I frequently experience artistic paralysis. But it’s not because I don’t know what to do, or I don’t know what I like. I’ll begin to paint spontaneously, leaping into the water and swim, only to get lost about where I’m going and why.This has been confusing me — I love too many things, and they all crowd into my mind at once.
So here’s a list of things I love in a painting:
- Moody, misty landscapes
- Smoky, cloudy, nocturnes
- Atmospheric space like Rothko
- Hubble telescope nebulas
- A single line, border or edge
- Glowing edges on the cusp of darkness
- Dendritic patterns like veins, trees, rivers
- Strong bone-like forms – Motherwell, Franz Kline
- Natural forms from plants, animals and the sea
- Patterns from Pacific NW, Oceania, Pacific Islands
- Jewel-like transparent color
- Subtle warm and cool greys made from multiple pigments
- Ancient earth pigments, ochre, sienna, oxides
- Deep dark ‘iron’ blue, cold cobalt, ice teal, blue-grey-green
- Fresh first marks
- Charcoal and graphite marks
- Marks like cave art
- Printed objects
- Canvas showing through
- Troweled paint
- Thick paint brushed in linear patterns
- Deeply textured surfaces where crevices hold color
- Sheer dripping veils of paint
- Peeling or worn paint
- Juicy garden of brushwork like Joan Mitchell
It’s too much!
All this abundant beauty and potential are swirling around me. It’s like a lifetime of painting that I want to happen all at once. How do I choose a direction to develop?
1 thought on “Loving Too Much”
Sweet Patrise, think of painting like taking a walk. You may want to see the whole world, but you know you’re not going to on a single walk. Let each canvas be a single journey and know that the next canvas will be waiting for a new adventure.
JENNIFER WILLIAMS Accokeek, MD