Thursday, January 17, 2008


On my journey of becoming
a better artist, I find myself now trying to figure out why my paintings come out so bright and colorful when I am actually generally not attracted to bright and colorful paintings. Err, that is not true. I am attracted to some but my attraction to less color and to earth tones is greater than my attraction to brighter rainbow colors. I wonder why this is? Perhaps it is just part of becoming..perhaps every artist goes through a phase of painting what they are not attracted to just as a way to maximize learning possibilities.

I also wonder why I am attracted to certain art and not others. Where does my taste of art come from? I think partially it came from my design and art education. Without such education, I don't think I would have the same taste. but who knows? I'm sure it comes from other experiences as well and looking at art often. I suppose this is the refinement process?

But with my design and art education and the level of refinement I have reached thus far, I can't help feeling a bit pretentious when trying to explain why I do not like certain art that art enthusiast are attracted to. Let me explain a bit better by giving an example. I have a group of "hippie" friends who live in a communal house. They are all for art and for color and for painting their walls "trippie" colors. They paint their walls freely without thought of composition, theory, etc that "refined" or formally educated artists would consider. They dont think about it, they just go with it. Which I think is great. But aesthetically, I do not like the way it looks in a living space. I do not like this about myself but as an artist, I do like it and feel it is necessary. But I do not want to come across to these free folk as pretentious. So when asked what I thought of the newly painted walls, I wanted to respond honestly but without hurting the feelings of others who are not used to critiques. Most likely they have not sat through enough critiques to develop a tough skin for such positive, constructive criticism. Is it even necessary that I tell them what I really think? If I were to tell what I really thought upon first glance, I would have gone on to say that there is no uniformity with what they are painting. There is no composition. There is no mixing of paint, it is straight colors from the tube. (which has become a pet peeve of mine) I am all for what they are doing, but if I lived there I would not be able to handle the walls like that. I need uniformity and better color combinations. But that is partly personal preference as well as the artist training in me. Being a community house anyway, I would think it would give it a better feng shui feeling throughout the house if one color was chosen and it was a more harmonious, soft, colorful yet soft. Nothing boring but more of a solid color that is soothing. When painting large spaces, bright, raw primary colors can feel suffocating. Anyway, all this to say that I am noticing that I am becoming more picky about art and am developing "pet peeves" about it. I just dont want this to become annoying to others. Especially when my own art is not even up to my own standards I have developed. But these things do effect moods and energies and it effects mine so that is why i mentioned it. I am a believer in Feng Shui.

moving along...

When looking at art, I am attracted to:

-line quality
-good composition with lots of negative space
- subdued color combinations
-limited color palette (but wise choices behind the little amount of colors that were chosen)
-complexity in drawing
-tediousness (if there are hints of tedium that the artist obviously had to endure, I am impressed by that.
-subject matter/concept/cryptic symbolism/deep intellectualism/deep spirituality/shallow mundane life and everyday living observations that are approached intellectually and spirtually, captured and reborn into the artists creation, making it less mundane; impregnating it with more meaning.

If there is one way to sum up what I am trying to explain about the way I look and think about art it would be that I notice and understand the difference between intellectual approaches in art versus 'free lovin', trip style of art... not that lovers can't be intellectual as well. In fact, I think that is how I would have to describe myself and my art. It seems to be a nice balance of both worlds.

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