Friday, October 26, 2012

Make Lots of Starts

I've been reading (very slowly) the little book, Hawthorne on Painting

Charles Hawthorne was an artist and founder/instructor at the Cape Cod School of Art in the early 1900's. I highly recommend the book to anyone who has a passion for painting. It's mostly a collection of comments and critiques addressed to his students, so if you can get past the lack of context in some of the paragraphs it's an extremely motivating and encouraging read.

Anyway, early in the book he talks about gaining experience and our continual journey, as artists.

"If you look into the past of the successful painter you will find square miles of canvas behind him. It's the work that counts, experience in seeing color... After you have covered acres of canvas you will know. Be very much a student. Be always searching, never settle to do something you've done before. Always be looking for the unexpected in nature -- you can have no formulas for anything. I don't know a better definition of an artist than one who is eternally curious. A great painter is always a student. 
Do studies... be alive, stop when your interest is lost... wait till later to try to finish things -- make a lot of starts. "
So, yes, I've been making lots of starts.
If it interests you, here are a few visuals of my works in progress.

Some are close to being finished, some must be finished, some might never be finished. It's the experience that comes from the acres of canvas that counts. I've explained to people before, I don't value my paintings based on how long each individual work took to complete, the value is in my journey as an artist -- the acres and years that it took to bring me to this place as an artist.

And so, back to the studio with myself... for more starts and for miles and miles of canvas!

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