Yesterday, I started a series of paintings influenced by the artist Milton Avery.

Minimalism and omitting detail are a challenge for me.  Even today on my second attempt, I still have way too much detail.  It is really hard to figure out what to paint and what not to paint.  I think moving on to a different subject matter might help.  Although I tried very hard to come up with something different, I feel like today’s painting is way too similar to yesterday’s painting.  Only the colors have changed.

Here is some of Milton Avery’s work:


Do you see how reduced his subject matter is?  The flat planes of color, the careful attention to both positive and negative space? His balance and composition is perfect.  They are awesome…meaning I’m awe struck.

Granted, trying to cram a masterpiece into 3-4 hours a day is ridiculous.  I pretty much should call what I do studies.  I don’t feel I have the time in a 365 challenge to contemplate, sketch, evaluate….I pretty much just have time to -do.  But there is beauty in that as well.  It is the physical aspect of just showing up to the canvas.  Getting some water, brushes, paint…the whole ritual.  Doing it daily provides me with more questions than answers, so many lessons, so many ideas for the next time…and the next time…and the next….

So here was the progression today:


My favorite is the second photo. My lines are at their crudest. Even a bit wavy.  I just haven’t learned to stop while I’m ahead.  To walk away.  To put down the brush.  But like the movie Ground Hog Day, I will wake up and try again, and again, and again…the light bulb will go off one of these days gosh darn it!

What’s that?     Simple is as simple does…   Forest Gump I believe?

Join me on Facebook:  Be Creative Mary


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