Artists take liberties! Artistic License, like Poetic License, the artist’s choices reign on the canvas. Artists are creators on a substrate. They have the power to paint blue hair and put a cardinal on their subject’s shoulder. And, once again, to capture an expression.
This class was taught by another amazing artist, Sara Burch. With this painting, Sara addresses a common artist’s fear, the looming blank canvas! Believe it or not, there are those of us artists who feel frozen in front of a fresh canvas.
“How or where do I begin?”
Sara Burch’s remedy is to jump right in, laying splotches of paint on the substrate where the facial features might be. She uses a soggy brush that drips paint and it’s all so casual, playful and easy. No predesigned face, neither a pencil-drawn face nor a photo of a face to work from. The artist’s memory of a face begins to lend form to the painting as she crafts the face from the colors she’s laid down. And then, she mixes up new colors finding a skin tone. The background color adds more definition to the portrait, popping it forward. This was a fun and original approach. Some painters desire to be looser in the way that they paint. This isn’t easy to achieve believe it or not.
That idea of perfectionism gets thrown out the window when you paint in this way. Perfect is not the goal. There is art that is precise, realism, and I absolutely admire that. Sara’s approach has to do with letting go in the beginning and then defining and refining the face later. Any artist finds her own style. Sometimes by exposing herself to the style of another artist(s) and/or through experimentation. Being curious is a key element in developing your artistic range.
Were you someone who colored outside the lines as a kid? Did you feel shame in that? Art is an invitation to continually color outside the lines. To discover the land that lies beyond the defined lines. Sometimes it could mean giving your subject blue hair. And other times it could be dripping paint down a blank canvas. And then, you may have discovered another approach that no one has even dreamed of yet.
A new day is sort of like a blank canvas. You begin somewhere.