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artcreator
01-07-2003, 04:26 AM
as too much experimentation?

I have consistently found myself trying new things since I first picked up a brush.

Some of the things I have tried:

Complete compositions...a very clearly illustrated idea drawn before I paint.

Natural idea flow...start with an idea or mood and run with it.

Monochromatics...this was done primarily during times where I was doing cubist type works and it lends itself well to that.

Glazing...still working on getting the hang of this idea.

Wet in wet technique...sometimes it can be fun...but I tend to get a bit muddy...not exactly a way I want to paint...lol

Different or unconventional media...I have painted on everything from some sort of stone based siding, unprimed paneling(yes, house paneling), paper, and of course canvas.

Color...this is tricky since almost all of us deal in color, my favorite color experimentation actually came during my cubist works when I used different colors to attempt to psychologically impact a viewer on a very primal level.

Perspective...this is another one we all play around with...lol.

Combining of styles...cubism and surrealism together didn't work for me...enough said...lol.

Mathmatical composition...precisely placing the elements to either create harmony or discord...depending upon the feeling of the piece.

Odd color combinations Flashing colors...fun to play with, seems to have it's place in abstract art more than anywhere else due to the unnatural occurrence of such stimulus in real life.

Overall I am an experimentation nut, perhaps this comes from a lack of any preconceived notion of how things are suppose to work together. I find as I progress in trying to really reach my own voice and vision that I am starting to look to the distant past more. Needless to say I have wasted tons of money in materials on experimentation, maybe wasted wasn't the best word there since from each experiment I have found things that work and others that don't. Things that don't work, I question why and maybe try them again from another angle or discard the idea. Things that do I file away mentally to pull out again at a later time when it may actually compliment a piece I am working on.

So, is there such a thing as too much experimentation?

anniehall
01-07-2003, 02:18 PM
Yes, there is such a thing as too much experimentation. For the last several years I have been doing just what you described. Yes we learn, but what do we do with it? I have come to the conclusion that at the bottom of this experimentation is a lack of focus. In trying to find our own voice we are actually looking to others who have successfully found theirs and think maybe their techniques or styles will work for us. I think we need to gather together all we have gained from our experimentation and form what pleases us - something we feel good about. Maybe someday others will gain inspiration from our creations.

Nicolart
01-07-2003, 02:23 PM
Definitely not! I experiment with different things all the time...I think it keeps our creative juices flowing:clap: ,,,and that can't be bad!!!

Blueyog
01-07-2003, 11:09 PM
There's never too much experimentation ! By experimenting, I always find out new techniques and sometimes, great idea for future piece of art.

Experimenting is excellent for lack of inspiration ;)

paintfool
01-08-2003, 03:59 AM
I understand what annie is saying about taking what you have and using it to create something and i think her statement is about confidence in your abilities. That confidence could never be a bad thing. :) But on the other hand i think that each piece is a different map to new experiences and techniques, even if you don't intend for them to be so in a nut shell the entire process is actually experimental. Personally i enjoy experimentation and feel that it helps me to grow.

Cheryl

Shehaub
01-08-2003, 10:01 AM
If it were not for experimentation, I would not be on this board. I came here a long long time ago looking for new ways to experiment with my creative urges and have been hooked for years now.

I do have some bad habits to admit to. I am an art supply junkie. I will get the supplies with the intentions of using them up and they sit and gather dust. I can't get rid of them, because I do promise I will get to them one day. Granted, I dont have any major expenses in art supplies, but I do have several sheets of colored paper that I really wanted to try, but didnt. I have watercolor pencils, watercolors, some watercolor paper, some blank greeting cards, oils, brushes for both oil and watercolor, canvas panels and misc stuff I probably don't even remember I have. I wont list the books I have.

What media do I work in? Digital and graphite. Mostly in graphite.

What are my list of excuses.. hmm..
I dont have room to use this stuff. Things are so hectic right now that I dont have time to really take time to play with this stuff. So and so wants a graphite. My skills are better in graphite, so I will do this with that, so I dont mess it up. This is more portable, or more easily hidden from the kids. I dont know where to begin. I am missing one small element (friskit, or gesso) to actually start playing around good. I have several more that I just haven't thought of.

The other bad habit I have to admit to is:
I am a lurker. I lurk in oils heavily. I dont post. I dont paint, I lurk. I want to paint. I read about painting. I have several marked threads for theory and techniques. I do this in several sections. Figure Drawing, colored pencil.. etc. When I am not lurking there, I am digging out art magazines that I have with articles on the subjects that I lurk.

Now, I am pretty good about experimenting with subject matter and techniques within my comfort zone. I play with contour drawing, gesture drawing, hatching, smearing, erasing out etc. I have done monochromatic digitals, smeared digitals, cloud pictures (render a cloud and stare at it until a picture evolves and then begin working on it), long studies quick sketches and digital doodles. I have done still life, drawing from life, drawing from pictures, drawing from imagination in both digital and graphites. I have done spontaneous drawings/paintings, planned out stuff and have had some miserable failures along with some pretty good successes.

I am about to totally ruin some of my excuses for not really diving into some of these planned experiments. I am setting up a space for myself in the basement to do art. That will keep the kids and dog out of my stuff and also give me a place to get away from the family interuptions to play around. Thats when I will see if these have just been excuses, or true to life problems that I have had to face in my quest to become a good artist.

paintfool
01-08-2003, 01:13 PM
Shehaub! :) I'm so glad to hear that you're going to have your own space! I know that that's not always possible but when i did that my work improved immediately! It was great to suddenly not have to drag everything out and put everything away. It made spontaneous bursts of creative energy a lot easier to deal with and mentally it wonders for my attitude towards my creative time and space. Enjoy your new space and make it 'yours'! :)
Cheryl

Nicolart
01-08-2003, 01:34 PM
Hello Anna,

Boy, do I hear myself when I read your story of excuses...Holy Moly!!! I thought I was the only one... I sometimes call it artists' block... but I'm always finding excuses, laundry, dishes, ect....I go through magazines constantly too trying to get inspired...
The thing is I am inspired,,,a lot, but times I make up excuses... You know what Anna, I think this is all part of being an artist!!! I'm happy to know I am not alone in this!!!
Bye bye sweetie:D

mallory
01-08-2003, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by Nicolart
I go through magazines constantly too trying to get inspired...


I like to paint plein air. When I am out and about I will make a note of plein air sites I want to come back to to paint. This helps when I want to paint, but I can't think of anything I want to paint. The other thing that helps is projects or challenges. I haven't been active in WC but I participate in a couple of other sites and when all else fails, I tackle one of their projects. They help push me to subjects I wouldn't paint on my own.

mallory

lspinella
01-08-2003, 08:23 PM
I am usually all for experimentation and do it alot in my work - so don't take this in a negative way.. because I am definitely anti-establishment and not very gallery minded....

but it is my understanding that when galleries look at porfolios one key item they look at is consistancy, If you show them so may different types of work and styles they will think you haven't established your look yet. They may like something you do and then you'll come back the next year with something they may not have expected and will be disgrntled...

am I off base? what are any of your experiences with that? Just curious because my portfolio could sure expand if we took my mystery projects and included those in what I show potential gallery hopefuls.

Ron van den Boogaard
01-09-2003, 05:52 AM
Originally posted by lspinella
but it is my understanding that when galleries look at porfolios one key item they look at is consistancy, If you show them so may different types of work and styles they will think you haven't established your look yet. They may like something you do and then you'll come back the next year with something they may not have expected and will be disgrntled...

am I off base? what are any of your experiences with that? Just curious because my portfolio could sure expand if we took my mystery projects and included those in what I show potential gallery hopefuls.

Though it is off topic here in this thread, I'll sidestep a little.
There's two things about this:
- If you get a little more detachment from your work and distance yourself a little, you will actually find that there is indeed a common factor in your work that ties everything together. The oblivious viewer tends to see that more easily than we do ourselves.
- You'll also find that there are two or three major "groups of work" in your portfolio, so split them up and make two or three portfolios.

But I am a lucky son.... I sometimes stray into realistic work, which does not fit my abstract body of work AT ALL. But it resembles the work of my younger brother who has been institutionalized for over thirty years. He is a good, yet not very productive artist in his own right. So the realistic pieces I just have signed by him. Fits his portfolio. So I can stray any direction I want and my little brother gets away with it.

hellerious
01-09-2003, 07:29 AM
This information about your brother sounds fascinating (as well as quite complicated!) indeed. What impact it must've had--and continues to have--on you. Would you care to share more about him with us? I'm sure it is very private, but how has it affected your work over the years and your relationships with people? Did it, for instance, make you a terrible husband? A wonderful father? Most of all though, does your brother know what you do with his work? This is all most extraordinary!


Hellerious

Ron van den Boogaard
01-09-2003, 08:22 AM
It has had it's effects in the past, but not as much as you would think. He was put in a home at the age of five, so that is actually 42 years ago. In the beginning I missed him terribly, but was also quite jealous, because he was staying "with my uncle in Canada". He was never talked about, so as a kid you simply forget. It wasn't untill my late teens when by accident (is there such thing?) I discovered him. A friend of mine had gone into a psychiartric hospital after a drug overdose. When I went to visit him he told me about this terrific guy who had the same surname. To cut a long story real short; it was my brother. My poarents stayed in denial, didn't want to talk about it
Then of course came the guilt. I visited him often, tried to help him out -both literally and figurativly speaking-.
Against all doctors and nurses advice me and my then girlfriend took him in in '84. After spending two months in policestations, emergency rooms, crisis centres and after having alienated almost every single friend we had and after having lost most of our furniture he was begging us (!) to go back to the hospital. We gladly did so and I suddenly understood my parents.

It did not make me a better father, but when my kid grew up, you tend to constantly look for signs that he is not like my kid brother. But once it was clear that this wasn't the case, things go to normal. The relationship at the time was also hugely affected, but in the end that bond got stronger. Otherwise it does not have any effects. He's happy where he is, I sell some of his stuff, he signs my oddities, he has done some illustration assignments in the past, when I'm blocked, his insane creativity and intelligence (IQ of over 200, that is basically the core of the issue) gets me going again. We mutually benefit, we have fun once or twice a year. So greaat, what can I say?

Shehaub
01-19-2003, 10:11 AM
That is an amazing story Ron. I am so touched by this.

hellerious
01-19-2003, 06:44 PM
Ron, I too am touched that you have chosen to share the profound private intricacies of your family history with us here, yet am also disturbed by much of what you say. Firstly, how are we to know here when we are shown works that are presumably your own, if they are indeed yours or were instead painted by your brother, and if so, does that, should that make a difference? As an artist, I was quite carried away by the color and fabric, the twists and turns of your brother's story, but as a criminal psychiatrist (no longer in practice), several questions have plagued me: is your brother real or a figment of your imagination? Is Ron real or merely a figment of Diederick's imagination? Is your brother your victim? Are you his? Has a professional scrutinized the artistic symbiosis you both appear to exhibit? And perhaps even more to the point, is absinthe indeed legal again in the Netherlands? And if so man, have you yourself indulged? I mean no disrespect. At times such as these, my medical background rears its head, but then I'm sure you know what a classic "raseikel" a doctor can be!


Hellerious

Ron van den Boogaard
01-20-2003, 04:43 AM
Shehaub, it does sound like quite a story, but here a history of many years got condensed in a few lines, it sounds a little more (melo)dramatic than it in real life appears to be.

Hellerious, sounds like your creativity ran away a little with your former profesional state of mind (LOL). Could be a good story to write with the suggestions you make here. Ever tried that?
Then again, "Fight Club" has already been made, which roughly deals with the same premiss.
On two counts you're right: though my own work I'll show will always be my own, my brothers work will be anybodies gues whose it is. That will always be the secret between my brother and me.
And absinthe is indeed legal again, but i never had some (yet).

The term "raeikel" (which I won't translate to avoid run-ins with any moderators;) ) seems to indicate that you picked up some of the language while being here in Holland. Seem to remember that from previous posts.

hellerious
01-20-2003, 07:55 AM
Ron,
Again I must repeat to you that with my questions and comments, I meant no disrespect. No offense was meant and I hope none was taken. In my years as a criminal psychiatrist, I have seen the old adage "life is stranger than fiction" proved true, time and time again. What goes on in many families, while neither criminal nor insane, would be shocking to many people, indeed. I neither judged you nor accused you. I have great empathy for both you and your brother and can only be immensely grateful that you have both turned to art to express yourselves. You are quite right Ron, I have used Dutch before in these forums, albeit in usually pitiful translation. Several years ago, I spent some time in Holland when I was called upon to work on the then famous attempted murder case of the man in Amsterdam whose American wife had tricked him with multiple email personalities and driven him a bit mad. Can you remember it? She was terribly ill, quite mad with jealousy and paranoia. At the time it was often in the press there, but I cannot recall what Dutch name the whole affair was given. At any rate, I do digress terribly here since this is an ARTS forum (!) so I will just say that a poison leek, a rancid cup of coffee from Badhoevedorp and a Christmas duck were all in question at the time. In the end, the poor man was let off and the wife sought psychiatric help, then ran off to Spain to become a flamenco dancer, of all things! He became a magnificent painter. All is well that ends well. Carpe diem!


Hellerious

Ron van den Boogaard
01-20-2003, 10:13 AM
I remember the multi personality email case, but many details and the name elude me right now. Now that was a story and makes to my brothers story quite tame.
From what I remember, and with an aspect of spirituality in this it is not beyond the realm of this forum, let me do a quick 'n' dirty run-down to the best of my recollection.
Woman and man are married, marriage goes down the tube, guy is heavily into all sorts of spiritual things. In order to salvage the marriage the chick makes up different email-personalities of people who are very spitiual or gifted with paranormal things like seeing in the future, reading thought, the lot. With her money she makes thing happen, thus actually making predictions come thru. In this way she gains complete control over him. He then finds out, because he slightly more computer savvy than her, it's her. Turns out she had access to his email inbox and therefor could be one step ahead of him. After the discovery he confronts her, she denies, and still keeps coming with her email personalities. He then decides to murder her by putting together an x-amount of foods that had to be eaten in a certain time frame, some of them containing small dosis of poison, which in itself were innocent, but the combination was to create a poison that would indetectable and would make it look like a natural death. Somewhere it slips up, I think she drank too little coffee and she becomes vigirously ill, poison is detected and from thereon it was a courtcase.
Think they both got acquitted, on an insanity plea and mittigating circumstances respectively.
Many details i cannot recollect. But you, having worked on the case, can most certainly fill us in on the details. I must have seen you on the news and in the newspaper, but don't remember.
Didn't know she went on to become a flamenco dancer, knew about him. And before i think he was in computer-generated molecular chemistry or something. Just goes to show you, doesn't matter what background you're coming from, you can always become an artist.

hellerious
01-20-2003, 11:01 AM
Thanks for refreshing my memory, Ron. I took the opportunity between the time of my posting and reading yours to look the case up in my back files. Apparently, in the (rather colorful) Amsterdam press at the time, this affair was dubbed: "The Case of the Leek, the Looker & the Lunatic" (in Dutch, of course), but I cannot recall now which one of the two in this married couple was the "looker" and which was referred to as the lunatic. Looking back at it all now, it was clear that it all received extra noteriety because she was the daughter of a famous American porno writer and he was the unacknowledged great great grandson of a very very famous dutch painter. On at least one detail however, you are mistaken. I went to Holland and had a great many long talks with the wife while she was hospitalized and the husband was imprisoned. Indeed, I spent many long hours with them both. `i was hired to perform that very task. After the husband confronted her with the recklessness of her shenanigans, she stopped them immediately and descended into a state of incomparable shame, regret, self-loathing and despair. You see, she had never ever stopped loving her husband, she had just allowed the tremendous power of that love to lead her down some very vicious and destructive pathways. Such is mental illness. In any case, looking back at my notes, I was able to refresh my memory. If there is such a thing as an ending to a story such as this, then this one has a happy one. As stated previously, she became a flamenco dancer---and an artist, something she had NO previous experience with whatsoever--- and he a world renowned, much sought-after painter. She got the mental help she needed. He in time healed. One morning after a year or two had gone by, he woke up one morning and realized he had to see her again, if only just to talk to her about what had happened and why. He rented a car and drove to Spain and found her. She had grown up and was no longer spiteful, jealous, afraid of life. She was now grounded, spiritual, independent. In his eyes, she had also become dazzingly beautiful! They showed each other their artwork and each one was silently impressed, astonished. That night, he went to watch her perform in the club where she did her flamenco and he never left! Some time later, they both moved together to the lazy, magnificent coast of Portugal, to the white sands of Estoril, where he paints, she does collages and they both sell lobsters and spider-crabs from a small shack by the sea. Let no one ever doubt the mysterious or magical powers of ART!!!

Ron van den Boogaard
01-20-2003, 11:16 AM
thanks, for the last bit of details, the end is a kinda sweet, but also sound a bit like Stockholm syndrome for both parties

hellerious
01-20-2003, 11:45 AM
That was my first reaction too, Ron.
But then I gave the matter some thought and realized that Stockholm Syndrome has to do with brainwashing, with unhealthy dependency and the relinquishing of free will. These two people live completely in the present now. They have learned a lot from past mishaps and in the place of their pathology that was unhealthy and neurotic and cyclical, healthy new feelings and a respect for each other--born out of self-respect--has now sprouted. They both broke apart and each turned in his and her own way to art. They each made and found a new life. And at some point, in some way, art was the language that also helped them learn how to begin to communicate with each other again, not as a continuation of what was, but as a brand new channel of communication in a brand new dialogue. This is not Stockholm Syndrome. This is free will, human growth, the power of healing, art and yes, love. If you can review your relationship with Diederick over the years, I'm sure there must be elements of all this inherent in it. All at once it is very complicated and extremely simple. The job of caring for and about Diederick all these years cannot have been an easy one.

Ron, I will be over in Holland for an art therapy symposium in about two weeks. We might perhaps meet to discuss Diederick, if you are so inclined. I would also very much like to see your work, which aesthetically and psychologically is incredibly moving. to me I do not drink beer (the Dutch national drink), but would be happy to join you for a ginger ale. You could, of course, have a beer.


Hellerious

hellerious
01-24-2003, 11:56 AM
Ron,
I would only add one post-script with regard to the care and nurturing of your brother Diederick and his very special needs. In many countries including your own, there has been a tremendous resurgence in the past two decades of ECT (electroconvulsive therapy). Indeed, it has been phenomenally humanized and the results have been maximized, while any traumas during or afterwards have been greatly, greatly minimized. Patients are now sedated and feel and remember almost nothing of these treatments. As far as creativity is concerned, ECT has been known to free up creative inhibitions rather than stifle them. It has also been known to jump-start severely depressed patients and save them years and years of talk therapy. If you have not already, I recommend that you at least speak to Diederick's doctors and explore this possibility.


Hellerious

Ron van den Boogaard
01-26-2003, 06:25 AM
Thanks for your recommendations. By the looks of it ECT is banned in this country.
Besides, he's been insitutionalized well over forty years now, he is fairly well under control on medication and there is just no possible way he is ever gonna be resocialized. He knows the people around him, some of them are in there for almost equally long stretches.
But i will look into it some more.

hellerious
01-26-2003, 08:32 AM
...with your brother, Ron. I was only trying to help, but of course, yield in this very delicate case to your many years of a strong and caring relationship with Diederick. I am afraid in hearing about him, I fell into the trap that many (in my own case, former) health care people do: trying to fix that which is indeed quite different but not inherently broken. Apparently, you, Diederick's doctors and Diederick have things worked out for many years now, for better or worse, in a way that suits you all (with the help of medications. I am most curious to know which ones). Also, you did not ask for help. Why tamper with such a delicately constructed house of cards? In any case, I wish you both much luck. FYI however, ECT is no longer banned in your country. In the coming years, if Diederick's case should in any way worsen and you find yourself and/or Diederick's current medical staff inequipped to deal effectively with his condition, do by all means at least consult with Dr. Oliver Romero, at the Institute for Health Sciences, Erasmus University, Rotterdam: [email protected]


Hellerious

Ron van den Boogaard
01-26-2003, 09:07 AM
Thanks for all the advice.

Now back to the origins of this thread, can one ever experiment enough? I don't think so, so I am now gonna see what a (heated) wire-brush can do with oil-pastels. Should be interesting.

hellerious
01-26-2003, 11:04 AM
To be precise, I believe the question was something along the lines of whether there could ever be such a thing as "too much" experimentation? Now, how on earth could there be? What could possible be the definition of that? That would be akin to asking if an artist could ever make too much progress or saying the evolution of an artist's work is too "radical". To my mind, the only thing there can possibly be too much of is repetition, standing still, stagnation. Otherwise, isn't everything else progress?


Hellerious

cathrs
01-07-2007, 04:12 AM
I don't think there can be too much experimentation - on one condition. If they are making work to sell, I feel artists have an obligaiotn to the buyer to be as sure as they can be that the work will last, in it's current state, for an acceptable length of time. Unless the work is being sold with the knowledge that it won't last, eg contains fresh plant matter for instance.
Cath

BluesDaddy
01-07-2007, 06:05 AM
I agree, if it's to be made for someone else, it should be made to last. If not, all bets are off, experiment, change, do what you feel. After all look at "Tha Last Supper" it would be in much better shape if Leonardo hadn't been playing with new paint formulas.

Rick

Brandt Sponseller
01-07-2007, 06:16 AM
As is often the case, I didn't answer the poll because none of the options match my answer, which is just "No". I think that one should experiment as much or as little as one likes. I wouldn't say that everyone should keep experimenting.

stlukesguild
01-07-2007, 12:02 PM
Can there be too much experimentation? That would seem to depend upon the context. As BluesDaddy noted, had Leonardo not been screwing around with developing new paint formulas while working on the Last Supper the painting might have survived in far better shape. Indeed... one might argue that Leonardo might have been far more prolific as an artist and produced many more Last Suppers, La Giocondas, and Virgins of the Rocks had he not so divided his energies into endless experiements in aquatic motion, military engineering, the antomy and physiology of birds, the question of mechanized flight, etc... On the other hand... his experiements in human anatomy and physiology as well as in the development of the gesture/sketching had profound impact upon the visual arts. I think as a student it is a neccessity for the artist to be continually experimenting on a grand scale in order to discover the direction that truly appeals... obsesses. For the mature artist there is certainly an argument to made against the continual search for novelty for the sake of novelty. It is impossible to master every artistic possibility the first time out (Picasso excepted:lol:) and so most artists eventually develop a range to work in within which they are comfortable. Yet within this range (which some might call a style) which may appear in some instances to be incredibly narrow to others (Mark Rothko, Sean Scully, etc...) the artist finds continual possibilities... and continues to "experiement". I've repeatedly read posts which suggest that an artist who has developed what appears to us to be a signature style has somehow gotten stuck or is merely feeding market expectation of continuity. I would suggest that "experiementation" in art need not mean that I paint grand scaled gestural abstractions one day, enamel portrait miniatures the next, photo-realism on Wednesday and become a conceptual installation artist on Thursday. For an artist like Morandi...:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2007/39499-431_1997S.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2007/39499-a0005178.jpg

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2007/39499-GMA_906.jpg

... the possibilities offered working within a narrow range of colors, and drawing from a small array of objects or motiffs was endlessly fascinating... probably quite challenging... and in the end resulted in a great body of work. The same might be said of Monet's explorations of a single Motiff such as Rouen Cathedral:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2007/39499-MonetRouen1small.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2007/39499-MonetRouen2small.JPG

... As a great music lover I cannot help but also think of such musical explorations of a limitted manner... a single motiff explored through endless variations such as in J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations or The Art of the Fugue. Rather than seeing a shallow range as stifling... an artistic trap that suffocates creativity, I imagine that many artists recognize something akin to William Blake's famous words:

To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.

FriendCarol
01-07-2007, 02:49 PM
In a very limited sense, I experiment too much. That is, I do not yet take the actual paintings on which I'm working 'seriously.' Everything still feels like practice. So, often I have a working composition, but mess it up because I suddenly decide to try a technique I've just remembered... Instead of doing it on scrap paper, I completely forget I'm supposed to be painting a work of art, and put it right there. Or I'll see if I can remember what something looks like well enough to paint it, again right on my current painting. :rolleyes:

One advantage of working in series is that usually one gets finished without having been messed up in this way. :D I don't think there can be too much experimenting, but I think I should separate the time for experimenting, and take more 'seriously' a normal painting process, meant to produce a result. Or, another way of saying it is I just need to learn to be results-oriented instead of process-oriented as an artist, at least some of the time. Since I was very results-oriented as a writer/consultant/teacher, I'm sure it's just because I still don't take myself seriously as a visual artist. Perhaps I'll grow out of it.

I must say, the exchanges within this thread were fascinating, to say the least. For one thing, it seems very odd to me that a doctor could speak of a previous case (a publicly recognizable case, at that) in an open forum such as this. :confused:

stlukesguild
01-07-2007, 04:44 PM
Carol;

It's interesting to hear you speak of focusing on results as opposed to the experience or the process. We've had that discussion before. I know that there are those who somehow imagine that to focus upon the results is to reduce art to a product... but then one might just as easily stereotype the reverse as reducing art to therapy. Personally, I think there's room for both... and this probably becomes even more true the more experienced you become. I'm not afraid of trying something new partway through a piece at this point because I'm comfortable enough with the knowledge that I can always regain what I had if I don't like the way it turned out. One of the greatest experiences for me (intellectually) in grasping this was seeing Rembrandt's famous print, Ecce Homo. In the first state of the print Rembrandt had created a gathering of figures with such strength and personality that most artists would be proud to have created once during their career:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2007/39499-EcceHomosmall.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2007/39499-EcceHomoDetail.JPG

Rembrandt, however, felt that these figures needed to be removed for the sake of the composition and to focus upon the drama.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2007/39499-EcceHomov2small.JPG

Obviously he realized that if he drew them once he could do it again. This "bravery" or willingness to lose something great in order to strengthen the work as a whole absolutely blew me away when I first saw it. My own approach, over time, became somewhat similar. I tend to overwork... to put too much into a work and then I am a fierce editor tearing away the flab until only what is neccessary remains. Perhaps I should have used another motto by William Blake: "You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough".

sendboij
01-08-2007, 04:45 AM
i think that experimentation is what makes an artist go far in his career...
in order to have your own style you have to absorb the knowledge
you cant create anything in this world.. you only organize the elements in front of you... this is why you are special.. because you can have an interpretation of reality and dream.. no one has ever created anything..

musket
01-08-2007, 10:54 AM
Oh man Rembrandt was something. Whew.

Keith Russell
01-08-2007, 11:54 AM
I haven't read the entire thread, but have we defined 'experimentation'? Have we defined 'too much' experimentation?

To me, experimentation might be working out a complex composition, or trying a new technique within a well-thought-out piece--

--but those aren't what I'd call 'too much' experimentation.

'Too much' is when you never complete any actual work, when you're so into doing nothing but absolutely new things, that you never apply what you're learned from the experimentation, because 'applied' knowledge isn't 'experimental'...

I've seen that happen, and it ain't pretty.

Keith.

aderfla
01-11-2007, 09:59 AM
I just saw these prints at the Rembrandt's show in Dayton Ohio Stlukesguild. I seriously think they should have provided drool cups at the beginning of the exhibit, because I was drooling badly.
Anyway, as usual great post along with Keith's point.

stlukesguild
01-13-2007, 11:58 PM
'Too much' is when you never complete any actual work, when you're so into doing nothing but absolutely new things, that you never apply what you're learned from the experimentation, because 'applied' knowledge isn't 'experimental'...

I've seen that happen, and it ain't pretty.

Yes indeed:eek: :p

Shehaub
01-15-2007, 09:55 AM
'Too much' is when you never complete any actual work, when you're so into doing nothing but absolutely new things, that you never apply what you're learned from the experimentation, because 'applied' knowledge isn't 'experimental'...

I've seen that happen, and it ain't pretty.



Guilty!!

Laura D
01-18-2007, 02:16 AM
I think if all you are doing is experimenting your focus is very temporary.

If you are experimenting on the results of your experiment, coooooool!

If you feel your technical abilities need honing and stop to play with color, tonal values, textures, rythyms, perspective, etc, fine. As long as you are retaining something of value to you it is okay.

If experimenting gets in the way of you actually expressing something you want or need to then it's too much.

Jolanta
01-20-2007, 02:02 AM
I am experimenting only with things I am interested in and useful for my art.
I think those experiments keep me excited and help me learn new ways of expressing myself in my art. It is all about communication. Because of this my art doesn't look consistent, but it is OK. to me and this is what counts.
This approach can be pretty helpful when I have to pick and choose pieces for my exhibitions. I always can find something to fit the show:D To me the most important thing is how much I can learn from my experiments. So I will continue to do it.
Jolanta

zarroc
01-26-2007, 08:56 PM
I experiment too much, I'm always sketching things but I don't produce a lot of finished work. I should feel more secure with my ideas, because finished work is what's really worth looking at. It's good to focus on a single idea for a long time and develop it to it's full potential without getting distracted, and then move on to the next idea. This is what stanley kubrick did. Kubrick was an experimental artist, he made movies in a lot of different genres instead of sticking to the first one he was good at, and he always tried daring new things. But, whenever he was working on a movie, he would become obsessed with it until it was finished, and he would carefully study the conventions of the genre before trying to make his own story. He wasn't trying to overthrow the establishment, he did things that where unusual because he thought they made good work. I think that a lot of artists become obsessed with doing something new and what they call relevant, and they don't take seriously anything that has been done in the past. This is how we ended up with all this terrible 70's concrete architecture.

roseanbob
02-07-2007, 09:45 PM
Don't know where to ask this question. I am new at painting but really like it. How do you know if a painting is really good. Have never taken any lessons but have read alot and can usually copy something I see pretty well and paint it. I paint some with oils and some with acrylics. Help would be appreciated. I could use some pointers.

stlukesguild
02-07-2007, 11:14 PM
roseanbob;

You would probably be better off posting this question as a new posting. Still... I will offer some thoughts. "How do you know if a painting is really good?" I would say that the first audience you must please is yourself. Paint what you like and how you like. You mention that you have the ability to copy something you see fairly well. This may be one aspect of a good painting... or not. Painting need not be "realistic" or "illusionistic". The best way that I can imagine you might develop your understanding of what constitutes a good painting is through experience: Make a lot of paintings and then ask yourself which ones you like better and then think about why. Look at a lot of art by others in magazines, on the internet, in books... and most preferably, in person (in galleries and museums). Ask yourself the same questions- Which one's do I like and why? Pay close attention to instances in which two similar paintings (perhaps even by the same artist) do not strike you equally. Ask yourself what it is that the one has that is missing in the other?

Vegas Art Guy
02-13-2007, 07:42 PM
Carol;

It's interesting to hear you speak of focusing on results as opposed to the experience or the process. We've had that discussion before. I know that there are those who somehow imagine that to focus upon the results is to reduce art to a product... but then one might just as easily stereotype the reverse as reducing art to therapy. Personally, I think there's room for both... and this probably becomes even more true the more experienced you become. I'm not afraid of trying something new partway through a piece at this point because I'm comfortable enough with the knowledge that I can always regain what I had if I don't like the way it turned out. One of the greatest experiences for me (intellectually) in grasping this was seeing Rembrandt's famous print, Ecce Homo. In the first state of the print Rembrandt had created a gathering of figures with such strength and personality that most artists would be proud to have created once during their career:

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2007/39499-EcceHomosmall.JPG

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2007/39499-EcceHomoDetail.JPG

Rembrandt, however, felt that these figures needed to be removed for the sake of the composition and to focus upon the drama.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/07-Jan-2007/39499-EcceHomov2small.JPG

Obviously he realized that if he drew them once he could do it again. This "bravery" or willingness to lose something great in order to strengthen the work as a whole absolutely blew me away when I first saw it. My own approach, over time, became somewhat similar. I tend to overwork... to put too much into a work and then I am a fierce editor tearing away the flab until only what is neccessary remains. Perhaps I should have used another motto by William Blake: "You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough".


Funny the same quote by Blake applies to writing. I'm currently taking advanced comp, and right now we have been working on lowering the lard factor from writing to make it as crisp as possible. Should be interesting for me since I'm very wordy when I write...

H2O
03-03-2007, 03:47 AM
It all depends on what you call "too much" or what you call "experimenting".
Trying to make you drawing look good is not what I call "experimenting". And as for "too much"; if you're switching brushes, paper or pencils every month during a period of two years, then you're experimenting too much in my opinion.

meart
03-21-2007, 06:41 PM
Ron, I too am touched that you have chosen to share the profound private intricacies of your family history with us here, yet am also disturbed by much of what you say. Firstly, how are we to know here when we are shown works that are presumably your own, if they are indeed yours or were instead painted by your brother, and if so, does that, should that make a difference? As an artist, I was quite carried away by the color and fabric, the twists and turns of your brother's story, but as a criminal psychiatrist (no longer in practice), several questions have plagued me: is your brother real or a figment of your imagination? Is Ron real or merely a figment of Diederick's imagination? Is your brother your victim? Are you his? Has a professional scrutinized the artistic symbiosis you both appear to exhibit? And perhaps even more to the point, is absinthe indeed legal again in the Netherlands? And if so man, have you yourself indulged? I mean no disrespect. At times such as these, my medical background rears its head, but then I'm sure you know what a classic "raseikel" a doctor can be!


Hellerious

is hellerious real or just a figment how do we know if you are a doctor?;) :D

redtreestudio
03-23-2007, 09:46 AM
Yes, when it interfers with personal progress...

musket
03-23-2007, 10:27 AM
'Too much' is when you never complete any actual work, when you're so into doing nothing but absolutely new things, that you never apply what you're learned from the experimentation, because 'applied' knowledge isn't 'experimental'...

The key word here is "never." Leonardo left a great many works unfinished, and so did Robert Louis Stevenson. What matters is the quality of the work that does get finished, no matter how much detritus and experimental debris may litter a studio at the time an artist passes on.

Silent Jaguar
03-29-2007, 09:57 PM
I dunno, I'm still experimenting. ;)

Susan_G_Shaw
03-29-2007, 11:34 PM
Experimenting is a good way of avoiding those troublesome paintings that aren't working - try a new technique instead! Put that stupid painting on the shelf, and learn how to make silk sculpture, or learn how to make image transfers, or sculpt with polymer clay or ...

I find I never got really good at any one technique, because I get bored and have to try something new. Now I find I need to go back and learn to paint all over again, because I have been spending so much time playing with other things that I don't remember how to do it any more.

But at least experimenting is energizing and challenging.

FriendCarol
03-30-2007, 04:42 AM
And as for "too much"; if you're switching brushes, paper or pencils every month during a period of two years, then you're experimenting too much in my opinion.??? :lol: The only pencils I use are w/c pencils; mostly I only use them to scribble color studies when I'm deciding on a composition, but sometimes I draw a preliminary sketch, or just a few lines, on my w/c paper before painting. I typically use either Lanaquerelle 300HP or Saunders-Waterford 200CP paper (depending what style I plan to use for a painting), but sometimes I use other bits I still have hanging around. I also intend to buy a lot of Zerkall Aquarag next week, mostly for figure drawing at life sessions. On my painting table (that is, not including several brushes in my plein air kit, or at another painting station) I have over well half a dozen great sable brushes, ranging from round #20 to 1" flat to long, thin-pointed round #6, also some synthetics. My biggest brush is a size 40, and the smallest is a tiny ox hair rigger; also I have a fan and angle shader among the synthetics.

In a single painting, let alone in the course of one month, I might use this whole set of brushes! The other day, to make a single mark, I used 3 brushes: One 1/2" flat waterbrush to lay the color, which was a not-very-mixed black, in discontinous small flat lines; one long, thin pointed round to draw the color as a continuous thin line over the very rough (w/c block Arches Rough) paper; and a third to lose one edge of that line.

Switching among the tools one has available, or even adding more tools, is not what we mean by "experimenting." It's merely choosing the right tool for the job!

FriendCarol
03-30-2007, 04:47 AM
Experimenting is a good way of avoiding those troublesome paintings that aren't working - try a new technique instead! Put that stupid painting on the shelf, and learn how to make silk sculpture, or learn how to make image transfers, or sculpt with polymer clay or ...Sometimes if a painting isn't working (particularly a w/c painting, where the potential for redoing the whole thing may be small), that's the best time to try a new approach that can save the whole thing. Iow, experiment! Pour a transparent color over the too-separated marks; glaze the too-many flowers into one block; try a bit of acrylic or gouache where the lights were unintentionally lost! ;)

Brandt Sponseller
04-13-2007, 08:14 AM
I have come to the conclusion that at the bottom of this experimentation is a lack of focus. In trying to find our own voice we are actually looking to others who have successfully found theirs and think maybe their techniques or styles will work for us. Not all experimentation involves emulation (and in fact, I don't really agree with calling emulation artistic experimentation at all). Experimentation can come from having unusual ideas and not wanting to restrain yourself from following them just because others expect or want you to just follow a particular style or approach.

Brandt Sponseller
04-13-2007, 08:16 AM
By the way, I suspect the poll is going to be biased by the forum it's taking place in.

It would be interesting to run this same poll in a number of other forums, like the Cafe, the portrait forum, the oil forum, the abstract/contemporary forum, etc.

Brandt Sponseller
04-13-2007, 08:24 AM
Funny the same quote by Blake applies to writing. I'm currently taking advanced comp, and right now we have been working on lowering the lard factor from writing to make it as crisp as possible. Should be interesting for me since I'm very wordy when I write... I'd be careful of buying into that too strongly though. It's worth playing with the economy/elegance cult for awhile because you'll gain new skills and perspectives from it, but it's important to not just join the cult wholesale--it is a cult, after all. Excessive ornamentation, gaudiness, etc. are no less inherently valuable and might fit you better. Learn how to do both, and everything in-between, then make your mind up for yourself according to your disposition.

JShap
04-13-2007, 09:22 AM
Experimentation is what art is about for me. If I didn't experiment with new techniques, i'd no longer paint!