Archive for March 17th, 2013

13PattyBlueGalapagosSome students in my painting class like to start with a photo taken during their travels.  Here’s one from the Galapagos.  Texture, shapes, lines, a bit of blue.  The photo itself looks pretty abstract already, but the ocean at bottom right gives it away as representational.

In order to help her disassociate the image from its literalness, Patty rotates the photo 90° counterclockwise.  She tapes it to the top of the easel, dips a 1” paint brush into some thinned sepia and draws the main lines on the photo onto her large fresh white canvas.   At this point, it’s safe 13PattyBlue1to say, she may still be thinking rather literally, her loyalty latched to the Galapagos photo.  The more paint she puts on the canvas, the more her loyalty will shift to the canvas and away from the photo.  The paint takes over.  Easy to say.  In fact, paint comes with all sorts of frustrations; it just does not do what the sunny, equatorial photo does.

The challenge is to let the paint take over.  One way to move in that direction is to reach for the big brush.  How about this one here, brand new and clean and THREE INCHES wide.

Take a deep liberating breath. Ooh, now we’re paintin’!

Patty’s painting is not finished, but I like it already.


My students graciously put up with me when I consider their painting finished long before they themselves think it’s done.

All contents copyright (C) 2010 Katherine Hilden. All rights reserved.




Read Full Post »