-This Above All Things
-Accuracy, Accuracy above all things-
It's beginning to make more and more sense and it's the only thing I pay attention to anymore. To be accurate and take care with what it means to be accurate. Sometimes it requires redoing an entire section, which I struggle with myself. It's difficult to go back and say to myself "This is not accurate and it must be redone." Or sometimes it's a matter of very subtle relations that one could improve to improve accuracy. Everything else, including technique are put on the back burner in my mind so I can focus on being as precise as I can. And so it leads to frustration as well, but better to have frustration towards a goal of satisfaction. An hour spent turning an ankle in space is an hour well spent
-Balancing a Larger Work-
All over the floor, surrounding me, are my studies, sketches and references as I continue to work on the final version of this theme. It's really a balancing act to make sure I know exactly what elements are going into the final painting. While the final painting is a challenge by itself, it's a breeze when compared to figuring out compositional elements and doing studies.
I never want to be guessing when I'm painting the final piece. It's easy to lose track and start making things up, but that is not thoughtful work. There is a difference between spontaneity and error/guessing. To imbue the painting with life, I want to keep some elements of sketching, which is why it's necessary to leave the ebauche in some elements of the underpainting. But to leave the ebauche in some areas is a pre-conceived element and not a mistake.
I will continue work and finish this large piece (34" X 56") so that every detail is lovingly rendered. Not going too slowly or too quickly, but at the right pace.
"Mastercopy of a section from William-Adolphe Bouguereau's "Idylle Enfantine (A Childhood Idyll 1900)"
Like everyone else, I have artistic preferences and I look forward to certain artists when I go museum hopping. Although, my vision is incredibly warped by my own knowledge of technique and paint layering. And I'm willing to bet that my artistic preferences are heavily influenced by being colorblind. In my world, there is a heavy emphasis on value. I look around me and can determine acute values, but when it comes to color, sometimes I have no clue what to think. My palette is my way of figuring out what color something is. I match the value and analyze colors as best as I can. So then this analysis also influences who I like in terms of painters. And at the top of the list is William -Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905). I have been fortunate enough to study him in depth at many academic locations, and it all reinforces my artistic "crush" that I have on him.
Do I want to be Bouguereau? Of course not, I want to interpret my own vision and try as hard as I can to surpass him. But I want to be a supreme technician like him and learn as much as I can from him. I idolize his work, color harmony and surface because they result of pure love and careful attention. He really wanted the viewer to analyze his paintings. There are no mistakes in his work, which teaches me lessons every time I study one of his pieces. If he put a leaf in a certain position, it was for a reason. This has made me very critical of my own work and how much preparation is needed to create a well crafted painting.
In the end, nothing dissuades me from trying to learn as much as I can to influence my own work. I encourage everyone to have a hero and to stalwartly defend them. I will continue to study all time periods of art in order to effectively communicate why I love what I love and why I hate what I hate.
-Mastercopies and Skateboards-
There's one corner of my room that reminds me of my own duality. I have a palette hanging on the wall, along with some mastercopies and below them are my skateboards. Skateboarding fascinates me just as painting does and I have spent much time analyzing why they do. They are obsessions and extremes of one another. They encourage me to balance my efforts in life between physical and mental. And they also both take me to extremes of my emotion. This is a result of the frustration in both activities. I can feel the highest thrills in both and the lowest lows in both. I am by no means a talented skater, but I get very much satisfaction from it.
I also think of them in the same terms when I want to improve; there's no way to improve in painting without a brush in your hand and there's no way to improve in skating unless you spend time on the board. It's all a matter of how many hours you've clocked and how many times you've fallen or made a failure painting. It's interesting how fine tuning a skateboard to make the trucks looser or tighter only matters if you've attained a high level of skill. Just like how mediums and surfaces only matter to higher level painters. The beginner should not concern themselves with such things as medium ratios. The only thing that matters in the beginning is productivity and creating work. It's a yin and yang balance between an extreme sport and a quiet activity which requires self reflection. An enamel finish on a painting and a kickflip down a 20 stair excite me and I will continue to increase my knowledge of both activities.