Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Happily making progress.

While I haven't written here in some time it's not because I haven't been working at my art! I've been deeply immersed in this voyage of discovery and delighted to be making progress. The only way an artist learns is by doing - "paint a thousand bad paintings to learn how to make good ones." While I feel I have only started to learn to paint the human figure I am happy with how far along I have come.

A big part of making progress as an artist is acquiring mastery of the tools and medium. I experienced a double whammy when I turned to figurative work, abandoning decades of experience painting landscapes - and perhaps more significantly, switching to acrylics from encaustic wax/oil painting. Fortunately working in charcoal and pastel has provided a bridge between the processes. Drawing in various mediums has been the foundation for all my work since my earliest beginnings and it is standing me in good stead in this new direction.

I enjoy experimenting with the limitless possibilities of acrylic. It is very different from what I'm used to, and I am purposefully NOT allowing myself to think of those differences as disadvantages, but rather am learning what I can and cannot do with the amazing stuff. The marriage of the two mediums - acrylics with pastel - has resulted in some satisfying works in the past few months. More exciting is that it has fuelled a tsunami of creative thoughts and possibilities.

That is a happy place for an artist to be.

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