting : The path through the Japanese garden is too narrow for me to stand up my easel. I’d have been blocking the other visitors so I took a few pastels and did my sketches on my small sketchbook because I don’t need my easel to hold it and I can easily back out of the way if people want to walk through. I did the painting at home using Matisse’s method of taping my paintbrush onto a yardstick and standing back from the canvas to paint. I’ve tried the brush on a stick method a few times and it still seems awkward. It’s hard to control the brush. I have to hover the brush over the canvas and when I make contact with the canvas in the right general area I want to paint, I kind of roll it. After I get the general shape I’m trying to do, I can get some brush strokes on it. I want to keep practicing this brush on a stick thing. Maybe it will get easier if I practice.