Saturday, March 12, 2016
It reminded me of something Michael Cardew had said about the creative process..."It's as if you are fishing for big, mysterious fish. You have to be careful what your net is made of and how you set it out. So, in your art, you ask yourself, if I go about it in this way...am I going to catch the fish?"
Sometimes you might catch a good painting. Other times, your catch might be a new effect, skill or technique. But, if you're painting on location, in the moment, on-the-spot, you're practically assured that you will come away with a heightened awareness and something brand new and fresh.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
The Golden Section and Fibonacci Spiral
Leonardo Pisano Fibonacci was a 13th century mathematician, who is known, among many other things, for the Golden Section and Fibonacci Spiral. These are closely related mathematically to familiar forms in nature, such as the arrangement of flower petals, seed-heads and pine cones, the shell of the chambered nautilus, on up to hurricanes and galaxies.
On the front of the Composition Finder™ is a simple color complement guide, which can be a useful reminder when mixing grays and browns. The colors are not exactly accurate, particularly the purple complement of yellow. Many painters, however, find this slightly reddish purple more useful in mixtures with yellow than its true complement, which is more bluish.
The Golden Section describes a rectangle of particularly pleasing proportions, with sides having a ratio of 1 to 1.618. Examples of the use of similar proportions are found throughout art and architecture from the most ancient times to the modern. From the Renaissance on, many painters have used the Golden Section to create compositions and locate focal points within those compositions.
The “Golden Intersection”
On the back of the Composition Finder™ is an illustration of the Golden Section and Fibonacci Spiral. Painting sizes that approximate the Golden Section are indicated. The Golden “Intersection” (considered by some to be a promising focal point for a composition using the Golden Section) can be found where the horizontal and vertical lines connecting the diamonds intersect.
Trust Your Visual Intuition
Truisms to the contrary, there are no hard and fast rules that govern compositions. Good painters seem to break one or more of “the rules” as often as not. Consider throwing all the rules “out the window” of the Composition Finder™ and just trust your visual intuition. As you survey your subject through the Composition Finder™, you will see how the visual interest changes as you move it across the scene before you. With a little practice, you will know instinctively when you’ve found the best composition for you.
Wednesday, February 04, 2015
Sunday, October 12, 2014
Friday, September 26, 2014
Thursday, December 12, 2013
The comments section also contains some good suggestions. After wiping your brush well on a rag or paper towel, you can use either Goop hand cleaner, baby oil or safflower oil from the grocery store to remove the residual paint. Then soap & water (regular bar soap or Murphy's Oil Soap) will finish the job. Maybe top it off with Master's or Winsor-Newton Brush Cleaner.
There is also a post by Larry Seiler on WetCanvas! where he describes how to melt down Ivory soap. He uses it as an inexpensive alternative for cleaning brushes in the classroom.Of course, Gamblin Gamsol is a reasonably safe solvent, made from cosmetic grade petroleum distillate with all harmful aromatic solvents refined out of it, so it is minimally toxic whether inhaled, ingested or exposed to skin. It is good for thinning oil paints and mediums as well as cleanup.
Monday, October 28, 2013
I sort of knew this all along, of course. Mark Twain told me so. But it's one thing to have someone (even a very wise man) tell you something, and another thing to experience it. Then I remembered the Navajo Beautyway chant:
In beauty may I walk
All day long may I walk
Through the returning seasons may I walk...and I remembered that beauty is much larger, more powerful than anything in the human world.
With beauty before me may I walk
With beauty behind me may I walk
With beauty above me may I walk
With beauty all around me may I walk
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk
It is finished in beauty
It is finished in beauty