Tuesday, 8 November 2016


When you were very young your parents greeted your, “Why?", with, “Because.", then as you grew older still and began to explore the “Don’t” word came up. "Don’t do that.”, "Don’t eat with your mouth open.”, "Don’t hit your sister.”, “Don’t play with your pee pee, or you’ll go blind.” (Sadly, this is quite true, as seventy years later my eyesight is dimming.)and so on…. Parents were replaced by teachers, and then your teachers were replaced by employers, all reminding you to not do things that way, but to do things this (their) way. It was the same when I aspired to become an artist. Despite the fact that art is all about exploration, pushing boundaries, teachers are inclined to teach their students to do things their way. I recall when taking a watercolour class that the instructor kept repeating that when painting with watercolour you “don’t” use white - nor black, but that you should make use of the white of the paper, and black, or something similar to black, can be attained by mixing colours. Now, that’s all fine and good if you wish to be a purist, but if you wish to push boundaries, then everything is fair game. No one told Joseph Mallord William Turner, (RA) the English Romanticist landscape painter, perhaps England’s greatest painter, nor the American Realist painter Andrew Wyeth that you don’t use opaque watercolour, or mix media, or that you shouldn't push boundaries. Now, if by adhering to the teachers' wishes you’ll get a passing grade, then okay do as they say. But once free of academic restraints definitely explore. Besides, working as a purists may win you praise by other purists, but it really doesn’t put money in the bank. Some of the watercolour purists that I knew made nice paintings, but they always looked to me to be unfinished, lacking. Andrew Wyeth’s scribblings, rough sketches, have always seemed to me to have more depth and feeling than a purist’s watercolour. Check it out should you doubt what I’m saying, then should you agree - get rid of all of those negatives that you’ve picked up along the way and begin to explore.

Some days when I'm between projects, or simply bored, rather than play video games or Solitaire, as some older persons do, I open my graphic art program, an introductory version of Sketchbook Express, and explore making abstract digital paintings: -

Autumn #1      Digital Painting
Autumn # 2       Digital Painting
Autumn #3    Digital Painting
Sunset Georgian Bay                   Digital  Painting

Great fun! Perhaps, one day, if I still have time, I'll surrender and download the complete version of Sketchbook Express, and really have some fun.

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