Monday, August 2, 2010


Alameda Theater, 8x16, $700
This blog is on design--partly because I don't know what else to write about and partly because I read an exciting description of the difference between simply painting what you see and design. My esteemed colleague, Stapleton Kearns makes a distinction by stating, " is an example of a circular composition. I have been talking about designs and said this;
"What I meant was that design is a human construction and can not be copied from nature. You use decision making to add it to your painting. Design is a decision making and not a transcription process. No matter how carefully you copy that which is before you, you won't end up with a designed painting. Design is a construct, a geometric armature upon which you build your painting. I think I will show some examples for a while here. The most important thing I want to teach on this blog, design. Not just how-to, but you-should. You can learn to draw accurately, in fact that is essential. But it is not enough to make a picturemaker of you, only a journalist. " So, the rebellious part of me wants to disagree, because occasionally I will stumble upon an excellent design in mother nature but generally Stape is quite correct. You must think design and instill it as part of your painting construction--note I say construction, not transcription. Otherwise your a journalist, not a oil painter. In Edgar Paynes book on composition, he notes various designs like the 0, S, and triangle but one I will show in this blog is the L design. Simply note how the buidling goes straight up while the people and cars make a line to the left. This design theme can be seen in many great paintings of the past and contemporary artists and has a strong feeling to it. I will write about the rest in future blogs--maybe just quit and refer you to some great blog sites out there that do a better job. Only kidding, had a slow show saturday in Alameda so little in the dumps but will get my mojo up soon. So, think design don't just copy what is in front of you. As my friend Frank Ordaz says, "I always think design" . Have that as a mantra and your art will improve.

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