Thursday, December 04, 2008
Out of my Head
"Heart Be Leaf" acrylic on 4x6 wood panel. Golden open acrylics, to be exact. This painting was done out of my head until I got to the hands. I had to have reference. So I found some, and completed the painting. If I had to do the whole thing over, I'd have used some sort of reference from the very beginning.
When I did sculpture I did stuff straight out of my head. Mind you, my work lacked anatomical structure; it had a "gumby" look. But it also had a certain appeal and it attracted a few collectors.
Now that I'm into painting I find the need for reference. This necessity dawned on me slowly, as I was loath to give up the freedom of making art via improvisation and imagination-- my strong suit. In painting I found that improvisation maketh poor composition--unless you're familiar with the basics, which I was not. Add that to the fact that I graduated art school drawing hands that look like claws, and well you get the picture. I was sorely in need of a few basic disciplines.
Reference, structure, and composition are my current goals as a painter. I am keeping the imagination, however, because it gives a certain look to a painting that can't be gotten any other way. Robert Genn calls that look dynamic . I heartily agree.
Posted by Theresa Taylor Bayer at 7:59 AM