Monday, July 22, 2013
retro fave: Richard McKinley's Interview, part two
This is a continuation of Richard's interview. You may see part one in Monday's post. I left off with Richard talking about "the hunt"- the search for the indefinable thing that an artist has to communicate.
R- A painter is always reaching. It keeps you vital. Once you have the sense, "oh god, I've got it," then you are done for. There is nothing left to say.
Think about Winslow Homer, he was a very driven man. Every single day he painted. His palette was in daily use. Well, on the day he died they found his palette hung on the nail above the door. He had never hung it there before. The inference was- he had finished. He had said what he needed to say.
When you don't get it, you are always hungry, always hunting for it and that is a good thing.
I am a very analytical person, explaining is easier when I use stories. I love comparisons because it is all about relationships. My biggest demon when producing work for myself (vs. a demo in class)is to get out of being analytical. When I am teaching I am analytical. In teaching my torment humanizes me. People know that my interest is to be helpful.
Be careful that you learn too much that it will get in the way. My battle when painting is to erase that state. When painting in the studio, at home, I have the TV on so that it will occupy my analytical brain. Although when I am away from teaching for a long time I no longer need the TV. My analytical brain is off. Then when I return to teaching there are these pregnant pauses as I organize that analytical brain.
I have to force relaxation.
L- I have been told by other painters that the real painting is studio painting and plein air painting simply isn't as elevated, as valid. Would you speak to that?
R-I am surprised to hear that. The emails I receive from the Pastel Pointers Blog indicate just the opposite. It seems that some painters are intimidated by plein air painting, they find it very difficult.
But think, what is the difference between the two, plein air and studio?
You use the same materials and the same eyes. the big difference is en plain air you are not in a controlled, sterile environment. There is reality. There is no reality in the studio. Method and process painters are studio painters. En plein air you you have to create the concept with all the constant changes and make the reality...even though it is in front of you.
Keep in mind that some comments you may hear are more about ego and defending one's position.
Another thing about plein air painting you need to keep in mind-at first you are a hunter-gatherer. You are figuring out which place. Then you need to get to know it better. It is important to form a history.
More interview on another post. I hope you are enjoying the interview. I sure loved doing it!
Meanwhile check out his fabulous website.