Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Bossing the Paint Around

Recently I posted a status on my FB account where I stated, "I'm gonna show that paint whose the boss." One of my friends commented back that he thought it was really the non-dual nature of painter/paint working together to co-create a painting. After much contemplation of his comment, I still stand by my original statement. "I am the boss of the paint." Anything less in my mind would say that the act of creating a painting is more about chance & luck. I do agree that there is an alchemy that takes place between the inspiration of the painter and the application/attitude of the paint, but to say unilaterally that the painter and the medium need to be one in my opinion, gives far too much power to the paint. 

Case in point. I am teaching a class at Kendall College of Art & Design and one of my students remarked that she was frustrated by not being able to "make the paint" do what she wanted it to. The frustration comes from a lack of "knowledge". Knowledge of the paint = time spent moving the paint around, observing what happens with different brushes, how the paint reacts in varying stages of drying (watercolor). I remember, especially when I was a less experienced painter, how often times the the materials would frustrate me as well. But painting is like anything else, in order to florish, it needs attention, it needs to be practiced. My advice to her may sound a little counter intuitive to my point, but in order to gain the "knowledge" of the paint she needed to let go and let the paint do what it wanted to do. Then, through the acts of observation, experimentation, & practice she gains the knowledge to "be the boss of the paint".

1 comment:

Shawn said...

I learn so much from you Margo. You have such a way with words, as well as with the paintbrush! You're a good teacher. This blog posting in particular is very interesting. I find this whole world of creativity and fine art so fascinating. Not just for the obvious, visual stimulation, but for someone like me who is so left-brain dominant, it is mind-boggling to think of the person who can create such beauty.