Issuing the Call

Issuing the Call
Issuing the Call

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Focal points and Goals

12 X 16 oil on board "Old Saunders Barn"
I read an older and well read article in the 2007 issue of American Artist magazine, titled "Attracting the Viewer's Eye With Skillful Simplicity" by Linda S. Price, about an artist by the name of Doug Higgins and his Plein Air paintings.  I have read this article many times, however this time, my attention was drawn to one thing in particular that he said about one of his objectives of Plein Air paintings.  He said, "[m]y goal is simplicity.  Complexity is easy - anyone can achieve that through thoughtless copying of details.  You need intelligent strategies to keep it simple."  In my case, I think he is right.  I've been somewhat thoughtlessly jumping into Plein Air paintings, assuming that my many years of painting would bring it all together, but they haven't. 
My old mentor, Greg Olsen, was right when he said that until you do something, you won't know what real questions to ask or know what it is that you really want.  I've painted several Plein Air paintings and I'm just now beginning to understand what it is that I really want from them.  Up until now, I've been going out and just, "thoughtless[ly] copying".  Even in my most recent experience, I jumped in and started noodling to early (to noodle is to use a liner brush to make small excessive details). 
I have learned that I need to take a little more time before I start, think about what I want my main focus to be and lay as much of the painting out in my mind as possible.  In essence, I am presetting my goals for the painting, even before I apply the first stroke of color.  Then, as the painting progresses, not losing sight of my original goal.  With that in mind, I hope to take a little time to determine my end goal for the painting and work to hold to it.  My plan is to do another painting of this same farm, from a different angle.  I would like to express my thanks to the owners of the property who have generously allowed me access in my endeavors.

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