WHAT’S WITH THE DISCONNECT?
Continuing to explore the tension between abstraction and representation. “Untitled”, mixed media on wood, 18”x 14” ©2017 David Limrite
“The artist need not know very much; best of all let him work instinctively and paint as naturally as he breathes or walks.”
What’s With The Disconnect?
I finish a painting and although I may like it very much, it looks unfamiliar to me. Where did this painting come from? It looks nothing like what I envisioned in my mind.
My original idea was good. I knew what I wanted it to look like, because I had painted it, from start to finish, in my head.
So, what’s with the disconnect?
Finished paintings rarely look like how I envision them. There is always a disconnect between what I envision in my mind and what actually happens. I have thought a lot about this and here is what I think happens.
When I envision, paint and complete a painting in my mind, my brain goes from idea to finish in a straight line. With no left or right turns. No changes, modifications or alterations. No discoveries, ah ha moments or happy accidents.
However, When I actually paint a picture on canvas, I make left and right turns all the time during the creation of the piece. There is no straight line. I put some red in the back ground, just like I envisioned it, and that visually suggests a different color palette for the figure. Different than what I originally thought it would be. There are twists and turns and changes in motivation. The painting changes course a multitude of times throughout the process.
So, for me, the better way to go is to not paint the painting in my mind and envision it complete. I try to go from idea to some kind of tangible visual as soon as I can. I physically start the painting as soon as I can after receiving the idea. If I am unable to begin working on the painting right away, then I do a quick sketch to at least get the idea out of my head.
The sooner I can actually paint my idea, the more pleased I am with the result. And I give the painting a chance to collaborate with me. Instead of forcing it to conform to the vision I had in my mind. Which never leads to satisfying results.
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