Secrets of A Modern Painter: March 2011
Secrets of A Modern Painter: March 2011

Painting Action and Reaction

Ask A Question, Then Answer It

Let painting come from your subconscious by reacting to everything you do on the canvas with a countermove. Maybe you begin your paintings with a series of rough lines or dominant shapes, or maybe your preference is to place colors here and there and see how they relate.

As I paint, I move back and forth between my conscious thoughts and my unconscious energies and dreams  - the idea is to hover in between and dip into whichever is most needed in the moment. This can allow you to follow through with the varying intentions without feeling either too thoughtless or too chaotic. For some this may mean separate sessions: one of freedom and chaos, another of reason and order.

Get into a fluid state of action and reaction; sometimes a parallel and supportive element is necessary, other times what is called for is opposing marks.

Make those first marks as a question: see if then an answer starts to come before you think about it.
Lines, colors, shapes, subjects, elements, ideas- each can react to another.

When I paint I tend to dreaming and drifting, thinking more about life as a meditation than about the elements of painting or technique. Sometimes the subject of the painting is where I am drifting to, at other times I just fall into my unconscious and wander among a sea of images and emotions.

It is again like music, a series of questions and answers flowing back and forth as part of the whole.

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