Sunday, April 22, 2012

That's the wrong color!!!!!!! ??????????

“I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don't notice it.” Alice Walker,author of The Color Purple  
"I have observed a number of works which actually lead one to assume that certain people's eyes show them things differently from the way they really are ... who perceive - or as they would doubtless say 'experience' - the meadows as blue, the sky as green, the clouds as sulphurous yellow, and so on ... I wish to prohibit such unfortunates, who clearly suffer from defective vision, from trying to foist the products of their faulty observation on to their fellow men as though they were realities, or indeed from dishing them up as 'art'."
Adolf Hitler, failed-artist-turned-dicatator….aka screwed-up human, 1937

I’ve heard it said by different people from different times, but I’m quoting Titian
File:Tizian 090.jpg
self-portrait, Titian, 1576
 because I couldn’t find anybody earlier: “A good painter needs only three colors: black, white, and red.” (my instant thoughts…….Ok, da Cadore, but what about great painters? And is this a rule?……aren‘t rules to be broken in art?)

I asked Nelson about this statement.
He Self-portrait, Nelson Shanks, 1987.

He pointed out that many of the colors that we use today have only been developed in the last 80 years or so. It can take humans awhile to adapt to new ideas and new concepts……it took three centuries to accept a spherical Earth as a physical given, and a practical demonstration was not achieved until the 16th century by Magellan and Elcano.

He has always stated that a limited palette lends itself to a limited vision. The first time that I realized that my own vision was limited was when I was introduced to seeing color by the Florida artist, Nike Parton, (c. 1922-2005).

Landscape painting by Nike Parton
I remember her pointing out a color in the landscape that I was painting. I was aggravated that I could not see the color that she was pointing out, until she pointed it out, and panicking that I could not see it without her guidance.

Nelson also pointed out in a recent phone conversation that I had with him that learning to see color (from a colorist’s point of view) expands what you can do. ( I think of the piano…..there is more than one octave….) He commented that even if you use a reserved palette it is always good to have the experience of a colorist. I would add that it is also good to experiment a tonal palette even if deem yourself a colorist. Again, it can only add to your repertoire.

I want to end this blog entry with this…..great art is sincere, authentic, and honest, and “the color of truth is grey” to quote the writer Andre Gide.

I loathe saying that there is only one way to see the world, that there is only one right way to do something…(“Why you put another man down? No man should asunder the joy another man found“ Prince, the musical philosopher and gender-bending humanist, in the song “Push“.)
….but I am so very happy and so very grateful that I have more than four colors on my palette!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Fun, Fun, FUN!!!!!!!!!!

"Sometimes I'm working on a film and someone will ask me if I'm having fun. And I'm tempted to tell them the truth: No, absolutely not. Having no fun here at all. You know what's going to be fun? When it's done, and I've done a fuckin' good job, and I know people are getting something out of that. I'll have a lot of fun then. A ton of it."
-Philip Seymour Hoffman

I love this guy.....he is so-ooo-oo honest! I have been inconsistent keeping up with this blog because I was going through a rough patch with painting and didn't want people to know (there, I feel better!), and I have a difficult time keeping my "stuff" to's a total sin if you admit that sometimes painting is not always fun, right? Sometimes it just adds up to work that has to get done, it's not always la-la-la I'm having such a pleasant

"The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work."
- Emile Zola (1840-1902)

And I quote from one of our own:
"Just pick up the brush, and start painting"
-Kerry Dunn

It can be a catch-22 situation is work, and you gotta do it, and force yourself sometimes, but it can be really hard to keep working when all of a sudden out of the blue.....not fun. making it fun, or allowing it to be fun is what keeps you going....(or should be) It totally sucks when you are not having a good time, you kind of have to re-invent painting for yourself, or go read something that helps pull you out of it. I like to read (over and over!) the chapter titled "The Painting of A Still-Life" by Henry Hensche. It takes me back to the basics of painting, and some of the things that I love about painting.

There's something that Nelson has said: "Let it be fun"......key word....let(allow...permit)... don't fight is hard work to excel at anything....

If you have anything that helps you put the fun back into your painting.......and puh-leeeze, don't judge me for admitting that sometimes it ain't FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aghhh!!! What a scary thing to make public!!!!