Thursday, November 25, 2010

Passion in Painting

The stack of unfinished paintings in the closet tells a story. If you are not passionate about your subject, your enthusiasm will fizzle when you get to the middle part. I tell my students to spend extra time choosing a subject to paint. When I finally carve out enough time to sit down at the easel, very often I am so anxious to squeeze those glorious tubes of color and feel the swish of a brush that I rush right into a painting without planning or passion. Or I have a model before me and a limited time frame to paint so in my haste, I choose a not so lovely pose and fizzle at the middle part.

A Bible teacher once suggested that in the Old Testament, when the Israelites crossed the Jordon River on dry ground, that the middle part was the hardest part of the journey. You cannot see where you have been and you cannot see where you are going. God instructed them to pick up 12 stones from the middle, and to set them upright in a certain place so that every time they passed that way, they would remember His help and during this middle part, especially.

I know that is quite a far reach in regards to painting, but I find the middle stage to be a real kicker. I no longer see the original drawing or feel that flutter in my gut, that spark and hope of a masterpiece to come! AND I cannot see any end result in my mind. It is a time I am tempted to quit and slide the canvas into the closet.

BUT if I have a passion for the subject, I will more often hang on, tooth and nail, gripping the brush and forging on. Brings to mind the Alcazaba Fortress in Malaga, Spain. It seemed the journey uphill would never end. My traveling companions and I made the comment, "forge on" several times to encourage each other and the view at the top was SPECTACULAR!"

I see this in my young students especially. The younger they are the shorter their attention span may be. After flipping through art books for maybe five minutes, they dance over to the easel and rush right in. Five minutes later, they are looking for another subject and another canvas to paint on. "I don't want to paint that Mrs. Christy".  So I set a time frame and ask them to look for at least 15 minutes and pick out at least three things. Then we will choose.

Children continue to be mirrors for me. We will be working from a model again in the next two weeks. We will be spending the whole first session (2 to 3 hours) on setting up, choosing and photographing various poses. Another handy tip from the business world comes to mind, "Proper planning prevents poor performance."

The work of art must seize upon you, wrap you up in itself and carry you away. It is the means by which the artist conveys his passion. It is the current which he puts forth which sweeps you along in his passion. (Pierre-Auguste Renoir)

Whether you are painting or singing or acting or dancing, do it with passion, do it everyday and do it like you don't need the money. (John Ferrie)

taken from Passion Art Quotes...
The Painters Keys 

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