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.
I love to dance. To follow the inclination of the body and to get lost in the dance. Dance has the capacity to release what has been stuck through movement. The dance can be flowing or chaotic or anything in between, depending upon what I need in the moment. In fact, dance seems to be an imperative in these times. It helps to release stress and changes things up a bit. And guess what, the command to “dance like no one is watching,” might actually be true for some of us these days. So do, dance like no one is watching in the privacy of your living space. Move the furniture aside, put on your favorite dance music…and dance. Skype with your siblings, friends, children and grandchildren, choose some favorite dance music and dance together.
Make it happen!
This ballerina looks sturdy to me. She reminds me of a very staunch Russian ballerina. From the countryside perhaps. I can make up any story I like about her. Creating this piece came from a place of “letting go”. I found the freedom to follow my instincts. Try this, try that. Yes, you can place gold leaf circles within circles beside a ballerina. And why not add a little bird in the upper corner! Let go.
Perhaps that is the message of this painting “let go” of what isn’t necessary to make room for what wants to be expressed. We don’t always have to strive for perfection and follow the rules of what is allowed to co-exist on the canvas. We can step outside of the box of thought around what good art is and discover the emotion, the feeling from which art arises. Express it.
I began painting for the first time in the year 2014. I didn’t go to art school. I began with online classes. The way you get better at anything, as I’ve said before, is to practice. I stopped comparing myself with other artists or wondering whether or not I had any talent. I painted for myself.
So, you’re not an artist…really? You can FINGERPAINT! Make your own paints. Here’s a recipe from Martha Stewart…I’m sure you can find others online. Then paint away those pent up emotions. Notice how you feel afterwards.
- Food coloring Instead of food coloring, one viewer used used paprika, turmeric and matcha.
Stir 4 tablespoons of sugar and 1/2 cup cornstarch together. Add 2 cups of cold water and heat over medium heat until the mixture is thick (the mixture will further thicken as it cools).
Divide into four or more containers, and add food coloring to achieve desired colors.
At the least, dance it out today!