Monday, January 17, 2011

Class 2— Jan. 20 – Repaint It

First a reminder: You can find the current class schedule here. Copy it and print it out for your records, if you like.
This week we'll be using a painting that you feel came close but just didn’t quite make it. My challenge is to repaint it, but instead of painting with your usual medium I want you to change your medium. I believe that this will enhance the process you use in your more accustomed medium. We’ll begin with a short group critique of the painting to help you decide what needs to be done. When completed we’ll look at the two paintings side-by-side. 
Let's talk a little about using another medium. I know most of us work in pastel or oil in the classroom currently, and you might not have a complete set of supplies to take you into another medium, however, think of it this way: How can you challenge yourself to think differently about your painting? Personally, over the years, I've found that when I get stuck on a painting it's incredibly freeing to go to another medium because it forces me to think about it all differently. 
 Don't keep doing the same thing hoping for change.
So instead of pastels or oil, try pencil, pens, charcoal, colored pencils, water soluble pencils, watercolor, gouache, or your kids' crayons--or any other medium you have on hand and want to try. 
Bring in a painting that you like but you know you can improve on, perhaps, instead of the one you hate and can't stand to look at. (The hated one should be wiped out, most likely.) We'll look at this almost-there painting together, and brainstorm how you could approach it in your new medium. Line up the materials you plan to use and bring them along so we can all help one another think about how to go about creating the second version. It need not be the same size, and I advise using the painting alone. If you happen to have the source photo, feel free to bring it along too, but it's not necessary.
No, I don't want to see a new, improved version of the old painting! At the end of our class on Thursday, I'm going to set aside the last half hour so the entire class can tour your easels and see the old and new versions side-by-side, in whatever state they've reached. You will probably continue to work on the new one at home, so feel free to bring both back the following week to show us, as well. (And if, after we've seen the old and new comparison, you believe you know how to continue to work on the original, of course you're more than welcome to do that. Just don't jump the gun on this.)
Pencil drawing
I think you'll be amazed at the fresh insight using a different medium will give you. This is a great technique to use when you get 'stuck' on a painting, or when you find yourself in the doldrums, unable to paint, which happens to every painter I know.
Too often we develop tunnel vision and think some new technical approach to the medium we're using will solve the problems, when in fact it's the thought processes and insight we bring to a painting that work effective changes most of the time.

I'm looking forward to seeing what you decide to do! If you have any questions feel free to ask. 

I'd also like to view and comment on your Emulation painting from last week at your easel, if you want to share it with me.

See you on Thursday,