Wednesday, May 30, 2012

challenge, inspiration, why paint? and Wolf Kahn

9x9 pastel
This morning was raining and dreary. I left the house at 6:00 am wondering what will I paint today?  It made me think...does it really matter? The answer is no. My morning plein air sessions are a warm up, a getting the juices flowing before I go to the studio kind of thing. Do I expect beautiful paintings? No. I simply arrive and start with a self imposed assignment designed to stretch me.The challenge is what I love. The amazement when it works.
One thing I always try to keep in mind is that painting isn’t just about selling. It's about the joy of creation. It's a challenge you rise to each day with the love of wondering what is possible today. If you always obsess about the result you will stymie your own growth.

I thought you might like this quote from Wolf Kahn. It was from an article titled “A studio visit with Wolf Kahn” -American Artist  (May 1997-by Jonathan Phillips.)
On the subject of landscape painting, Kahn says, “Avoid cliches when looking for places to study and paint the landscape. Often, when I’m observing a scene I want to paint, I look for chaos. Chaos in nature is immediately challenging and forces a good artist to impose some type of order on his or her perception of a site. When I find a scene that provides that type of challenge, I return to it over and over again, both physically and mentally in the studio, continually searching for new insights.” …
“Edgar Degas observed, `Painting is easy, till you know how,’ and that’s what I try to get younger artists to accept,” Kahn says. “Sometimes it’s very good to make a bad painting. In fact, sometimes I try to get into some real trouble while painting and look to the work itself to show me a way out. … Painting is a visceral experience, one loaded with subtle information.”Only Cezanne could get away with a system,” he says, referring to the artist’s disciplined brush work. Kahn distrusts dogma and didacticism. “There are many prejudices about art,” he notes, “and first among them is that it is a skill and that there are definite rules. I want the people looking at my work to feel a sense of all the possibilities of painting, and, through that, in life as a whole. When that happens, I feel I’ve accomplished something useful.”


Janelle Goodwin said...

I like when you say "If you always obsess about the results you will stymie your own growth". It seems that when we go with the flow and accept the challenge, there is amazement at the result. Thank you for putting this into words, Loriann.

loriann signori said...

You are most welcome! It's funny how we can get so caught.Always good to hear from you!

SamArtDog said...

I'm always hungry for new WK insights. I hadn't ever read this and was given another yummy bone to chew from the Wolf. Thanks!

loriann signori said...

WK bones are always juicy! Enjoy!