I'm making an exception to my No Blogging Until March 2012 rule because a friend sent me this great web site. I found Austin Kleon’s ideas both inspirational and practical. The only thing I didn’t absolutely love about the essay–and this is very minor–was the idea that there are no new ideas. I only emphasize this small difference of opinion because I think it is important to believe in radical innovation, those quantum leaps that change everything.
I know it is a really small thing but my method of scraping the palette with the left hand and swiping paint off onto the canvas with the right is a new idea (albeit it a small idea). As far as I know that specific idea has no pedigree. It is dissimilar from any painting method I know (although I freely admit that someone else may have stumbled on this interesting but simple way to paint). We all make our contribution and small innovations can add up to large changes.
Not everything has been discovered relating to landscape painting. The genre is alive and well and poised for change by a series of innovations. Such discoveries will not be made by those who view painting as a series of recipes but by those who believe innovation is possible.
In short, I think it is best to borrow freely but be open and hope for true, unfettered innovation. Maybe these small innovations are like mutations (an idea I borrowed from this book). Innovations seem to come out of nowhere, but when they prove useful and are fused with other ideas they begin their metamorphosis as others borrow them and make them their own. One thing is certain; the rate of innovation increases as we share our discoveries with each other.
I admit that bolts of lightening from the sky are few and far between. But when they strike no other experience compares.
Brad Teare © 2011