Saturday, November 28, 2015

258: An Alchemist in his Apothecary

"I spin a cocoon around myself; let others do the same. I leave it to time to show what will come of it–a brilliant butterfly or maggot." Caspar David Friedrich

I NEED to hibernate into the studio again–this time to evolve a purer form of self expression. Despite recently having turned 59 years old I still have too many voices in my head from old art professors and the ill-informed critique of so-called authorities. I realize that most of the stinging commentary was embraced due to my over-sensitivity–which is an even greater reason to scrape off the barnacles of past experience.

Here are the parameters of my new experimentation:

Craft must be left behind in favor of pure expression. The highest ideal is to attain a state of mind where great art becomes inevitable. Absolute calm must prevail. If I'm not calm I don't paint. Slow the process by making tranquility the highest priority. Reject speed of painting as a worthy goal. Take the time you need. When you get into a creative impasse slow the process even more. Embrace everything you love about painting and cast away everything you dislike. Don't make things difficult–opt for the easiest path forward. Abandon any inauthentic practise or convention. Reject all color labels–makeup names you love. Use color labels that are personal and useful. Use layers of surfaces to build rich texture. Make each surface rich in texture and color.

I will probably expand this list but for now it will suffice to get me headed in the right direction–toward pure expression devoid of past habits. I want to neither rebel nor conform to any artistic convention. Both reactions lead to inauthentic expression.

Wish me luck.

Brad Teare –November 2015

13 comments:

  1. I hear you about rejecting the speed of painting. I'm working on this myself. I still like doing the daily paintings that are done in an hour or two. They are fun and I will continue to do them.

    But, I find I do much better work when I slow down and take days to finish a painting, painting in layers and stopping to really look at the work so far and see if each part of it is really working.

    I guess this also means that I really need to be careful about picking a subject to paint. It's frustrating to get two days in and find out that I've lost interest in the subject.

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    1. I agree that picking the right motif is really important. When I was younger I felt I wanted to render everything, going from one subject to another. I felt my interest are getting a bit narrower and that will help me focus on motifs. We'll see how it goes!

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  2. Good luck. it'll be interesting to see where you go.

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  3. I am beginning to feel that surrender of illusions lead to total freedom and pure expressions, Good luck, your thoughts are always amazing and make me think.

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    1. Thank you Padmaja. Your words always boost my enthusiasm.

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  4. Good luck! You are thoughtful and brave, so I know you'll succeed.

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    1. Thank you Jem. Your kind words are very much appreciated and will be a great assist on the journey.

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  5. I like the feeling and balance of the painting.
    Good luck

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  6. I have been really enjoying your YouTube videos and I love your work. In one of your videos you mentioned storing your brushes in mineral oil. That sounded interesting but wondered about the mineral oil getting into the oil paint and having an adverse effect. The other thing I wondered about it getting the brush hairs bent when the wait of the brush is on the bristles. I look forward to your replay and more videos. Thanks, Dan

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    1. Hi Dan. Thanks for the kind words. I haven't had any trouble using mineral oil. I do rinse the brushes in Gamsol before mix paint. The brushes don't bend. Probably because I use flats or brights. If I used rounds or filbert they probably would bend.

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