Never let them see you technique
Sometimes, at a workshop or event, an instructor will make a grand pronouncement. “Phalo blue is an awful color!” Or, “Square paintings are boring.” And while I may agree (or disagree), I tend to take these pronouncements with a grain of salt. That’s their opinion. Sometimes there is a reason. Sometimes even a good reason. But it’s an opinion. Lately, I’ve been hearing a lot of backlash about technique. I’ve had several teachers proclaim that, “You should never notice the painter’s technique.”
What I think the cognescenti are objecting to is artists who attend a workshop where the leader uses a particular technique that is so recognizable that when the students take it back to their own studio, the painting ends up looking like a copy. An example might be Audrey Hepburn’s black dress and pearls or Jacqueline Kennedy in Chanel; it isn’t that you can’t rock that look, but you better not say you came up with it. Jackson Pollock’s splatters remain their own, inimitable achievement. Piet Mondrain continues to own squares and white cancas.
So, when I set out to use up my liquid charcoal by spreading it lavishly on a piece of Yupo, I immediately had concerns. Would this just be a technique exercise? Would anyone be able to see my goals? I’m not sure the painting below is finished, but I’ll leave it to you. Is this too much technique and not enough content?
Art on the Edge… approaches
Friday was the opening of the Art on the Edge Artist Exhibit. The show will be up through July 2. The maps have now been updated on the web, and if anyone would like me to mail them an information packet, just let me know. Under two weeks until the tour!
Here’s a video of the exhibition, led by Krista Eddy, the visual artist director.
I hope you’ve made plans to come visit!