“No one is an artist unless he carries his picture in his head before painting it, and is sure of his method and composition.” Claude Monet.
This conundrum is found in all disciplines. I equate the creative process to riding a horse. You want to ride the trail and end up where you want to go but you also want an exciting ride. Otherwise, why not just take the car? Our goals must be specific but fluid.
I wonder sometimes, if we are not completely in the present when we are painting, when we say to ourselves, “I’ll come back to this passage later” or “This is close enough for now.” Being present in a painting means to always be painting the finish. This may seem like a contradiction to those serious students of painting who rightly feel they need to break the process into steps, beginning with a fully rendered sketch or plan and an accurate drawing, building the painting in steps according to a well thought out method.
So how do we reconcile painting the finish, conceiving of the final product from the beginning, while committing ourselves to the process (method)? We want to be available, to let the painting, or the character, or the dance, or proposal, speak to us, and respond accordingly. We want to be present and adapt. That’s why its called creativity.
The point of this blog, however, is about being present during the entire process. Denying that there is, or could be, a method to our madness, is probably not going to be effective. Always starting from square one will keep you always a beginner. If that’s appealing to you, then go for it.
When drawing, take the time to get the relationship between forms, really study the envelope of the shape. Be present. Don’t put off the process. Enter it fully. And when you recognize a master stroke, leave it alone.
If you like/don’t like the ideas expressed in these blogs, I encourage you to comment. Also, you may want to get a copy of Point of Art – Second Edition, or download it today. Don’t forget to check out The Portrait – a painting video and The Power of Positive Painting, the original portrait painting video.