Friday, November 24, 2006

Imagination



This is a watercolor by Jeanne Carbonetti, not your usual landscape. Who knows if it was done from life, it's more about the process & the qualities of the paint & paper than about a specific place & time.

I've been doing some studio paintings myself lately, imaginative "mandalas" with images that are significant for the people I'm doing them for. It's fun to create our own world, free from the laws of gravity & proportion, to make the invisible visible. It's possible to do this even when you're sitting outside & painting what's in front of you, but it doesn't come that easily for me. It's like thinking in two different languages...you have to make an effort to go from one mode to the other & back again.

I know it's true that painting from life will strengthen our studio work, and I suspect that the reverse is also the case. "What if the sky were coral-colored? What if that tree were in the foreground? Shall I add some contrasting texture here? There might be a storm blowing in..." It certainly enhances our awareness of all the things we notice around us, and it's *fun*

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