Landscape oil painting: The infinite sea landscape
I want to tell you something about my paintings...
Whenever I paint, if I’m open and inclusive, drawing my ideas from a diverse number of sources, the work is stronger, effective and more original. If I think provincially, the work suffers.
Diversity makes a painting strong, interesting and beautiful. One kind of mark making is fine, but just watch what happens when a whole vocabulary of marks is cultivated!
I need to work the whole, and view my painting globally. As a matter of fact, each piece comes into being because of the obvious universal principle that a thing cannot exist on it’s own. A something is only a something relative to a something else. Think about simultaneous contrast! So, I must pay attention to every bit, even the smallest, seemingly insignificant element or my piece will fall apart.
I must love the work. If I get into a hateful orientation towards it, I will hate it. Hate cultivates hate. Love cultivates love. So, even when it’s hard and I don’t really like what’s going on in a piece, if I persevere in love, love is what I’ll get.
I need to be truthful with myself and to my viewer. I cannot look at a section of a piece and say to myself, “there are the most marks ever here!” If I were to continually do this, my work would have no meaning for myself or to anyone else. Being honest is not self-hate. Being honest is a form of love. It can be done in love.
It’s important to strive to be eloquent. One cannot be eloquent on the fly. It comes with clarity, certainty and mastery. When one is not eloquent, it shows up quickly as amateurish, unpreparedness and unconsciousness.
Gesture matters. Nature provides us with infinite examples of beautiful gesture, trees, clouds, wind…Humans recognize gesture, both human and non-human at the level of the subconscious. As painters, we have to recognize what kind of gestures we are putting down.
Generosity is important in painting. You need to burn through some paper, paint WHATEVER it takes. Then when you are done, it’s important to give it away as often as you can. You cannot take all those canvases with you.
Lastly, I’ve found that when something is true for painting, it’s true in life.
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