Dressing gowns (Watercolour)


I know I am found to oft repeat the following. But it has been perpetually interesting to me to consider why any artist (painter), makes the decision he does – in placing his next stroke.

Regardless of the style of painting he is in favour of. Regardless of his purpose and goals in his art. Regardless of the fact that he is predominantly a reproducer or an inventor.

The next mark/stroke he makes is a choice of the will (as is the case in all of life’s journey of decision making).

I personally allow – what I perceive to be the next abstract mark necessary – to dictate the majority of my decisions when producing a painting.

The purely pictorial elements of line, tone, colour, shape, harmony, balance etc etc – are given first place to the exclusion of likeness, narrative, realism, statement, when I’m make decisions, about how the painting should progress.

In other words if the existing arrangement prompts me to decide another shape is needed in e.g. the left hand corner. I will place the shape there – even though it makes no sense – in that, it has no naturalistic twin reference to the rest of the depictions in the painting or to – the real world.

A black splurge appears in a photographic depiction of the real world and is nonsensical, except when the painting takes on a life of it’s own and loses it’s reference to the reality of how things appear. Now it becomes a design.

There is nothing new in this approach to painting, except for the fact that every piece of art is new and unique, given simply, that it has never been produced before, regardless of any similarities it may or may not have to former works, by the artist himself or to those of other artists who have gone before.

Of course not every piece of art I produce has only this aspect of production in mind – it depends entirely on how much I let it take over the decision making process.

Sometimes I do want the beach scene to create a feeling of calm serenity and to be naturalistic. So the intuitive may give way to other considerations during the paintings production.

But the freedom of intuitive depiction will (I believe) more readily express the artist’s own unique expression, referred to as style. The autograph of his painterly ‘handwriting’ unique to him/her.

In taking the predominantly intuitive approach to painting I do not know the end result beforehand. And sometimes the associations people make from their own experience when they see the painting – couldn’t be further from my intentions, and what it suggests to them as it is held up to the mirror of their internal-past reference points I have no control over.

If they make a comparison with something negative. Usually expressed in terms such as: ‘It reminds me of…’

Sometimes what it reminds them of – couldn’t be further from my mind.

Sometimes I don’t like the comparison they make.

However as long as they realise it is themselves that make the association and not I, then I guess, it’s the price ever artist must pay – in releasing their ‘children’ to the world’s scrutiny, and ownership.


2 thoughts on “Again…

  1. I think you have expressed this perfectly. I think that for myself, all I have as an artist is the process and the satisfaction of how I feel in creating. Communication is full of the unexpected. What a privilege all of this is, I think. I am grateful.

    Liked by 2 people

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