Thursday, July 19, 2007

Road Map and Disclaimer

"If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate." Thomas Watson, Sr

Okay, day two of being the sixtyminuteartist. I was thinking about failure coming into work this morning, so I looked up the above quote. I think an artist has to take failure as a given--and I expect to have a few coming here in the next few weeks, so I thought I'd give you some quotes about failure. Be prepared to fail.

Anyway, I didn't sleep very well last night, so I am a bit tired--but I spent part of my commute into work thinking about how to structure my next few posts. I am lucky that I started this blog two days before I go on vacation--so I hope this will give me the time to get things going. However, just because I am going on vacation--doesn't mean I will get more time to paint. First, there is the family--who has their own plans of what I will be doing on vacation. Day trips, restaurants, outings, shopping, etc. I still need to be efficient and effective when I do get my hour or so of painting time per day. So, this blog is not for just the working stiffs around--I hope all artists will get something out of it. It is more that anything else about increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of your art making process--so can work for anyone.

That said, here is the structure (Road map) that I am thinking of following over the next few weeks as the blog gets going. First, I want to do a couple of posts on preparation--that is, "what to paint", "how to prepare to paint", "materials", and "studio organization". These are all the things you need to know, or do, to be ready to paint effectively in the least amount of time. In fact, I think this is the most important part of the process--if you are not ready to paint when you step to the easel--the amount of wasted time and likelihood of failing goes dramatically up!

Second, I want to take you through a series of one-hour painting sessions. In these, I will breakdown my approach into specific phases of making a painting and discuss key issues, such as, tonal control, colors and mixing paint, drawing, etc. Of these, controlling tone is probably the most important--so I will start with this one. The other day in fact I ran across the website of this guy who is getting a lot of discussion in the blogosphere due to his inventive approach to tonal art. Basically, he is taking tones in the form of pictures (or in one case blood on band-aids) and placing them in the right order to make a larger picture. There is a giant painting done by Chuck Close in the National Gallery of Art here in DC that is basically the same principle, but done with his fingerprints--and it is much better in any case. No to take anything away from Phil Hansen, but you can be the judge. Chuck is a master of tone and color--and it shows in his work.

So, there is a rough idea of where I am headed with the blog. Any suggestions on areas to cover are welcome.

Let me finish with a bit of a disclaimer about the sixtyminuteartist concept--which I think is what keep me up last night--so here it is:

DISCLAIMER: The methods and approaches that are presented on this blog may or may not make you a better artist. The author does not claim that by only spending sixtyminutes a day painting, you will become a better artist. The objective of the sixtyminuteartist is not to make you a better artist in only sixty minutes a day--that may take a lifetime, or may never happen. The purpose is to provide you with practical methods and advice on finding more time to pursue your art, more efficient ways of making it, and more effective ways of getting your artistic vision out of your mind and onto paper, canvas, or any other material you can find. Your choice to pursue these approaches in whole, or in part, are at your own risk and peril. Expect failures, hope for success. Sixtyminuteartist

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