12 June 2011

Time is your extra medium.

Phew, if it is not one thing, it is another. I am lucky to be in good health this year because I have over-committed myself in every way. Of course there is my job which always takes precedence due to a thing called bills. But then there are all these shows and events I am involved in. So once the year is over I am going to start phasing out a few things and streamlining others. With time so scarce, it becomes invaluable. Moreover, I need time not just to paint but to paint well.  I am a fast painter according to friends and I can "crank them out " as my quick-draws would attest but time is a mental thing a well. Driving, scouting new places, carpooling, framing, meetings, ...it can get so messy that by by the time you pull out your brush, your mind needs to travel from outer space to look at what you are doing. It rarely works.

"Barn and Silo" 9"x12" Sonoma. A quick painting due to weather.
-Choose two or three organizations you'd like to work with and work with them. Aspire for the best, the most difficult to get into or the ones that touch a nerve with you (they are local, you have many friends...) . Do not expect them to do all the work for you.  If you don't feel you are selling enough (while you are selling with others) or can't be bothered to volunteer a couple of times, it's time for you to leave .

"Veranda Breakfast, St Regis Hotel" 10"x8" An example of enhancement of a venue  through art events.
- Community events are nice and helpful but they are a LOT of work, ArtWalks, Demos, Fundraisers and such. These are events that want artists to enhance the community/organization so they are counting on you to make them look good. That's perfectly fine. But if you sell nothing, well, you just added to the excitement. This might be worth your while if you actually live in that community but if you are an outsider it might be too small a reward.

"Sworks, Eagle Rock" An example of a painting done quickly due to dwindling light.

-Painting plein air doesn't need to be a solitary event but painting alone allows you to not be tied up buy others people's schedules. If you paint with others, scout beforehand,  be ready to  accept physical limitations  and people with different schedules. Plan lunches and other buffers, you could even drive separately. Workshops are a different thing, the more the merrier.


Judy P. said...

Thanks for the helpful advice, Jose; I wish I could paint faster.
Do you have any tips on that, or is it just a matter of experience, and confidence? I regret to say my painting too slow discourages me from attempting many things, shame on me.

Jose L De Juan said...

My teacher Clayton beck III has a saying: "If you want to paint fast, make no mistakes." Easy, right? Of course not. Jeremy Lipking thinks nothing of spending 45 minutes just aiming for the perfect location of an eye relative to the mouth, etc... At the end of that tome, he has just placed three marks... Painting fast is not the goal. The goal is to get it right so you don't have to go over an area again and again or correcting things later. So when you are painting, spend oodles of time planning it out, getting the drawing correct, getting an idea of where things are color-wise, tone-wise and design-wise. And consider every brushtroke a "final" statement. Be tentative at first, then commit to broad areas to see if they work. Once you have mapped it in your head or sketchbook your painting will be faster because you won't retrace your steps. And "finishing" should rarely be a goal. No matter how much or how little time you have, better to have three well placed strokes than a muddy mess.

Marian Fortunati said...

Oh, Jose, I could learn from you in every way!!