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Choices_March 24, 2009

In jos

Choices_March 24, 2009

Mesaj  Admin la data de Vin Mar 27, 2009 10:05 am

March 24, 2009

When I was a callow youth I was lecturing a hundred or so painters one evening. I was talking about my then-current method of working on a bright russet-red ground and consciously leaving out one of the primaries. As I spoke, a gentleman in the front row rose to his feet. The tall, bearded Gordon Kit Thorne, an elderly and respected painter, waited until I paused in my verbosity. Having gained everyone's attention, he then spoke out in a stentorian voice that echoed all over the auditorium: "Wrong! Wrong! Wrong!"

He then turned to the group and gave us all a short lecture on "correct" methodology.

Gordon and I were both expressing choices. It was a good lesson for me. Anyone who sticks to his game--any game--can fall into the trap of thinking he has an immutable system.

Today I spoke on the phone to several colleagues. We were talking about planning versus improvisation. While many fine artists plan everything in detail and then simply execute, others admit they don't know what they're doing from the get-go, but they start anyway and spend a lot of time fixing up. Both systems work. Just as some folks are happy and others are miserable, we can simply make choices. The nice thing about choices is that they can be changed.

If I had 50 cents for every time I've made different choices about grounds or primaries, for example, I could send all you subscribers a couple of bucks. Watch the mail.

Because there are so many roads leading to Rome these days, the trip must be sufficiently engaging for all pilgrims. The wayside choices we make, however minor or major, determine our signature, our style and our level of personal satisfaction.

I've just hung up the phone from a discussion on the business of painting the background first--working your way down like you are pulling a blind--as opposed to laying in a foreground first and working up the painting behind. I'm currently of the latter persuasion. My telephone friend is currently of the former. As the wise man said, "And this too will change."

Best regards,


PS: "We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them." (Kahlil Gibran) "Choice by choice, moment by moment, I build the necklace of my day, stringing together the choices that form artful living." (Julia Cameron)

Esoterica: "Choose well," said Homer. One of the great values of properly constituted art schools is the opening of students' eyes to a variety of possibilities. A school's stable of competitive instructors representing various media lays out a lifelong stage for exploration and experimentation. If you don't have the benefit of that kind of school, you can choose one for your own studio. It's a matter of attitude. It's called the "Attitude of Choice." As a perennial student, you take up the artistic equivalent of the scientific method--a seemingly endless uncovering and testing of choices.


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