Monday, December 21, 2009



IN the course of this blog I realized I have offered a lot of formulas and recipes for making art. I worry about the impression this might give because nothing could be further from my mind than art being a series of properly executed formulas. In many ways I share these recipes as a way of freeing myself from them. Having stumbled upon them, and found how to use them successfully, I can now abandon them. Or not, depending on my creative needs. I also worry some might think I use these methods to avoid the real work of art; developing creativity. Again, nothing could be further from the truth. I expect this blog will somehow free the part of my mind that wrestles with the lower concerns of technique as another part begins to tackle the higher concerns of composition and design.

We have an obligation not just to learn relevant techniques but once learned to take that technical skill to a higher level. We also have an obligation to connect with the creative spirit that will make our work the expression of a unique mind. Here is some food for thought:

Think of each painting as an experiment. Ask: what is good about this painting? What is bad? But more importantly what is interesting about it?

Think of each painting as a preliminary for a larger piece.

See the world as pure image. Do not superimpose symbolic meaning onto the world. Use nameless color for unidentified abstract shapes.

When looking at the motif ask yourself what really matters?

Are your compositions crazy enough? What can you do to make them less conventional?

Do sketches to improve composition. Do variations to ensure adequate innovation. Can it be better?

Clarify your thinking by asking better questions about the compositions. Identify problems and then widen the problems by making them more abstract.

Abstraction is a basic principle in restructuring a problem. The more times you restate a problem in a different way the more likely your perspective will change and deepen.

Find ways to see differently. When searching for motifs look for the unexpected.

Use daydreaming to dream the perfect picture.

Hold opposing concepts and solutions in your mind to create a new point of view.

New ideas are made by making unexpected and unusual associations.

Promote different thinking patterns and then incorporate chance and accidental factors.

Look at the affect of each compositional element.

"The artist paints to unload feelings, visions, and thoughts". Pablo Picasso

"The most beautiful experience you can have is the mysterious." Albert Einstein

Brad Teare © 2009


  1. Glad to hear your musings about this aspect of artmaking. I like both sides of what you're offering--technique and inspiration. Keep it coming.

  2. Thanks Jim. You know I love to wax philosophical from time to time. I appreciate your encouragement to share inspirational ideas to help leaven the purely technical.


Thanks for your comments!


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