Saturday, May 26, 2012

More Suggestion, Less Description

Saying both of those things I mentioned in my last post ("Don't think" and "Keep moving") did seem to help me yesterday.  I really need to let myself go and "damn the torpedoes" -- I constantly felt like I was doing stupid, messy things -- but it's the only way, it seems, to come up with anything interesting.  Even if I really am making mistakes constantly.  I need just to plow ahead, and correct them as they happen.

I have a thing going on sometimes where I make brushstrokes several at a time, then pause -- and what can happen is that I'll make a good mark, and then obliterate it.  Very annoying.  And yet it can be problematic to make just one mark at a time, and then pause and evaluate after every stroke:  maybe because things end up looking like hatch marks; maybe because there's too much pausing -- it slows you down and breaks your rhythm.  I need to try to be poised to stop if I notice a good mark, though -- they always look "fresher" than any that come after.

It's tough returning to paintings the next day.  It's imperative to go in with a will to destroy -- and yet you don't want to destroy the good stuff!

Towards the end of the session yesterday, I was making some awful leaves:  I'd switched to smaller brushes because my big ones were full of paint and I needed a clean brush to take a clear, bright red.  With the small brush, I started to make things that looked too much like leaves -- they paled in comparison to the big blotches on the other canvas (the other half of the diptych).  So I scraped all those small marks off, cleaned up, and then went out and bought more big brushes.  It was a good lesson (that I've learned before):  The less description, and the more mere suggestion, the better.

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