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  • Writer's picturecarolyn land

So Many Options!

“No amount of skillful invention can replace the essential element of imagination.”    Edward Hopper

I received a lot of responses to last week’s blog.  It hit a positive note with a lot of people.  Yes, I am giving everyone permission to experiment and embrace the “happy accidents” that happen while you are on your artistic journey, or any other journey for that matter.  I do know that, “loose and experimentation” is not for everyone.  Many disciplines under the board heading of “art”, do require precision. For example: illustrators in the field of medicine and botany, architectural engineers, and designers.  But, I am talking about the “fine visual arts”; which has at its core, words like: creative, imaginative, original, inspired, unique.

However, before I go on about letting the” creative spirit loose”, I want to make a distinction between process and creativity. Most mediums do have a process, that need to be followed, to have a successful outcome.  If you are working in clay there are steps which can’t be overlooked. In printmaking techniques like, etchings and lithographs, there are steps in the process that build on each other. A sculpture needs the correct armature.  Certain paints need a specific medium to dry correctly. Those things do need to be followed. What I am referring to when I talk about “playtime” and letting loose that creative spirit is, “exploration without expectation.”

mixed media painting by FL artist Carolyn land

Grand Cascade

I received a number of quotes, an article, and a video last week, in response to that blog. One was: “What if Paintings” by Vianna Szabo, a representational painter.  She asks, “What if I push the gesture a little further?  What if I change my pallet?  What if I make a dark background?”  Let me add a few of my own: What if you did a monochromatic under painting?  What if you used all opposite colors? What if you added colored pencils, pastels, or ink to enhance certain areas of a painting?  If you are still hung up on the idea of perfection and exactness, do a technical drawing / painting over an abstract background?

Other feedback was a list of, “24 Ways to Loosen Up Your Art”. From: Just a few of the suggestions were: paint big, use a bigger brush, put your brush on a stick, do several paintings at once, (I always do that) use your non-dominant hand, scribble.  All of these are great “creative spirit playtime” suggestions.

Have you ever really looked at art book titles and workshop names?  Seldom, do you see the words: precise, exact, tighten, detailed. You see words like: loosen, creative, imagination, re-thinking, spirit, exploring. When we try something new, and go back to what we are used to, we usually do it better.  It is because we see it with different eyes.  We have broadened our horizons. We all need “playtime”.  Not every painting needs to be a finished product or masterpiece. Thank you all for your input, and being part of the conversation.  Have a happy week creating!

The big element is trust, not knowing where you are going, and it will be grander than your imagination.  If you know where you are going it can only be as good as your imagination.”   George Green

I have added a new “Collage” gallery to the website.  I call them “little gems”.  Take a look at the new collage work under “Galleries”.  Carolyn

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