i couldn't say it better

From my last post on the question of when to be loose and when to be tight came this response from Kathleen Hooker, I don't think I need to add a thing. Also the above painting is a block in for the next in the artist in studio series... Lynn Whipple and her creative clutter as she works out some new and killer work. The fun part is that stuff moves and changes while I'm painting.

"It sounds like, for you, the decision to choose which scene gets the-studio-treatment is whatever carries the greater narrative quality. Right? As you mentioned, certainly the quick study has an inherent freshness, and the studio painting takes longer to compose and complete as a slower, (more) thoughtful piece.

Because you speak of Sargent, and note that he paints “a whole lot of loose and a little bit of tight,” I wonder if painting–really excellent fine art painting–is not a tight-rope-walk between the two styles. Impressionistic brushstrokes are exciting to behold, but if the whole piece is covered with the same quick-draw emotional brushstrokes, especially with no narrative, an observer’s senses may tire quickly. If there is just non-stop exhilaration and no resting place, or concentrated effort of detail, my eyes might choose to go elsewhere. On the other hand, if a finished studio painting is trifled with too long, the entire painting can become as stale as old bread. If there are no exuberant brushstrokes within a studio painting, again, my eyes might wander elsewhere. And, now, here comes the balancing act again! To create a lasting remembrance, may we all learn to be not too frivolous, nor too stuffy!"

Good narrative art does take time, it is deliberate, studied, labored over and well thought out. To illustrate Kathleen's point is the Mary Cassatt painting called "Little girl in a blue chair". This piece has had a big influence on my thinking as an artist. It's loose and energetic but there's the balance of rest. Legend has it that Ms. Cassatt painted under the tutelage of Edgar Degas and that he actually had a hand in this painting. I can pretty much imagine the whole scenario...

MC What do you think Ed? Ed Eeeees too, how you say, beeeezy! MC Any ideas? Ed Oui, let me rewark ze backgroun to seempleefy all zees beeezyness. Sacre blue!

So Mr. Degas repainted the floor, it's as plain as day, a little bit of rest makes the busy work.

Man that is a good line.

bloglarrymoore3 Comments