"To become a great artist, it is necessary to remain rough...not to know too many things" - John Singer Sargent
I came across this beautiful quote while looking through this awesome site: http://www.jssgallery.org/-- Here is the full quote: "Pour devenir un grand artiste il faut ètre, il faut rester fruste." Fruste de connaisances they meant, i.e . . . -- To become a great artist it is necessary to remain fruste. By fruste they meant, i.e. not to know too many things, not to know too much" (Site link for quote)
Fruste translates to "rough" so essentially the quote means that to become a great artist, you must remain "rough" and unknowing of some things. The more I study and teach art, the more I agree with this quote. It's definitely possible to become too technical, too refined and too influenced. I think the reason for this is because roughness relates to creativity and ingenuity/originality. Rough even equates to the paint quality that I myself am searching for. Everyone wants to over analyze the technical aspects of creating art, but true artists learn as they go after an initial period of study.
To remain rough doesn't mean to be lazy or sloppy about anything, but instead to work hard and remain uninfluenced. I'll be thinking about it more as I work myself.
I finished up this memorial portrait and I'm very excited to give it to my patron. The portrait progressed very smoothly and I really enjoyed working on it. I really tried my best to capture a feeling of life and spirit in this piece.
As a side note on technique, I had some thoughts about oiling out, which is the application of a thin layer of oil before you begin to paint to bring out sunken colors. I recently read that oiling out could provide some problems for the longevity of your painting; the problems could arise from the fact that oil yellows with age and there's no way of removing old oil, unlike an old varnish. I'm always concerned about the longevity of my paintings and thus, I will not be oiling out in the future. I used to think it was necessary in order to ease my paint strokes, but that isn't true anyway. Painting is an endless mystery.
Have a nice evening everyone--
As 2019 gets underway, I've decided that this year marks a vast improvement in my own skill level and work quality. Because of this, I am splitting my work from here on into individual years, but 2018 and years prior will be under one category. The period from approximately 2012 - 2018 still had a lot of lesser quality work, but now I see that my work is improving a lot so each year from 2019 onwards will be archived in its own list. I noticed a positive shift in my work's style and quality beginning in the fall of 2018, which I attribute to the large focus I put on my work to distract myself from a lot of loneliness and sadness that I had been feeling. I always try and change negatives into positives.
Make sure to check out all the new work that I've been doing and I'll be posting a lot more as I continue to work.
Just enjoy the act of drawing itself and you'll get good at it. Enjoy everyone!