Friday, February 5, 2010
I have spent the last few weeks working on marbling my canvasses through collage, working primarily with natural colored papers full of fibers and occlusions. The canvas begins to look like marble after the fourth of fifth layer, where the paint splatters begin to peek out of the torn collage like veins of a rock and the natural colors blend into each other and form an interesting background. As usual, while the tree shapes and landscapes continue to dominate my best work, I still work on abstractions and figure studies, practicing as Alex Powers taught, using my eyes and sketching as much as possible. It is hard to keep the effort up as the demands of every day life continue and one does need to keep commitments to home and work. It is an interesting time for the amateur artist. Recently there was a story on NPR detailing the exhibit in the Getty Museum comparing Rembrandt van Rijn’s drawings to his students, and the key indicator of student work is the “over-worked” quality of the image, where the master captured the expression and nuance of the subject in a clean drawing, with little re-work, re-drawing or erasure. This subtle freshness is one of the fundamental differentiations between the student and one in command of their medium. So, the best work is clean, defines and smartly executed in a single pass.