Are Your Paintings Open?: Secrets of A Modern Painter
Secrets of A Modern Painter: Are Your Paintings Open?

Are Your Paintings Open?

 
Paintings are like people, some are open and some are closed.

In any conversation, you are both your developed self and open to reflection and change.

Let your paintings be open to viewers for connection and conversation- give us a sense of the act of creation, of being and becoming, of growth; give us a sense of the power and drive that made you approach the empty canvas, a sense of the energy and emotion behind your actions. Leave traces of the struggle - trails to follow, paths to explore.

Let viewers complete your paintings with their imagination. 

Sometimes, details are necessary; most of the time they only seem necessary and are really not only a distraction but an impenetrable wall. You have to be clear about your intentions - some artists are out to prove they are skilled with drawing or color and not only draw attention to their work, but attention to the abilities that went into the work - this is different than effectively leaving traces of the act of creation.

I want my works to trigger memories, and to seem as if they are memories in and of themselves.

Always be aware of the abstract qualities of your subject and don't let inane little details creep into the work and crush the initial impact. It's like conversation, so little can be said to state a point - and more often than not, fewer words are appreciated by all.

Very little information is needed in a painting to trigger some kind of emotion and connection - viewers of course differ, but on the whole, we can experience something with a Pollock or a Rothko, a Frankenthaler or a Gorky, a Whistler or a Monet. 

Your completed work will be suspended in a state of completion - but must remain open for the viewer to have an experience, and the only way to do that is to understand your own preferences and how to sustain the balance of order and chaos to arrive at something intriguing. 

Stop earlier than you normally would and let the painting rest and develop on its own. The minds and imaginations of viewers will be triggered to see what may not be there, and by allowing people to 'complete' the work with their imaginations, a connection will be made. Unnecessary details would be a distraction - instead of the viewer being made to drift and dream, you keep them hyper-focused on specifics. Your mind while painting is very different from your mind when you return again to view.


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