Sunday, October 7, 2007

Painting What You Love

"Maine House (red)", Acrylic on Paper, 17.5x13.5 inches
Jerry Lebo, 2005


Being noted under "Blogs of Note" has brought a lot of attention to my blog. Thanks again to all that have sent comments. There has been a lot of interest in my work as well, so I am going to try to post some more of my work to my website later today. In the meantime, you can see some of my recent work on http://www.sixtyminuteartist.com/ (and pricing information). I have also put a few of my paintings on Ebay for those who would like to purchase through an auction. There is a link below on the bottom right, or simply type "Lebo" on Ebay. My Ebay ID is "mdbear".

I titled this posting "Painting what you Love" partly in response to my 15 minutes of fame on eblogger. My sudden notoriety has got me thinking about why I paint certain things--and why some of my paintings seem to work out better than others. I have been painting long enough to know that I am not always in control of the outcome--and there are many surprises during the process. On the other hand, when I first started painting twenty years ago, I had the feeling that when I finished a painting that went well, I really didn't know why. I think I have a better understanding these days of what works and what doesn't--and here is my thinking.

1. Paint what you see. I have mentioned this in past postings, but I cannot say it enough. Painting requires the artist to be able to see what is there objectively. It is so easy to paint what you think you see. One of my former teachers used to say "look harder". It is good advice. There are a lot of techniques to match the color and tone of what you see, but first you have to see it. A simple example is the sky. Look at the sky every morning for one week. Is it blue? Most beginning painters will always paint a sky blue--when it is in fact very often gray. If you go outside and look at the sky right now, it is most likely made up of at least three to four colors and tones. Paint what you see--not what you think is there. Look harder.

2. Paint what you know. Human beings are strange animals. Information gets into them in a variety of ways and often on a subconscious level. The artist can use this to his/her advantage. The easiest way I have found is to paint locally, that is to paint that which is around you. What you know. Trying to paint a picture of France if you have never been there is not going to work—even if you have the best photo in the world. A good painting reflects the fact that the artist has some connection to the subject. Don’t ask me how it works, it just does.

3. Paint what you love. My finally recommendation is to paint what you love. The simplest reason is that your passion will show it your work if you love what you are painting. But, my experience is that the main reason to paint what you love, is that it is easier to do. What I mean is, it is easier to paint what you love because you work hard, look harder, and will spend more time on a subject that attracts you in a deep way. A boring subject is the quickest way to a bad painting. Also, how can you expect the viewer to feel your passion for a subject that you do not feel passion for when painting. Again, I don’t know how it works—but those subjects I have some connection and passion for seem to turn into the best paintings.

So there you have it. Check back to my web-site later to see more of my artwork. In the meantime, if you are an artist, go to your studio and paint. If you are not an artist, and you want to contribute, call an artist you know and send them some words of encouragement, and if you are feeling flush--buy some of their work.

All the best, sixtyminuteartist.

63 comments:

Rick said...

Interesting work - mine is of a little different nature.

http://organizeddoodles.blogspot.com/

Evolve said...

I found this piece very inspiring. Am not that great at drawing or painting. But, you have hit home by saying paint what you know.

I will cerainly try yet again to paint

ming said...

thanks to blogs of note, i've found your blog, i'll be keeping tabs on it. At the risk of being spammy, it'd like to show you some of what i do, maybe we can hook up.

http://30dayartist.com
http://artmakr.com
http://artmakrweekend.com

all the best!
Ming

One Quarter Good, Three Quarter Evil said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
flyinamber said...

I dropp for the second time today..
good advices,I agree..
I would like to know your opinion to my work..
and sorry because of my mystakes in english usage :)
flyinamber.blogspot.com

khairy said...

dear Jerry thankyou
this is something make every body happy
rerely artfulness skill uncommon and exceptional art work I can hear music of color
all time I ask for the art unfortunately
always we see disgusting nonsense more than real art
this time is different
thankyou again All the best, sixtyminuteartist
khairy hirzalla
http://www.hirzallahart.net/statement.php

support said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Josh Peterson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Eduardo Pasaoa said...

Superb! Excellent painting quality, your paintings are truly an inspiration. Congrats on your "Blogs of Note"! :)

BeeWhoUR said...

Love your blog- thank you for your advice on painting. I know your advice well, I believe the same things about paint what you know, what you understand, and really what you love... your blog gave me a healthy dose of inspiration to pull out the paints again after a long time.... thanks!

PS. I'm eyeing your Twinkies on eBay, although I don't think I can part with $99 for a gift for my Dad, but I love it! I really do!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
GABO! said...

wow!

Erin said...

I came from Blogs Of Note, which I rarely do, but I am so glad I did! I love your paintings, especially the one heading this post; it reminds me of the farmhouse I grew up in, located in Upstate New York. I'll definitely bookmark you and follow along!!

http://www.youobserve.com said...

Nice Work.

Corinne said...

Jerry,
Your blog, your paintings and your advice are all top-notch! Thank you for being so succinct at what is at the heart of all of our lives as artists.

I especially enjoyed Jumpstart your artistic process"...and you are the first person I've known to recommend exercise for this!

With your permission, I would like to reference some of your postings in my own blog I've been writing relating my thoughts and processes about marketing artwork online.

Thanks for all the terrific commentary!

ani. said...

As some said before, I came here through Blogs of Note, and sure I'm glad I did. I paint also, and I face the need of extracting some more time from my routine in order to devote it to my artwork. Your advice and opinion are quite useful. I'll be coming back!
Regards

michico*Adan said...

I love your work very very much~!!! Nice to know your work and you~!!! It's my great pleasure~!

Christine Bray said...

I love your work. The colors, the edges just beautiful.

Marcus Langford said...

I dig your blog! I love your art work as well. Very good stuff. Can your art be purchased?

The Queen said...

I'm so very happy to have found your blog. For a very long time, I have wrestled with the question of, If I love art so much why am I not creating art as I did when I was younger? thank you, I think I finally have my answer.
Your art is beautiful..kudos

marta said...

I've never clicked on a blog of note before but couldn't resist the name sixtyminuteartist. I've been torn between art and writing and find your advice for artists, perfect for writers as well.

Keep going.

Nine said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
E Hajibabaie said...

very very fantastic paint
i love your works










very tanks

ehsan said...

hi
tanks
do yoy imam ali
www.firstsuccessor.com

femme said...

thru blogs of note too. dont know any thing about art, just saying hi. so, hi.

Ed T-Man said...

Great article, painting what you love is the most important of those rules. The rest falls in line after that.

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

Within us lie an author, poet & artist
Waiting to be drilled out without a dentist
To emerge finally like a giant praying mantis
Till it reaches the world's famous honour list

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng
Mon.8th Oct. 2007
http://MotivationInMotion.blogspot.com

surabhi said...

hey i think its a great idea to give urself some time during the day n create something u want to. at least there will be self satisfaction that one has done something of their choice.
thank you for inspiring!

pisces2007 said...

Cool blog, I have to say you are so right. At the moment I am painting with a passion and have been lucky enough to find people who trust me when they commission a piece of work so I am able to allow my passion to shine through. Check out my website - only for prints at the moment - http://jenuart.imagekind.com
congrats on Blogs of Note
June

effervescentme said...

You are a very good artist. I think its great that you are sharing your work with others.

eastern writer said...

Hmm... Maine House, I remember a story from Erskine Cadwell, a gret american novelist. He went to Maine to write stories. In the morning to afternoon he work in farm, collecting woods, plant potatoes, in the night he typed his short stories and novel....

KEYNOTER said...

Hi, I'm a newbie, I came to you through blogs of note and have enjoyed what i've read. I'll be back. Thanks for sharing. I paint and have four kids too!!

tenxinchoden said...

wow... those are very good advice. I forwarded this blog addy to my sis who is also an artist.
will be looking forward to more of your work.

FiKaLo said...

Hi, found you through blogs of note. Wow, great paintings. You're really talented and well done on keeping up with paintings amidst the hectic pressures of life. Thanks for sharing these!

Brad Niemeyer said...

I love your blog. I especially like the still life of pears "two pears". It's well painted. Nice loose bushwork! I've seen alot of bad fruit art at juried shows I've been in lately and your work was refreshing to see.

I know you are short on time so...

Keep up the good work!

bradniemeyer.com
trancedrawing.blogspot.com

OverDrone said...

So true what you say about having no time for art. Love your brushwork, creamy clean surfaces, that and the sublect matter (twinkies, oreos)reminds me of Wayne Thiebaud. keep painting, keep blogging about it. Why can't I suscribe to your Rss? something about disabling cookies?

TheBlogPrinter said...

You should definitely get a hard-copy of all your blogs. Especially with all the art work that accompanies them. Come read my first blog to see what I am talking about.

Chase

Oswegan said...

Nice work. I'm glad you found your audience.

~Oswegan
http://oswegan.blogspot.com

allie said...

yeah for artists!

POO said...

great use of negative space and shapes!

Joliber P. Mapiles said...

hi, your site is cool.. you can also visit my site at www.mapiles.com (we can exchange links)

Thanks..

mArGa rEth said...

those paintings was so nice!

free 2 visit my blog at

http://mocheiraz.blogspot.com

and free 2 post your comments!

tnx! ;)

easel(y)distracted said...

Thanks for your encouraging words. It was the blogs of note which brought me to your site - I'm glad it did. I really like your work.

honeyboy said...

very very interesting!

Heidi Malott said...

How exciting to be featured! I really like your work. It's fresh and well executed. I love the twinkie painting, very cool!

soumya mukerji said...

The guidelines are as inspiring as your work! Beautiful.

I(dot)J said...

I think you blog is great and very imformative. If I was an artist I would truly inspired by your thoughts, etc.

avery said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
delighted pearl said...

i love this house. I am currently in an art class and LOVE it so far, maybe your tips will help me in the class

incredible said...

really good!

SCOUT said...

eeek wow. im totally inspired to go get out my paints and just go with the flow.
Im a art student, and i hope that your tips will help me alot
x

Real Live Lesbian said...

Ooooh, I love this one!

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