Monday, November 21, 2011

Reduction and Seduction

This latest painting was an interesting journey into the land of simplification. I started out with a very complex line drawing and had perfectly painted every aspect of every jar and shelf ridge when I stopped and asked myself, "was that really what people should focus on in this painting?" The answer was "no" and the process of reduction and "seduction" began.

By "reduction and seduction" I mean taking away the details, leaving shape and some line. Then making that shape sumptuous using color, light and texture - seducing the viewer's eye. Working in guache makes this process go very quickly because the paint is so dry is sets up immediately and you can't change things too easily. I trained in oils and miss the time I had to push the paint around the canvas but working this way has made me much more decisive.

I can draw a correlation to this act of simplification and decisiveness to creating digital art. When I am teaching I often will tell my students that since I learned design in a pre-digital era I am much more organized and decisive about my ideas. Without a computer, making changes were costly and very time consuming. In the end I believe I am a better designer because I don't fall back on computer tricks - I absolutely know what will work. I feel painting in guache is giving me the same experience. When I return to painting large oils canvases I will know what works for me there as well.

Painting presents a new challenge with every piece but the process is liberating because the knowledge gained, opens the door to technical confidence and we don't have to travel that path again.

No comments:

Post a Comment