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Mikki Petersen
05-21-2006, 07:39 PM
Hi fellow artists:wave:

Today, I went to our local art museum, The Crocker Art Museum, to view an exhibit of works by The Monterey Penninsula Artists, who painted the Monterey, California area around the turn of the century, (the last one, that is, like 1860 to 1930). I haven't been in a museum in quite some time, I'm ashamed to say.

The first thing that struck me as I looked over the broad scope of paintings, mostly landscapes/seascapes. is that the horizon line was right at the halfway mark on the canvas in nearly every painting, often cutting them completely in half, land on bottom and sky on top. Now if we modern day painters did that, with rare exception, we would be quickly criticized.

Many of the paintings had low value contrast and depicted either early or late in the day where the light and mist tends to gray things. How many times have we encouraged each other to punch up the values for greater impact.

Some of the paintings were brightly colored and had a happy feeling to them but most were done in somber tones which were somehow indicative of the artist's depression?

Most of the pieces were HUGE! I'm talking 48"x60" and beyond...and the frames were massive and ornate. In fact the frames were so ornate and dominating that my husband began studying the frames more than the paintings. Somehow though, the frames seemed to fit these works. I've always heard we should go for simpler, more sublte frames that enhance but do not have a place of their own in the presentation.

One thing that did strike me right away was the degree of damage and the degradation of the paints and supports on a short 100 years. What a tragedy that we are only learning the tricks of art preservation. In the collection of some 90 paintings, only one was a pastel painting but I was pleased to see that it was in excellent condition. The pastel was applied lightly with lots of places where the underlying support "breathed" through. It looked as though the support was a yellow tan color. I had to wonder if it was originally white? Anyway, the pastel color remained true, where the watercolors and many of the oil paintings were darkened with age and had yellowed badly.

It appeared to me that the pastels weathered the century much better than the oil paintings and certainly faired better than the watercolor paintings. So why is oil paint considered the ultimate medium?

One great treat in the permanent collection, was a painting of the Yosemite Valley by Thomas Hill. This painting was at least 10 feet tall by 15 to 20 feet wide...a mural on canvas really. Anyway, as a landscape painter, I sat on a bench for over 30 minutes and just stared and wandered my eyes around the piece. There were several pieces by Thomas Hill in the Permanent collection and they are each more beautiful in real life than anything a book could portray. In a couple weeks when my awe begins to fade, I will venture an hour south to the Haggen Museum in Stockton where they have a number of Bierstadts paintings.

Well, I just have to ask who made our rules (guidelines) for the artists of today? The artists of the past seemed to create beautiful works without following very many of these guidelines. Particularly this "less is more" thing that is in vogue these days. Some of the splendid detail the artists of the past employed is a wondrous feast for the eyes!

Mikki

Donna A
05-21-2006, 11:05 PM
Hi, Mikki! Excellent question! My belief is that WE do---each of us! We just need to find our own hearts of expression----along with some "handy" education of ourselves about possibilities. And we choose the elements that excite us most about our subject!!! Understand our passion for what we are looking at! I soooo believe in Internal Authority rather than External Authority. Just walk through most museums and we'll see artists who found their own hearts. They painted THEIR way! Those who blindly follow others----are also rans!

And I believe that so many artists these days do not honor many of the "sanities" of respecting their materials in order to use them in a way which will be archival.

Pastels ARE such a wonderful medium, in part, because they are such nearly pure pigment and are not distored by mediums. As long as they are protected under glass, they remain wholey true! As long as lightfast pigmetns have been used!

Mikki----paint what excites you, what intrigues and inspires you!!!! That is the "RIGHT" way!!!! Take good care! Donna ;-}

Kathryn Wilson
05-21-2006, 11:24 PM
:wave: Hi Mikki! Sooo nice to see you again - I've missed you.

And you come back with a very thoughtful question - I am sitting here thinking about the things that I look for in a painting and remember that I've been told all these rules by any number of artists, but never questioned where they learned these rules.

Who came up with the Golden Mean, the rules of thirds, tonal values, focal point - someone must have decided they were the best to use.

I viewed a painting the other day that did not have a valid focal point - but then I read later that it wasn't necessary to have a focal point in every painting. I always thought that the focal point was what we wanted to viewer to look at and that the painting revolved around that. Not so?

Good discussion Mikki - :thumbsup:

Donna A
05-21-2006, 11:38 PM
Hi, Kat! Some additional good comments along with Mikki's! I've ended up "relegating things" to----as a viewer-----do I like looking at it or do I not?

When I'm working with artists who study with me, as technical as I can be, as color-mad as I can be, as compositional as I am, etc.!!!! I first consider if I like looking at the painting! If I don't want to look at it for long----hey!!!! That says a LOT! Take good care! Donna ;-a]

Mikki Petersen
05-22-2006, 12:37 AM
Yes! Do I like it? That is important to me. WHY do I like it is sometimes more difficult to determine. Does it draw me? I could have spent my entire Sunday in front of that one Thomas Hill painting and still not have viewed all that it had to offer. There was nothing "less is more" about it and for anyone who has been to Yosemite, there is nothing "less is more" about that either.

And focal point...some of the paintings seemed to have none and others several. There was a painting by Elizabeth McConnolly (I hope I got that right), which is on the cover of the May issue International Artist's Magazine and was included in the exhibition I saw today. The painting was of a cactus garden at the hotel these artists used to frequent. The painting was 48"x60" at least and who knows how long it took to paint. Right smack in the middle was the central circular layout of cactus (focal point, I guess) with groupings of cactus radiating out and moss dripping trees above. The entire painting was the essense of teal green, but as you looked at the detail, it was brimming with color. I could hear some judge at an art show commenting about the "compulsive detail" while I was awestruck at the majesty of the piece. Less is more? Phooey!

My husband complains that I always stop on paintings before they are finished and he points to all the details I haven't included. When I spiel out that "they are unneccessary to the composition", he just shakes his head. He doesn't want me to paint photographs but he states that he wants to be intrigued where ever he looks in a painting. Hmmmmm....

Mikki

Kathryn Wilson
05-22-2006, 05:50 AM
My husband complains that I always stop on paintings before they are finished and he points to all the details I haven't included. When I spiel out that "they are unneccessary to the composition", he just shakes his head. He doesn't want me to paint photographs but he states that he wants to be intrigued where ever he looks in a painting. Hmmmmm....

Mikki

I've always been told that IF it doesn't add to the painting leave it out.

Mikki, it might be an interesting addition to this thread to put up a photo(s) as we go along to see what we would do with a complicated scene.

I wonder how much impact our society (then and now) has on what we look for in a painting. We are looking for simplification in our lives - we are on overload with too much visual stimulation - so our tastes in paintings may be changing. Even our movies are cartoony - simple graphics, bold colors, clean lines. How has TV affected our viewing habits - we want it quick - so we are seeing less? How many of us have so little time to thoroughly enjoy and view a painting as you did - ever observe a family in a museum - it's like a race to see as many paintings as you can and then out the door to the next event for the day.

So, are we directing the viewer to the focal point more blatantly saying "here is what I want you to see" so that we can capture their attention quicker before they rush on to the next painting? In other words, are we using more "tricks" to capture the viewer.

PeggyB
05-22-2006, 01:19 PM
Well let's go one step further. Kat, you've mentioned "focal point" several times, and I kept being reminded of something I read in William Herring's book, "A Horse of a Different Color" so I went to that book, and here's what he has to say about "focal point or no focal point".

DEFINING YOUR INTENT

You have two great choices.
You can go right.
You can go left.
But there are no other choices.

You either paint with a message or you don't.
If you have a message you are a commercial artist.
If you don't have a message you are a fine aritst.

It all depend on you intent.

He then goes on to say rarely does any one artist do both commercial art and fine art, but that there are plenty of commercial artists attempting to teach fine art, and failing in the process because they themselves don't fully understand the "rules" they are teaching. Many of them will say they live for the day when they can be full time "fine artists". However, he feels such an idea is sadly misplaced in the relationship to logic. Rather, both commercial art and fine art are separate and equal intents.

Here's how Bill suggests one may define the differences between commercial artist and fine artist in how they train:

COMMERCIAL ARTIST (CA)
Purpose for the eye: to stop it where the message is, thus a need to have a center of interest and a focal point.
.
FINE ARTIST (FA)
Purpose for the eye: to keep it traveling because there is no message, just the beauty of the surface; therefore, no need for a center of interest & a focal point.

CA
Values: "contrasted" to stop the eye, especially placing the lightest light next to the darkest dark where the message is.
FA
Values: "cushioned" to travel the eye, no need for more than a one value difference between any object in the work.

CA
Light source: usually two or more, preferably exotic.

FA
Light source: usually one source only, preferably classic.

CA
Choice of subject matter: extra ordinary, sentimental, and regional.

FA
Choice of subject matter: ordinary, in an attitude of repose, and universal.

CA
Use of color: strongest color in one quarter of the painting.

FA
Use of color: each color used in at least three of the four quarters.


CA
Purpose of color: to evoke a mood to match the message, usually illustrative and descriptive.

FA
Purpose of color: to create rhythm inside the picture plane, usually expressive and not
descriptive.

CA
Purpose of a title: essential, is the key to understanding the message.

FA
Purpose of a title: not essential, for there is no door that needs a key.

CA
Purpose of the painting: to communicate.

FA
Purpose of the painting: to decorate.

"A person looking at a picture should be moved to exclaim, "How beautiful!" rather than "How true". James McNeil Whistler

Given these definitions - where do you fit into the equation? Does it really matter which "type" of artist anyone is? As Bill says, both are equally valid and we may as well be true to whichever one we are naturally. Define your intent and be happy in the journey.

Peggy

Tressa
05-22-2006, 03:28 PM
I want to paint beautiful pictures,.... AND get paid for it....:evil:

Seriously, though, it is tough to get your own style going, recognize it, and be true to it. If you think about it, that is how all the "movements" in Art came about, is someone decided to "buck the system"... If we all painted the way other people wanted us to paint, we might as well just, NOT...
Tres

Bringer
05-22-2006, 04:41 PM
Hi,

I would like to say that I've read several times that classical painting is making a comeback. Which is a good thing for me, since I like it alot.
There are of course «rules» that can help painting in general to be more pleasant. However rules are also meant to be broken and to be developed.
I guess it's related to this thread so, check my thread about Leonardo Da Vinci's notebook. Really worth reading. Of course that you can buy it too, but I found a site with the notes.

Kindest regards,

José

Kitty Wallis
05-22-2006, 05:33 PM
Well let's go one step further. Kat, you've mentioned "focal point" several times, and I kept being reminded of something I read in William Herring's book, "A Horse of a Different Color" so I went to that book, and here's what he has to say about "focal point or no focal point".
...
COMMERCIAL ARTIST (CA)
Purpose for the eye: to stop it where the message is, thus a need to have a center of interest and a focal point.
.
FINE ARTIST (FA)
Purpose for the eye: to keep it traveling because there is no message, just the beauty of the surface; therefore, no need for a center of interest & a focal point.
...Peggy
Thanks for quoting this, Peggy. I've been wondering how to express my discomfort with the demand for a focal point. It's not how I think when I paint. So I couldn't get behind the many discussions about it.

Kathryn Wilson
05-22-2006, 06:17 PM
Kitty, I don't want you to feel uncomfortable about what you feel and think - just out with it - :)

This focal point thing is interesting - for years, that's all I've heard - from just about everything I've read, from other artists here on WC, and workshops I've attended. What happens if there are two or more areas of interest? Do we lose the viewer - do they move on because they are confused on what the painting is about?

Mikki Petersen
05-22-2006, 06:56 PM
Oh my gosh! What great thoughts here. I HATE FOCAL POINTS! I paint because a scene moved me, not because of this rock or that tree. Actually I think directing the movement around the whole of the painting is a more difficult challenge though.

Anyway, per Kat's suggestion, I found the Thomas Hill painting I've been talking about. The Crocker site does not allow copying so all I can do is give you the link: http://gallery.digitalcrocker.org/zoom2/D7/index.html?zoomifyImagePath=http://gallery.digitalcrocker.org/zoom2/D7/1872.423/&%20zoomifyMinZoom=-1&zoomifyX=0&zoomifyY=0&zoomifyZoom=-1&zoomifyToolbar=1&zoomifyNavWin=1&zoomifyNavWidth=75&zoomifyNavHeight=75

I was wrong about the size...it was only 6 feet by 10 feet, lol, not 10 by 20, but it felt enormous, especially since it is hung in a frame that is at least 12 inches deep and elaborately carved...massive.

Anyway, my original intent when I took up art again was to paint in fine detail. I have been pretty thoroughly chastised and drilled into the "less is more" school, which is surely a quicker approach to a subject. Maybe that is another factor, the ability to produce quickly. Surely it took Hill a very long time to produce this paintng...the dimensions alone would have taken time, let alone the close attention to detail. But is it painterly, with all that detail? Absolutely YES!

While it is very faithful to the scene, it is not a photographic depiction. The paint is applied thickly, the details are to some extent fantacized. Still when you sit across the room and gaze at it, it evokes a desire to walk into the scene and stay a while. When you move closer to the painting, the whole of it can no longer be taken in. Instead, I was compelled to view it foot by foot, feasting on all the small detail.

Peggy, I found the excerpt you provided very interesting and refreshing to hear. The writer was clearly not a modernist in his approach or thinking. I'm clearly more in fitted to his "fine art" definition than to the "Commercial". I would like to sell paintings, sure. And I do want recognition of my work. But I want it to be MY work, expressing my vision which is the beauty of a scene.

I didn't throw out this question to put down the rules/guidelines. I think they are important and definitely provide a structure from which to grow. There are just some things that I can't make fit into some of the subjects I want to paint.

Mikki

Kathryn Wilson
05-22-2006, 07:21 PM
As to what role I fit into, I think a combination of both. I did start out in commercial art - so many of those rules were ingrained - but in reading through some of the differences, I find I am a comfortable blend of both. Or at least I feel comfortable - :)

PeggyB
05-22-2006, 08:39 PM
Kitty I so understand your hesitancy to comment on those things that you find difficult to express in writing - I frequently have the same problem. The written word isn't exactly my strong suite! I know what is in my mind, but the words just don't always describe what's there. That's why I am glad when I find an author who can say what I am feeling.

It looks as though some of you may benefit by the entire chapter of "Defining Your Intent".....

If you are bent toward a message, you will train in way. If you are bent to beauty, you will train in quite another manner, indeed. It is important to discuss this issue because of this disturbing fact: there are dozens of commercial artists teaching "fine art" workshops. They are giving the students commercial art rules in the name of "fine art", and many hungary hearts have been ill-touched by the resulting confusion.

The major point of confusion comes from a realization that the instructors don't have accurate definitions themselves, and therefore, do this damage while they are well-meaning and attempting to help the student. For example, ninety-nine out of ninety-nine commercial artists believe this: commercial art is what you do for someone else and fine art is what you do for yourself, usually called easel painting. They firmly assert that commercial art is "lower" and fine art is "higher". They all seem to "live" for the day they can make their living doing "fine art".

But such an idea is sadly misplaced in the relationship to logic. Rather, both commercial and fine are seperate and equal intents. Once a person is found to be bent one way, it is seldom and extremely rare to see him go the other. In other words, once a commercial artist, always a commercial artist, no matter who you are working for. And, to further juice-up the arguement, there are two kinds of commercial artists, the sellers and the tellers. They are either bent to selling an idea or product, or they are bent to telling a story. The intent is a reflection of the bent, and an artist is seldom bent two ways.

The fine artist finds himself oriented toward the magnetic pole of beauty. At this location on the art map there is no need for a message. It is just beauty for the sake of beauty, period.

Then he goes into the definitions I listed earlier, and last but not least he writes:

It is my hope, then, that you, the student, learn to derive correct definitions, locate you intent, and train accordingly.

You will not be able to change how the teacher teaches, but you should know what they mean by what they say, even if they don't.
With all due respect - W.H.

Here is some of what is written on the back of the cover about Bill Herring:
This book is tinged with dynamite.
It is written by an explosive personality, a genuine Texas Maverick, who has made his marks on a tilted playing field of his own design. He unflichingly invents his own rules, and then breaks them all at his own discretion.
William Arthur Herring, American Expressionist, was the President of the Knickerbocker Artists USA, one of the oldest and most prestigious professional art societies in America. His works are found in such distinctive collections as those of the Santa Fe Railroad, former President Ronald Regan, and the beer baron Peter Coors. An advocate of beauty for beauty's sake, Herring was nominated by the Govenor of Texas for 1993 Presidential appointment to become the Director of the National Endowment for the Arts.

If you've never seen Bill's work, he can be hard to find. Google doesn't get anywhere. I know at one time he had work in the Ventana Gallery, but don't know about now. He's become rather "reclusive", and although he once painted almost exclusively with pastels, I understand he's gone more to watercolor. Here is a scan of the cover of the book:
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-May-2006/68149-Herring.jpg

I'm sorrry this is a long posting, but I'm hopeful that this may be of help to some of you who may be struggling with "rules". In 1996 I took a workshop from Bill, and he re-awakened in me the desire to "step off the edge". I'd been painting for the previous 10 years or so with professional "commercial" artists, and not realizing how wrong that was for me. All I knew was the "joy" was gone from painting - it was a struggle with rules that didn't seem "right". Prior to that I'd painted only with "fine artists", but didn't know that either until I read Bill's book... All I knew then was painting was a joy and adventure with few rules. Yes, there are some good rules for basic learning, but once learned I use them only if they suit me.

Bottom line: Paint what and how you feel best suited, and make no apologies for it. If you want to read "A Horse of a Different Color", it is filled with information, inspiration, quotations, and wonderfully exciting line drawings. I highly recommend it to anyone - especially if you are looking for a challenge. Oh yah - and I don't agree with everything he's written. :evil:
Peggy

Kathryn Wilson
05-22-2006, 09:06 PM
Okay, now I am thoroughly confused - but that's nothing new - :)

So rules are out, anything goes, paint what you want, how you want, and the h___ with everybody else. Is that it in a nutshell, Peggy?

Tressa
05-22-2006, 09:26 PM
When I was teaching at a County funded center, there was a guy there who had some health problems, and was mentally challenged to a certain degree. He could not read, so could not learn about painting from books. He wanted to learn badly, but, because he could not read, I could not give him any reference material to study from. I would spend about two hours every week with him, and I just showed him the basics of color mixing, (he marked his tubes with numbers and had a chart with a swipe of the color to match it with.), and set up simple still lifes, or we would go out into the grounds of the center, and he would paint. He did not care about focal points, or rules ,etc...he just wanted to get across the beauty he felt at seeing things...His name is Tom, and I just ran into him the other week at the art store, and he has been in several shows sponsored by the Senior Center, and is selling his work thru a gallery. And he does not know DIDDLY about a focal point!!! So, I just thought I would share that story with you.:cool:
Tres

sundiver
05-22-2006, 09:33 PM
Interesting thread.
The Golden Mean comes from ancient Greece, I think, and is part of a very old study of aesthetics. And something about our brains taking more note of it if it isn't divided equally- disequalibrium or something.
I don't know where Focal Point comes from. Anybody? I like Centre of Interest better, not as specific. I've wondered why there had to be a single focal point , why didn't one want the viewer to look at the rest of the painting, and then why even bother painting it?
I'm wrestling with a painting now, trying to decide where the focal point is, when I want it to be lots of places. Maybe it is too vague, maybe it has too many areas of interest, maybe I should stop worrying about it!

Tressa
05-22-2006, 09:45 PM
Oh, and I forgot to say that Tom's paintings have an almost naive, child like quality to them, showing his view of wonderment of the world...
Tres

Deborah Secor
05-22-2006, 10:18 PM
I think part of this relates to our 'sound bite' mentality. The focal POINT is all... but I always want to have what I refer to as a focal AREA, which is a journey for the eye. It's the path the eye travels as it peruses the painting, not the place it lands and stays. That presupposes a smaller piece, of course, not the 5x10 foot variety that Mikki has shared with us!

One of the hardest things I do is paint on location. I love it, don't get me wrong, but it's really difficult because there is a whole world out there, not just a focal point. I think when the painting is flowing it's because I've found the area I relate to, and I am able to draw my viewer into that area, too. It's never a point, just an area, such as that grove of trees or the shadows on the ground or the light rimming the bushes, and the way it moves you on into and around the rest of the painting.

Lately I've been very bored with my safe little paintings (like the adobe cafe painting, which as a class instruction is doing a good job of what it's intended to do, but is just ho-hum visually to me.) I don't want to break rules just for the sake of breaking them. I want to know and use what as a rule works FOR ME, and take that leap off the cliff to see where I land. I may use that cafe to take a plunge. I'm not particularly interested in paintings that are extremely realistic, although I admire Classical Realism, which has made a strong showing lately. Have you looked at the work of some of them? Unfortunately most don't do landscapes, but look at paintings by Stephen Gjertson (http://www.gandygallery.com/art/Masters/Gjertson/Images/Wilds-Lake-Superior.htm) or Richard Lack (http://www.gandygallery.com/art/Masters/Richard_Lack/Images/North_Shore.htm). Mind you, they tend to work in oil! I suspect the reason oil is so valued is only because you can go as big as you want and it doesn't need glass.

I became acquainted with Classical Realism as a movement through Kirk Richards' book, For Glory and For Beauty. If you haven't become acquainted with their philosophy check out Good Art, Bad Art...Pulling Back the Curtain. (http://www.artrenewal.org/articles/2001/ASOPA/bad_art_good_art1.asp) It's certain to make you howl, one way or another... However, now matter how much you may agree or disagree with their concepts, one cannot argue that the American public has supported this movement with the thing most dear to them--their money!

Deborah

Donna A
05-22-2006, 10:46 PM
So rules are out, anything goes, paint what you want, how you want, and the h___ with everybody else. Is that it in a nutshell, Peggy?

I don't think it's at all cavalier in the way Peggy expressed it. We each find ideas that others throughout history have found useful and also make sense to us----and we find those to be our own "rules" whether we've set them up ourselves independently, or read/seen them and adopted them. We are still making our own personal rules. If we are concerned about what others say, about how others view our work when we have a strong instinct to carry it out in our own way, we need to look at that issue, as well.

Some are doing pathetically poor works and just don't see it. Some are going off on exciting directions and others have not "caught up with it yet" as with Van Gogh and many of the others of his time. Soul-searching can be a handy thing to make use of. Good observation, too! :-)

We do define our own rules, wherever they come from. "Don't put something in the middle." I've had some fun finding ways to overcome the true problems that can create----and making a composition work "in spite of." But we do need to know the source of that "rule." WHY it came into being. There are some really GOOD reasons! So finding other alternatives to that which usually does not work marvelously can give us some great options! I've never been one of those persons who, when told No! must do Yes! That seems just to externally driven. Boring!!! But there are things I want to do sometimes with a subject---and then I realize there is a general rule against it-----and I figure out why it soooo often does NOT work----and find my way around it. Here's an image with something right up the middle.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-May-2006/77048-Co._Rd._Thru_Golden_Fields_.jpg

As far as Commercial Art as opposed to Fine Art----the difference I see is that the CA is dedicated to going TO the subject and serving it. The FA USES the subject, in anyway which ever serves them, as a beginning point, a springboard, information, ideas, a servent---hey---a slave! Anything goes! We are not worshipping the subject. The CA needs to serve the subject. That seems like IT to me. And that does not mean that some gorgeous work is not being done in CA!!! It is! But---their "direction" is different than ours. The needs they are fulfilling are different. Equal but separate.

We need to find our own internal authority. Hear ourselves, sense ourselves. We would still be living in caves if we didn't. Geee----don't know if we'd have ever made it into the caves, now that I think of it! :-) Best wishes! Donna ;-}

PeggyB
05-23-2006, 12:11 AM
Okay, now I am thoroughly confused - but that's nothing new - :)

So rules are out, anything goes, paint what you want, how you want, and the h___ with everybody else. Is that it in a nutshell, Peggy?

Well now Kat that might be an interpretation of Bill's words, but not mine. I do believe I wrote something about there being good, useful rules that I use as I need them. You'd have to read the whole book to fully understand this very complicated subject from Herring's viewpoint.

However, I do paint for myself first. If others like it and buy it or it wins awards so much the better, but first I satisfy myself. I do, however, have the good fortune to be well supported by my husband both in living, and my art. I fully realize if I had to make a living in art I'd most likely be a "starving artist", and need a day job. :lol:

I encourage everyone who is just beginning to study the "rules" as they apply to whatever form of art they enjoy. As you grow in understanding feel free to break the rules occassionally just to see what happens. Paint the beach red and violet, paint the horses and dogs orange and green, paint the apples black and blue - then again if you already do this, try painting those subjects in the colors in which one is accustomed to seeing them painted. Experiment if you are comfortable with it, but don't do it because I told you to or you feel that's what is expected of you - do it because you want to. To me art is about self expression; finding one's own "voice" whether it be "commercial" or "fine". They are both legitimate expressions, just different ways of doing so.

Tres' friend Tom is a good example of someone working with his own voice, and the public accepting it favorably. If I knew what would sell, I could make a fortune as a gallery owner, but the public isn't that easily satisfied or easlily understood when it comes to art. Even the non-artists (our clients) have an inner voice that they listen to when it comes to buying art.

Peggy

Kathryn Wilson
05-23-2006, 08:26 AM
Back to Mikki's original thoughts - who did come up with the rules. We've not heard an answer yet -

Was it the masters - the classical painters who came up with these rules? Maybe we shouldn't call them rules - maybe "guidelines" would be better. What is the make-up of a good painting vs. a poor painting.

Maybe we can drop "focal point" and say "area of interest" - it really is just semantics. Not every blade of grass or tree leaf should be the area of interest - we have to define what we are painting somehow.

Mikki, the painting you posted - for me it was the mountains - maybe for someone else it could be the fields in front of the mountains, but I don't think that was the artist's intention.

dlake
05-23-2006, 10:33 AM
Mikki, I have read that a more muted look was desired. The punch of today I believe is influenced by a higher pigment in the medium but, also by the media. Television and movies have vivid color and this I think has skewed our appreciation for the muted. I personally love to do muted and it always seems to go over like a lead balloon. lol.
I think the stark look is due to the influence from deco and the modernist movements. I love the looks of the painting of the romantics like hudson school or constanoble, ect. The landscapes were not only muted, detailed but so beautifully rendered. You felt you could just go there and be peaceful and happy. The starker landscapes of today lack that certain mood evoked by the old schools. It's sad. I feel myself more influenced by the older schools with the muted look and quiet atmosphere. But, it's not today. I sometimes wonder what will be the vouge in 50 years....

artist_pw
05-23-2006, 11:08 AM
Hi:

I read through this, and didn't see any mention of historical context from art history. It seems like most people overlook that painters of even 100 years ago didn't exactly always have great access to materials that we take for granted now. I think I remember reading that Rembrandt used color generally sparingly because he usually didn't have too much colored pigment available. Hope this sheds a little light.

sundiver
05-23-2006, 11:55 AM
I looked in the composition chapter of my Richard Schmid book(I LOVE that book), and he said Euclid got the proportional thing going. The Impressionists got the bright color thing going. He thinks painters painted what they wanted and the "rules" came after when others analyzed why a particular painting "worked". He implies that the composition rules are more useful for figuring out what's wrong with a painting when we don't like how it's going, then as a starting point.

As for centres of interest,, he says they "make good sense. The mind wanders when there is nothing to focus on" but "there's no right place to put a center of interest other than where it looks best to you." He mentions secondary focal points but they shouldn't compete.
Learn as much as you can but also follow your instincts, is pretty much what he advises. Know what you want to paint and why.
I found that to be sensible and doable.

dlake
05-23-2006, 12:12 PM
Wendy, what is this book??? I'm really interested. And this sounds very good. I have this one book about the impressionists and they show the paints and they look more muted than now. That struck me the min. I saw them. And these were brighter than earlier ones.

Donna A
05-23-2006, 02:00 PM
As far as a Center of Interst, I think they can be useful----but not a bull's eye, as so many use it----boring!!! And most of alllll! I think we need to create a "visual journey" through a painting. It's part of the composition to me. BUT there are always exceptions, alternatives and so on!!!

There are many---not only in painting, but also comedienes and those in other fields, who create in a way just to gain attention by going for shock, horror, discomfort, major controversy---not from some personal creativity, inventiveness, newness, originality, heartfulness----but to "get a rise..." I am sooo not impressed. Ho hum.

I want authenticity as a viewer! I believe that if we are "inner connected" we will sense it.

And as several of you have pointed out so well, there have been changes in styles of painting, changes in materials and how we use them, what standards we have, and so on. Of course things change.

I think there are some "classic truths" that last through the changes----and then "truths" that are of that time/style. But we still need to decide what to choose for ourselves. Learn a LOT! Yes!!! And find your own heart, your own style----your own truths! Yep---it's a bit of work and paying attention! but ever so worth it!!! It's a lovely journey!!! Exciting and invigorating!!! Enjoy!!! Donna ;-}

Kathryn Wilson
05-23-2006, 02:57 PM
LOL - how about "path of interest" - it does seem to ring true. I want someone to enjoy all of my painting, but I also want them not to lose interest and move on to the next painting too quickly. So what do you do to capture their attention and hold it?

Mikki Petersen
05-23-2006, 03:17 PM
OOPS! I missed a whole page of posts when I wrote this response to Kat's question about dropping all the rules:

I don't think that's the message at all Kat. More like, as a "fine artist", paint from the heart; as a "commercial artist", paint from the head.

Again, I'm not putting down rules...just wondering who decided what they were. I'm tired of hearing "rules" thrown at me without a definitive determination of whose rules they are. Especially when I go into a museum and see that much of the most covetted work does not fit these rules. Almost makes me think we should be learning the rules and then learning how to defeat them successfully.

I have found it good practice to attempt defining a focal point. Most times, I achieve a more appealing composition by following the rule of thirds and the borader definition of the Golden Mean. Sometimes three is far better than two in a comp...but not always.

Mikki

Deborah Secor
05-23-2006, 03:23 PM
Who makes the rules? Well, as I see it "as a rule" things either succeed or don't. We all learn from doing what generally works, and from that comes a rule.
Definition: a principle or condition that customarily governs behavior. Accent on customarily!

Another way to look at "the rules" is to simply notice the sides of the page...there are 'rules' down it, in other words, limits to the edges. We have to decide which rules (edges, limits) to apply, whether in governing page width or painting style, composition, color, or what have you.

What we use should come out of our own experience and decisions, but that isn't to say that we aren't influenced by others' experiences. I respect a lot of the rules that John Carlson laid down in his Guide to Landscape Painting, which people have used and respected since he wrote it in 1929. As a rule his rules rule! They make sense, we can see and apply them, so we respect and use them. "All colors become cooler in color and lighter in value as they recede from the eye" makes sense. Why argue? You can do it differently, but you know the rule is applicable. I think of these as benchmarks against which I can measure things as I paint. I'll ask myself if I want that to be so in this instance, but it's a decision made based on knowledge, not ignorance of the rules.

Make sense? I hope so... [Don't mean to get toooooo esoteric here!]
Deborah

Mikki Petersen
05-23-2006, 03:40 PM
Wendy, I love the common sense in what Schmidt says. Moreover, I am a fan of his work, which brings another point...my instructor, Margot Schulzke, L-PSWC, PSA, has often advised me to give careful consideration to who is doing the critiquing and advice giving. Being human, we all have opinions and many who have little knowledge are forcefully opinionated, leading us to give credence to their thoughts. I guess that's why I'm questioning who made these rules...guidelines.

The Pastels USA exhibition from the PSWC hung this year in the building where I take classes. The judge of the exhibition was Gil Dellinger, an artist whose work I respect. I had the fortunate opportunity to view the show with Margot, an artist whose work I GREATLY respect. It was interesting to see the differences of opinion. Margot spoke of Gil's reasoning for his winning selections (she accompanied him through the judging). but she also told us of places where she differed in her choices from him. This was done to show us that the wieght of one opinion is just that, one person's choices. As an instructor, Margot is very knowledgable and helpful but she strongly focuses on and respects what the student is attempting over how she might interpret the subject. Her advice and guidance is aimed at helping the student achieve their goal. She teaches the rules and then warns against using them as an art bible. Like Schmidt, she tends to see the rules as a means for solving problems within a painting. If the horizon is on the center line but the painting works...then leave it there. If the painting is disjointed or seems cut in half, perhaps the horizon line is detracting from the composition.

Maybe I'm just pouting because the masters know how to break these rules successfully and I don't?

Mikki

Mikki Petersen
05-23-2006, 03:43 PM
Well said Deborah! And in a lot fewer words than I could have done it, lol.

Mikki

Kathryn Wilson
05-23-2006, 04:15 PM
I'd like to go back to Donna's painting - you indicate that this might be a rule breaker. Could you take us through your thought process in how you made this work.

But there are things I want to do sometimes with a subject---and then I realize there is a general rule against it-----and I figure out why it soooo often does NOT work----and find my way around it. Here's an image with something right up the middle.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/22-May-2006/77048-Co._Rd._Thru_Golden_Fields_.jpg


I am reading a book on composition and there is a chapter on symmetry/asymmetry that this painting fits, I believe. "A symmetrical composition, around a central axis is very pleasing if, like our faces, it contains minor differences; but perfect symmetry, in which one half of the picture mirrors the other exactly can seem either boring or uncanny." (Author, Sarah Kent)

In your painting, the right field in the back is totally different from the left side - therefore, is this the asymmetry in your painting?

Also in this book is one answer to Mikki's question - as Wendy states also --
"The Ancient Greeks believed that proportion in both art and life led to health and beauty. Euclid demonstrated the ratio that Plato called "The Section" which later came to be known as the Golden Section. It formed the basis of Greek art and architecture . . ." We talk about the Golden Mean, but I believe it is the same - that if a painting works well within this Golden Mean it is pleasing to the eye.

Kathryn Wilson
05-23-2006, 04:37 PM
Deborah, I just now had the time to read the ARC Articles. Interesting thoughts there too, although I might disagree mildly that we've been brainwashed to think the master's artwork has been degraded to a point that we don't respect their work.

There are so-called works of art today that I discount as art, but that is my opinion - but I believe an opinion many people share. The shock value does not lend credence with me.

LOL - how many times have we heard, Deborah, right here on WC, how many people who have had institutional art training have learned far more here than from their professors who are teaching art today.

PeggyB
05-23-2006, 06:29 PM
Who makes the rules? Well, as I see it "as a rule" things either succeed or don't. We all learn from doing what generally works, and from that comes a rule.
Accent on customarily! ....

What we use should come out of our own experience and decisions, but that isn't to say that we aren't influenced by others' experiences. I respect a lot of the rules that John Carlson laid down in his Guide to Landscape Painting, which people have used and respected since he wrote it in 1929. As a rule his rules rule! They make sense, we can see and apply them, so we respect and use them. "All colors become cooler in color and lighter in value as they recede from the eye" makes sense. Why argue? You can do it differently, but you know the rule is applicable. I think of these as benchmarks against which I can measure things as I paint. I'll ask myself if I want that to be so in this instance, but it's a decision made based on knowledge, not ignorance of the rules.

Make sense? I hope so... [Don't mean to get toooooo esoteric here!]
Deborah

Absolutley makes sense to me Deborah - you are so good at putting into words what many others - myself included - have rattling around in our heads. :lol:

... I think there are some "classic truths" that last through the changes----and then "truths" that are of that time/style. But we still need to decide what to choose for ourselves. Learn a LOT! Yes!!! And find your own heart, your own style----your own truths! Yep---it's a bit of work and paying attention! but ever so worth it!!! It's a lovely journey!!! Exciting and invigorating!!! Enjoy!!! Donna ;-}

Same for you Donna -

Thank you to both of you.

Peggy

Donna A
05-23-2006, 06:47 PM
I'd like to go back to Donna's painting - you indicate that this might be a rule breaker. Could you take us through your thought process in how you made this work.

I am reading a book on composition and there is a chapter on symmetry/asymmetry that this painting fits, I believe. "A symmetrical composition, around a central axis is very pleasing if, like our faces, it contains minor differences; but perfect symmetry, in which one half of the picture mirrors the other exactly can seem either boring or uncanny." (Author, Sarah Kent)

In your painting, the right field in the back is totally different from the left side - therefore, is this the asymmetry in your painting?

OK, Kat---let's see what I can do. The road does cut up the near center of the painting. The road's axis is in the dark color, the center line in red. Yes, I think that there is an asymmetrical quality to this, though there are certain things of some bit of balance that are going on, as well. But---yes---asymmetrical!

I've done some drawing in PhotoShop to show the dynamic energies (as I call them.) Hmmmm----just will not upload. Time after time. Hmmmm. Ok--I'll try to describe.

The road does have a line that does verticle up the near-middle of the painting (bit to the right.) The center mass of the trees by the road are the center line of the painting. This is a painting which is 50" wide.

Working counter to the strong verticle are several strong diagonals which create a strong X through the painting, creating strong "currents" that flow from one side of the painting to the other.

Yes, Kat! Very perceptive that there are purposeful variations along the distant horizon---the red field with the trees and farm/home buildings atop sit at the crown of that hill. To the left side of the trees, the fields are lower and flatter, bringing the viewer from the lower right to the upper left, then curving around behind the trees next to the road, back toward the high red field. The base of the fences in the lower right show the line of that diagonal toward the upper left. The edge of the grasses by the road at the lower right give a diagonal that moves thru the water puddle up and left to the heavier line of trees on the left. There is more weight there by virtue of the trees----but the higher red field on the right counterbalances that.

The lower left side of the road moves diagonally up and right toward the darks on the crown of the red hill.

The grasses at the lower right occupy a larger area, giving that area weight, while the cloud patters move from the upper left to the right.

The smaller red fleid, mid-lower left have a strong movement downward toward the road and then flow up the middle of the painting to the mid-distance.

The weight of the larger mass of dark green trees is actually at the center axis of the painting, but does not seem "in the middle" because of the cross currents.

There are several horizontal lines that are almost level, and these play in perpendicular contrast to the verticle center and near-center lines.

The road is particularly wide at the bottom of the painting, "gathering in the viewer" and carrying you back into the upper center of the painting as well as opening you up to the other various currents.

There are minor diagonals, including the small green mowed area in the red field.

Yes---this is asymmetrical, even with a strong center element. The horizontals "anchor" the scene while allowing a good deal of activity of the diagonals. They work together.

Yes---I stood in the near-middle of the road to take the photo. NOT a place to set up an easel. Oh----I should have included this in the article I've just writen for the PSA Pastelogram about working from photos. :-) Such a good reason to not set up an easel THERE! :-)

Yes----I did "engineer" all these different aspects from the photo before I began roughing in my composition! I love doing this!!! Is very exciting!!! I love it. Yum!!!!

I feel it physically and thoroughly enjoy it!!! In all my paintings. They are engineered. Not a lot of Thought---but rather a lot of Sensing!!! Then---I can actually happen to be able to go back and explain it to myself when I want to. The latter makes a great check on the composition. But it's not the original Intuitive Sense. It really, really is physical!

The horizontals really are very level. The verticle nearly slices the painting in half! Wow! Lots of rules against that------if ya don't use some counter measures.

Wonder why that image refuses to upload. Just does a ? in the image box. Hmmmm. Well, hope you can get a bit out of what I mean.

Oh----another couple of sets of minor verticles that work with the horizontals----the fence posts----each is very, very different from the other posts-----and the tree trunks to the center left. Oh---and then the tiny trees up on the crown of the red field. All of those are verticles that accent.

Hope that helps a bit. Take good care!! Donna ;-}

Kathryn Wilson
05-23-2006, 07:12 PM
I think WC was having a glitch - try it again when you have a mo. Thanks for all that - it was just fun to read about asymmetry and then see it in your painting.

Not seeing the photo, did you "engineer" anything in the photo to fit with a better arrangement of your checks and balances? That how I was reading it - checks and balances. You did something on one side of the painting to balance or pull together the two sides of the painting.

Anyone else have a successful painting that breaks the rules - and how you thought it through?

sundiver
05-24-2006, 07:51 AM
Wendy, what is this book??? I'm really interested. And this sounds very good. I have this one book about the impressionists and they show the paints and they look more muted than now. That struck me the min. I saw them. And these were brighter than earlier ones.

It's Alla Prima by Richard Schmid. It's mostly oil painting but I find that it relates to any medium.


I respect a lot of the rules that John Carlson laid down in his Guide to Landscape Painting, which people have used and respected since he wrote it in 1929. As a rule his rules rule! They make sense, we can see and apply them, so we respect and use them.
"All colors become cooler in color and lighter in value as they recede from the eye" makes sense. Why argue? Deborah

Schmid does argue this one. He says sometimes colors become cooler as they recede, but not always. I was glad to read that because I have occasionally made a background color cooler because of the "rule", contrary to what I was seeing in front of me, assuming I was seeing it wrong, and was disappointed with the result.
Great points, though, Deborah. I haven't read the Carlson book but it has been on my list, if I can find a copy that doesn't cost an arm and a leg!

Deborah Secor
05-24-2006, 11:01 AM
"All colors become cooler in color and lighter in value as they recede from the eye" makes sense. Why argue? You can do it differently, but you know the rule is applicable. I think of these as benchmarks against which I can measure things as I paint. I'll ask myself if I want that to be so in this instance, but it's a decision made based on knowledge, not ignorance of the rules. Scmid makes the decision from a position of knowledge, not ignorance! I couldn't agree with him more. Sometimes you break the 'rule', which is a rule because as a rule it's true but not always.

The Carlson book is still in print and the paperback costs about $10.95 here...My students get it from any of the big bookstores. It's a bit of a read, since he wrote in 1929, and has a lot of wanderings before getting to the point, but he's one of the ones who made the rules the rules, so he's worth evaluating. Now, the Scmid book costs some serious money!

Deborah

sundiver
05-24-2006, 03:49 PM
Scmid makes the decision from a position of knowledge, not ignorance! I couldn't agree with him more. Sometimes you break the 'rule', which is a rule because as a rule it's true but not always.
Deborah
Yes! He says to follow your instincts but use good sense, and that works both ways. I kept telling myself that it MUST be cooler-looking even though I couldn't see it, because it usually is in fact, hence the "rule".

You're right, I had Carlson's confused with an out-of-print book I read about along with Carlson's in the landscape forum. Strisik, maybe, or Gruppe. There's an old book I'm trying to find, old in the 70's when I read it from the library, can't remember title or author, and I'm hoping it's Carlson's. Full of "rules" I guess, but it was wonderful.

Alla Prima is now out in paperback, $50 I think it was. Worth every penny.

Kathryn Wilson
05-24-2006, 07:01 PM
I found this Article, buried deep in the Comp and Design forum. It holds some interesting thoughts on rules:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Articles2/135/120/

Transmontanus
05-28-2006, 03:58 AM
I found the Thomas Hill painting I've been talking about. The Crocker site does not allow copying Mikki, there's a "trick" to it probably no software engineering can override: Hit "Print Screen" key, paste into your Paintshop or whatever imaging software you have, crop and save -- here you are (but then, I cannot override the WetCanvas feature of downsizing images ... hey, we are painters, not postage stamp collectors, and many of us want our paintings big!):
http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/28-May-2006/82044-Thomas_Hill_painting.jpg
I was wrong about the size...it was only 6 feet by 10 feet
Still big at "only" 6x10 feet! Couldn't do that without problems in my home!

Fascinating thread, this one about "who makes the rules"! And yes, I know that "you've forgot this and you've forgot that" and "that mountain is not purple."

Great place here to learn!

Georg

Donna A
05-29-2006, 12:20 PM
Quote:
"All colors become cooler in color and lighter in value as they recede from the eye" makes sense. Why argue? You can do it differently, but you know the rule is applicable. I think of these as benchmarks against which I can measure things as I paint. I'll ask myself if I want that to be so in this instance, but it's a decision made based on knowledge, not ignorance of the rules.

Scmid makes the decision from a position of knowledge, not ignorance! I couldn't agree with him more. Sometimes you break the 'rule', which is a rule because as a rule it's true but not always.
Deborah

Right! But not always! I absolutely agree! With the example of the colors cooler and lighter-valued as they recede, I would also add lower in intensity. And rules are rules because they are generally true----but it can only be generally. And something that used to be "rules" were rules of fashion and the times----and quit being a rule once the fashions, the tastes changed. A very extreme example would be the way the ancient Egyptians were to draw the human form. There are far more "subtle" rules which have come and gone----for showing space, before Massacio, etc.

AND then there are times with a landscape when I'll let the middle distance be warmer and perhaps more intense as the center area of interest. It's easy enought to have happen IRL with shadows or such cooling the foreground and bright sun really hitting the mid-ground. I'm a huge believer in observation! And really learning to see color well. And then also understand phenomena----including color of light source(s), ways of using our color to make happen what we want to have happen for our Concept, etc. Oh, it's just allll sooooo juicy and exciting!

Strong base of knowledge, based on observation, study and experimentation/experience----and then ever deeper insight into our own personal creative spirit, our "caligraphy," our way of creating our singular vision.

AND---I'm sooooo thankful to have internet connection again! Whew---harrowing several days getting the new isp working. I missed you all! Best wishes! Donna ;-}

Mikki Petersen
05-30-2006, 12:37 AM
Kat, I've read that article a number of times since joining WC. It is well organized and a comprehensive listing with good examples.

Georg, thank you for the tip on how to pirate images...I knew it could be done.

Deborah, I KNOW the rules work well for you, and for all of us, I was just wondering why so much of what's in the museum does not follow the rules.

Donna, I like your spirit.

I e-mailed Margot about this and she generously allowed it to be a subject for class last week. Basically her answers were:

1. The very basic rules go all the way back to ancient times and are not fads.

2. The rules are not about how or what to paint so much as a good checklist for discovering why a painting is not working when you are stuck.

3. Paintings in museums are not there necessarily because they are "good", but may have been acquired through donation, for historical reasons or otherwise of interest.

4. Finally, she suggested that one's eye gets trained with time and experience to evaluate a painting for why it works and if I go back next year I may see some of the work differently because I will be that much more experienced. Then again, some of the paintings may be poor workmanship.

I enjoyed her answers, especially #2.

Mikki

Cheryl T.
05-30-2006, 10:37 AM
This is a great thread and I just had to comment. One thing that I have wondered is if the reason there are so many "rules" are because many people want a formula for being successful. I was thinking about this the other day when I was out at Amazon.com looking at art books. I don't know how many books had something in the title such as "How to do whatever step by step". That's not to say that many of these things shouldn't be considered during the process of creating. I will often stop to look at value for example, to see if a change can improve it but in my opinion, slavish following of the rules can get in the way of creativity. Okay, that's my 2 cents. :rolleyes:

Kathryn Wilson
05-30-2006, 10:49 AM
[QUOTE=1mpete]Kat, I've read that article a number of times since joining WC. It is well organized and a comprehensive listing with good examples.

Yes, there are so many resources on WC that we tend to miss them. I printed it out - it is a good reference point.

2. The rules are not about how or what to paint so much as a good checklist for discovering why a painting is not working when you are stuck.

I like that rule too.

3. Paintings in museums are not there necessarily because they are "good", but may have been acquired through donation, for historical reasons or otherwise of interest.

Excellent point - I have often wondered myself about certain paintings - but that makes sense.

scall0way
06-01-2006, 10:07 PM
Oh my gosh! What great thoughts here. I HATE FOCAL POINTS! I paint because a scene moved me, not because of this rock or that tree.

How refreshing to hear you say that. :) I remember when I was brand-new to WC some here (and I can't recall who, so she might even be here reading this!) posted some 3-4 of her paintings and asked for C&C. I felt like a real art ignoramus as almost everyone universally liked the one painting I didn't fully care for, and almost everyone universally said the least successful of the three was the one I really liked a lot.

The main complaint was that there was no single focal point, and what did the artist intend for people to look at? But that was part of what I loved about the painting, that there were so many things to look at, and my eyes could not stop moving around the painting looking at all the wonderful things.

When my sister was up visiting me last month we went to MoMA in NY, to see the Munch exhibit and the rest of the collection too. I was amazed at how many of the paintings deemed "great art" violated all the "rules" I keep reading about. But I guess if you are a famous artist you can violate the rules.

If you are just a newbie like me, who has never sold a single painting, you are just "art ignerrent". :lol:

fio44
06-02-2006, 08:34 PM
Good Day All,

I wonder if the word "rules" as it relates to the creative or artistic world is too confining. I don't think of art in terms of rules, but rather, I consider the so called "rulles" more as guidelines.

Rules work well in the realm of sports, in a court of law, in environments that require absolute structure, environments in which, if said structure were to falter, chaos would ensue. As artists I believe we thrive on chaos, as in the energy of one color next to another, as in a line that appears to go nowhere, but when you step back, it appears as a rose.

As others have already said, I don't paint because I'm looking out a window and exclaim, "Wow! What a great 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 composition, I think I'll paint it!" Nay, I look out the window and paint that which speaks to me, that which makes me feel something deep inside, be it the silhouette of a tree against a cobalt sky, the streaks of sunlight across the grass, the song of a cardinal, or the smell of a spring rain. I paint from my senses, and the senses have no rules.

When I am painting, and if I become frustrated with the piece, it's not because I've lost my focal point, or it's not divided into the 1/3, 1/3, 1/3 composition, but rather, my frustrations lie in the fact, that I can feel that I am failing to capture the sensations, the spark, the attraction, the essence of the place, and in this failing, it prevents me from sharing it with you. I want you to stand their with me, to experience what I have experienced, not sit there and say, "he painted this rock as his focal point."

Rules are meant to be broken, and things once broken, may never be repaired. Guidelines on the other hand are meant to bend and be manipulated, caressed to your desired end.

Maybe just a bunch of dribble, but hey, it's my two cents. Have a good one all.

Tressa
06-02-2006, 08:52 PM
WELL SAID!!
Tres

Mikki Petersen
06-02-2006, 09:13 PM
Defintely well said and uncannily like the words I spoke in class this week about my reason for painting and my objective. I just get in knots thinking about all those structural things.

Mikki