Sunday, May 18, 2014

All I Need to Know

From  Art and Fear by David Bayles and Ted Orland -

“What you need to know about the next piece is contained in the last piece.”
©2014 Patricia Scarborough  22x28 Oil  Blue River Reclamation

What I start out to do in terms of a complete painting, and where I end up, are often leagues apart. The end result is oftentimes pleasant enough, but not where I wanted to go.

And why is that?

Just a few sentences later:  “Your fingerprints are all over your work, and you alone know how they got there.”

I admit that I paint like I write this blog: I figure it out as I go. It can get a little frustrating, but often enough what’s in my heart or on my mind comes to the forefront – eventually. 

It’s taken me an hour to get to this, the eighth sentence. The previous thirty or forty have been manipulated, mangled and eventually - and to my credit - deleted. You’re welcome. 

This isn’t good enough anymore. My focus now is to work smarter, rather than longer. To put on more paint and scrape off less. The things I want to say in paint are crystallizing in my mind, and the way to put them down on canvas is to spend more time planning and thinking, and less time in habitual muscle movement, grabbing at piles of paint and chasing the results to see what will happen.

I’m looking forward to seeing how I maneuver myself out of this place and into the next stage of my development. My last painting has told me where I need to go. All I need to do is listen.


Emily said...

When you figure out how to work smarter rather than longer, please blog about it...inquiring minds (and frustrated ones) want to know.

Patty said...

Ah, figuring it out ... that's the trick, isn't it? Every one of us has the answer ... somewhere ...