My husband came home and I’m standing there with my canvas chanting “I did it! I did it! I made a minimalist painting!”
He smiled and said “That’s a nice painting, but it’s not fully minimalist…Maybe “Mary” Minimalist.”
That cracked me up.
What he meant is in my attempt to strip my work of all detail and capture the essence Milton Avery once captured, I again, kind of failed…
But from a crazy “Mary”, patterned, textured, colored perspective, I have gotten a little closer today.
I tend to use small brushstrokes, bold color and quite a bit of detail.
Now I’ve gotten quite a few emails & FB messages asking “Why are you trying to be something you are not?” or “Why can’t you be content with the fact that this may not be your style?” and I think they are missing the whole point of this exercise. First of all, I don’t really know what my “style” will eventually be and secondly, you try something, even if it doesn’t come easily, or even if you fail miserably, to gain insight. I am looking for that insight.
Now hubby made a pretty good point, I added in shading, a bit of dimension, some small details and color differentiation. Milton Avery went a few steps further.
Flat planes of color that eventually begin to appear to be patterns or color blocks and less the objects themselves. The bottom Avery painting above is titled, Black Sea.
This one is titled, Jagged Wave.
so simple, yet absolutely brilliant. The simple contour of the white against the black primordially communicates a wave crashing. You can feel or experience the wave crashing. It communicates. pure & simple.
Now maybe that is it. I’m picking traditional old subject matter and not so much spending the time thinking about what I want to “communicate”. That there, may be its brilliance.
Now I can only go so far in a Creative 365. I haven’t yet figured out when I might afford the time for deep thoughts. But I can work on the daily exercise of reducing my technique and then in the new year, I can take what I learned, and apply “deep thoughts” to it.
So, as I have said before, I will rest, sleep, wake up and try again. Flatter plains. More contrasting colors?
I’ve been working on 11×14 canvases this week, with classic tube acrylics. Neither are really my favorite thus far, so maybe tomorrow I will try a larger piece of paper, and liquid inks instead of traditional acrylics. Who knows or maybe I’ll stick with the canvases.
Either way, I do like todays painting. It is more simple to me. It reminds me of the windy paths by the sea, in one of my favorite places. Of the wind whipping the landscape all in one direction. Of the deep dark green-blue sea of the Atlantic. Of the place I live.
My happy place.
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