Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ramalama, wipadudu bootie! Ut Ut 2

Sorry I missed a day. I am traveling, at midnight I arrived at the private home where I was staying. They didn't have an Internet connection so I went to bed. Tonight I am back, blogging and traveling is difficult sometimes. I didn't get lazy or lose my discipline, I just couldn't get on line. I will see if I can find and post a baby animal to make it up to you.

Above is an Emile Gruppe. I have posted a few over the last days and I want to speak a little about loose painting. The famous quote from Richard Schmid is that "loose is how a painting looks and not how it was made", is right on target. Loose paintings work not because they are loose but DESPITE being loose. They are loose, BUT they still contain enough accuracy and control that they are little wonders. WE are amazed at the magic of how this abbreviated thing can say so much. It is the slight of hand, the amazement at seeing the rabbit come out of the hat that is the thrill. Good loose painting makes the viewer want to supply the things that make the painting whole.

But in the hands of weak draftsmen loose painting becomes sloppy painting. The people who paint well loosely are often later in their careers, or have drawn casts, or done portraits, something that has provided them with the drawing chops to actually end up with the rabbit and not something that should better have remained in the hat.
I think if you want to be a loose painter, you should learn to draw tightly first. Economy of means gradually acquired will make strong loose paintings. Just working fast and sloppy has you hoping for happy accidents. Watercolor painters of a certain sort trade in those, but oil painters seldom do. I believe that;

NOTHING GOOD GETS INTO A PAINTING BY ACCIDENT.

You don't imagine that you could play a great piece of music by lucky accident, or build a piece of fine furniture or replace a mitral valve in a patients heart using happy accidents. I think that people who wait for happy accidents hope they will be able to do things that are very hard without learning how. That attempts to shrink art to fit your abilities, rather than grow your abilities to meet the requirements of art. I wouldn't look for success in luck, instead better to put your faith in knowledge and skill, practice, experience and persistence.

I will return and dissect this painting tomorrow.

36 comments:

DennyHollandStudio said...

Thank you for the kitten, I'm feeling much better now!

Nita Leger Casey said...

You are so right !
NOTHING GOOD GETS INTO A PAINTING BY ACCIDENT.
Great post. cute kitten!
Nita

Philip Koch said...

Well, you are forgiven, but only because of the extremely fluffy critter.

Well said about sharp observation and a critical eye being necessary to make loose painting work.

Accidents happen all the time, but one needs a very sharp eye to recognize the good accidents in time before one's loose painting sweeps them away again.

Simone said...

The people who want to do things that are hard without learning how usually leave class after one or two sessions....I'm always saddened when they do. They come looking for formula and get meat and potatoes. They have trouble swallowing...

By the way Vasari's Ruby Violet is a permanent synthetic red made from Quinacquidone Red and Maganese Violet, I suspect. I am certain about the Quinacquidone but not the Manganese. I use it as my cool red. It's cooler than Alizarin and warmer than Diaxizone. I like it but am not married to it.

willek said...

That Gruppe is really odd din some ways. The darkest darks in the transoms of the boats are reall dead blacks with no refleected bounce in them. He chose to not pump them up with color. The value distribution seems to me to be more like what one would see in a photograph. Nice picture regardless. May not be food for thought but it is something to chew on. Remember; " It's crackers to slip a rozzer the dropsey in snide."

Mary Byrom said...

Thanks Robert. I thought you might know. I noticed Stapleton's Cobalt Violet had a slight red glow to it that made me think of a combo of Alizarin and Windsor Violet. Because of your southern location you are just not using it for the same winter pictures as our friends out West are... who are raving about how great it is for snow ... Thalo Green was also mentioned.
Glad you are back Stapleton... and it was only a lack of internet to cause a delay as I know how you are about daily posting...

Deborah Paris said...

You are a wise man Stape and so completely on target with this post. I am just back from Florida (a show and teaching a workshop) and so managed to miss the 8 inches of snow we had here in northeast Texas and also the last two weeks of your blog. Looking forward to catching up and enjoying the kitten.....

Simone said...

Hey Mary, whether painting snow or white sandy beaches of West Central Florida, the ruby violet is nice. My misgivings about it is that it has a somewhat modest mixing strength. When I want to use it to modify a mixture it's sometimes hard to get it to show it's influence.

Frank P. Ordaz said...

Spot on Stape.... Sadly , art schools want students to just dive in and express themselves without giving the student a foundation.

tom martino said...

Stape, I am reminded of words the realist painter Ted Jacobs used in Light for The Artist (I think): "Having done much, it is easy to do little; but, having done little, it is difficult to do much." He was referring to all the left-brained considerations needed for good painting before we could rush to a pure right-brained romp in the field of "happy accidents". Thanks for showing the amazing Gruppe painting.

billspaintingmn said...

Wow, I usually have to sit around the campfire with my deerhunting
buddies, drinking beer, to talk as smart as all this!
I enjoy this much more though, really helps to hear views and insights.
No trigger happy painters, just fun people "chewing the fat"
There is something calming about pictures of baby animals!
This painting is beautiful!

Marian Fortunati said...

Yes...
True.... wish it wasn't true as I'm of the "I want it NOW!" stripe...... but it is...

Your posts are always right on!

Jeremy Elder said...

So true. As I grow in skill, things that looked like happy accidents are now recognized as mistakes.

Durinda Cheek, Director said...

For some reason I keep thinking about a remark my painting mentor made,"It is called artWORK for a reason." Thanks to Bob Ross for making people think we all paint in 30 minutes minus the commercials.

Also, thanks for turning me on to Gruppe. I have discovered a treasure trove of works from his travels south. I always thought of him as New English. (Is that a phrase?) ;-)

Mary Byrom said...

Robert, Nice - White beaches -I forgot.
Ruby Violet is a modest mixer !? Stapleton I'd like your feedback here - it didn't look like Cobalt Violet was getting lost in the mixing and I know Windsor Violet is not getting lost at all. My brushes get stained with it.

Gary Keimig said...

wonderful post. You said it all.

nobody said...

I always like your posts, but this one I love! You are so right.

Stapleton Kearns said...

Denny;
They do help though.
.........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Nita<
Hi there. The kitten says thanx.
....Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Philip:
You need a cat!
........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Simone:
I have never even heard of that stuff!
...............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Willek:
THere are several; versions of that picture too. I wonder how good the reproduction is.
......Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Mary;
Cobalt violet has a mysterious glow that I like.
.................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Deborah:
I am jealous of all that nice snow!
Enjoy that cat.
................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Simone:
Cobalt violet doesn't have a lot of pigmenting strength either.
.............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Frank:
You do know the purpose of an art school?
..............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Tom;
I wish I had said that!
........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Bill:
I am glad you find it interesting. I don't hunt deer though.
...............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Marian:
If it wasn't hard, it wouldn't be compelling to study it for a lifetime.
...................Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Jeremy:
I want everything in my paintings to be deliberate.
..........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Durinda;
Yes Gruppe divided his time between New England and Florida. An Amazing painter!
..............Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Gary;
Thanks.
........Stape

Stapleton Kearns said...

Nobody:
I am glad somebody liked it!
..................Stape

Deb said...

I'm a bit late. However, I just gotta add my thanks for this good post.
I also found a great video by Andy Rooney on Modern Art.
It goes to Tom's quote about having done much...etc. Anyway, I got a kick out of it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bsfX6xqCBks&feature=fvw

Roberto said...

Thanx Deb, Andy Rooney is right on!
Keep up the good work, Stape, you have a lot to offer, and are greatly appreciated. -RQ

Clara said...

After having to spend two months on a cast or a figure - even ONE WHOLE week on a landscape can seem like instant gratification!