Monday, March 10, 2014

Developing a New Language

Hard to believe that my last post was the end of October.  Since then I've moved to California, started to teach drawing & oil painting classes and settling into life here.  I'd like to say that I have some fabulous insights to share but not quiet yet.  What has become obvious is that I needed to slow down and take in my new surroundings.  I haven't painted very much but I've been observing like a crazy person.

I've discussed in earlier blogs about my limited palette and have since gone to a more limited palette.  I'm happy with my progress but still working out the kinks.  I'm will share my new palette when I'm a little more comfortable with it.  One of the first things that I realized when I got here was that I wanted a different language to describe my new surroundings.  Surprisingly my blues weren't up to the task and so I have embarked on mixing a different range of blues than before. Mixing blues weren't a problem but now I seem to be struggling a little. Best remedy for that is to spend time looking, then experiment with mixing new colors.

It isn't that I don't know how to mix color, it's more of trying to express myself in a different manner.  It's like I've had to rearrange my words to accurately describe this new world. To communicate how intrigued and excited I am by the beauty.  I could have stayed with my old palette but it felt like I was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

Part of the reason for moving was to push myself as an artist, challenge the way I looked at a subject and to try to say something new besides subject matter to my work.  I've given myself permission to explore and change.  To challenge myself by working in a different manner, trying new techniques and palettes.   I'm excited to see where this journey leads.

So my tip for today is to challenge yourself to slow down and observe.  Don't be in such a rush to jump to the canvas.  Learning to describe something takes a bit of time to look and then digest it before pronouncing your viewpoint.  In the end, what you say on the canvas will have more impact if you truly understand what you are trying to convey.