November 6, 2014

Energy, precision and Blair's show

Gatineau Park, looking north from Des Allumetieres
I spent over seven hours on this latest landscape and, if I keep painting this slowly, I'll atrophy. I can paint only during my 2.5 hour art class each week. Back when I was firing off bus portraits four times a week, this space was a bit more exciting, eh?

I have learned two things since I put the first nail into my own style a few months ago.

  • Thing one: I don't know much about painting. The farther I go with it, the more of it I realise I don't know how to do. Pretty standard realisation for anyone not completely full of themselves to make while doing anything worthwhile at a given time. Nothing much to see here, moving along.
  • Thing two: Following on paragraph one, my brushwork needs work, and, I don't know how to blend on the canvas.
My art teacher, Blair Paul (who has a HUGE art show this weekend), says that artists each have a distinct way of using a brush that is tied to their nervous system somehow. After he said this, assuming I am remembering it right, I paid more attention. I noticed that I generally take quick, distinct, long brushstrokes of disparate colours and I use them to build up areas in a painting without doing much blending.

I think my brushwork is unpolished and full of energy. For this painting, I tried to take more control of each stroke without losing a sense of movement. I also began trying to blend areas a bit more, something I only ever tried a few times.

You probably can't imagine how exciting this is. It looks so dull from the outside! Treeline, river, autumn brush. Or, maybe you also have a fiendish hobby that stonewalls you with slow progress and its own endless vista of unattainable mastery?

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