What is the battle fought by every artist. I would hazard a stab at the old enemy procrastination. I would also include cluttered thoughts to the list. The muse visits when the mind is uncluttered and clutter stems from a cluttered life. Or in this case a cluttered studio. There is no doubt that clearing out physical clutter frees the mind as well. Try it for yourself and do not put it off. It is a liberating experience.
My studio got to the point where I would bump into things on the floor, books piled up haphazardly and old, abandoned paintings stacked up against the wall. All of this irritated me and that interfered with my focus on the easel. Once the penny dropped it was clear that something drastic had to be done. Clear out everything not useful. No not perhaps useful one day. Everything that I would not use this week, if I needed to, had to get binned! Typical examples: paintbrushes that have been worn down; dirty, unused jars, cans, paint tubes untouched for months, painting panels waiting "to be finished", magazines (where do they all come from!) papers, receipts and so on. Do not even think of dissecting art magazines for useful pics for a scrapbook. It is a delusion! Chuck it out.
What about half finished paintings abandoned with the hope of a miraculous revelation leading to completion. Burn them! There is a reason for them not being completed - you were on the wrong path and your muse has shown you a better way. IT HURTS BUT YOU WILL PAINT BETTER PAINTINGS!
The result of this process (for it is a process not just a once off event) was an immediate lightening of my mood and two great paintings were completed shortly thereafter.
Digital is great - no doubt about that. This website, my extensive photo references and business run on digital. However it still is like comparing a plastic dashboard to one of walnut veneer or vinyl to leather. We cannot do without the synthetic stuff but we also need the real thing. That is what makes a painting so special. It is handmade, tangible, textured and old school. Prints and photos do not have the esoteric quality of a painting. There is no comparison to the considered, technical and spiritual demands required for a painting to succeed. Sometimes a painting feels like it is born out of state of consciousness that cannot be replicated. No matter how I try to paint another similar painting it is impossible. That is what attracts me back to the easel. The struggle, the joy the rebirth of something unique. Once complete the painting must be passed on unselfishly to a new owner and I start another. It is a journey and cannot be ignored. What is the value of a painting when there are basic needs not being met in this world? You can decide for yourself. Perhaps in this world of instant gratification the ancient arts and creative spirit is all that humans can fall back on to make sense of it all.
Welcome to my new look website. This site has more focus on art products, techniques, daily artists process and hopefully some feedback from artists. I do hope that this fresh approach gets things stirred up a little!
I also wanted to be able to offer artists the products that I find useful. I have learnt that certain kit is necessary while most is not. It is an expensive lesson. The items on this site are ones that I can vouch for otherwise they are not featured - simple.
I will be giving more attention to plein-air painting and I am looking for other artists to share their plein air experiences in the good old RSA and abroad. Good travel spots? Upload some pics to the forum.
The forum page is an experiment that will depend on you - share your art experiences! Personally I am not the chatty sort, but when it comes to art then I am happy to give my views.
Have fun and enjoy every moment in art!