Monday, January 31, 2011

pros and cons of plein air and more Carlson

9x9 pastel and watercolor on Uart

What each painter sees and feels is vastly different than another painter. Why is it we tend to ignore this and search for accepted reality? I remember years ago when I was visiting galleries in NYC and one gallery owner explained to me why he did not like plein air work. At that point in my painting life I felt highly insulted. I loved plein air and felt it was an elevated art. After all it WAS my art. He talked about the fact that it simply had too much information, no real distillation  of what is important. Finally, 15 years later I see his point. I will always be a plein air painter, but I think with this winter's long recovery and  exploration into my memory all will be different in the spring. I will be reborn when I go out there.
Last night's contrast between  blue snow on the field  and hot gold sun provided amazing fodder for my imagination.

More quotes from the amazing John F Carlson:
Too much reality in a picture is always a disappointment to the imaginative soul. We love suggestion and not hard facts. (wow, eh! and so true)


The beginner in painting begins by copying nature in all literalness, leaving nothing out and putting nothing in; he makes it look like the place or person or thing.  By and by he will learn to omit the superfluous and to grasp the essentials and arrange them into a more powerful and significant whole.   And it is wonderful to know that these “essentials” will be essentials to him only (and herein lies the secret of originality).  Another man will choose another group of essentials out of the same fountain of inspiration.
(Does this ring a bell or what?)

5 comments:

SamArtDog said...

Your "contrast" strikes a chord. My post also bridges the gold and the blue. The Carlson quote reminds me to not take reality too literally.

Jala Pfaff said...

Your colors here are beautiful. I especially like the blue of the land (snow?).
I like/agree with the quote. Though oh how I hate the sexism in the language!

Leah said...

This is a different palette for you. I like it! Like the texture too.

Katherine Tyrrell said...

Great quotes!

loriann said...

Hi Sam I will be certain to drop by your site and see your work. You are right.... reality is not the most important thing...in fact it's way down the list.

Hi Jala!
Thanks about the colors. As for the sexism I almost wanted to change the pronouns myself, but felt I should quote directly. Aren't you glad we don't live back then?

Hi Leah! You are right about both things...lots of texture built up with pastel mounds and fixative!

Hi Katherine, I agree those are two of my favorite quotes. The painting was iffy, but it really didn't matter...the quotes took the show and the painting try to live up to the quote. So much is swirling around in my head now!