"ART is a word which summarizes THE QUALITY OF COMMUNICATION. "
L. Ron Hubbard

Monday, January 19, 2009


I mentioned communication in my post on Control and Creativity. I think that’s a factor in doing art. You want to communicate something to someone. We went through a period when the teachers and critics advocated “art for art’s sake.” But art is a communication. It either communicates well or badly. I will say that there are two aspects to painting: 1) the process and 2) the product. The process is important to you. There is a joy to just the process of putting paint to paper and seeing the result. There’s also, sometimes, a fear: “am I going to ruin this?” or “What ever possessed me to think that I was an artist?” The product is the “finished” work. But, in actuality, even the product is not a “finished” work. Each time a viewer looks at it, he or she contributes his experience to that painting. You might say that it is an ongoing communication between you and the audience. The viewer contributes to the art.

Your purpose in painting may be affected by your idea of what art IS. Deciding that art IS only this or that limits your ability to paint. Students get ideas that they can’t create because of some difficulty with the basics (“I can’t draw,” or “I don’t understand how to mix color” or “I don’t understand composition,” “or simply “I don’t know what to paint.”

As an exercise, you might want to go to the library (or bookstore) and look at books on the history of art. Notice many different examples of art. Or, go to an Art Museum and, emptying your mind of preconceived ideas, look at some kinds of art that you normally wouldn’t consider art.


Lynne said...

Hi Pam,
Regarding knowing when your painting is done.... First you have to decide what you wish it to communicate in the early stages of the work. That would include knowing, as the artist, why you are setting about doing that particular piece. And so, staying connected to that decision (possibly tweaking it as you go along) will bring you to the place when you go "There! That's it!"
I always sign my name at this point, even though there may be some little touches yet to do!

Pam said...

I agree. There's a "there" point. I think what the beginning artist lacks is the confidence of when that point arrives. Comes with practice. (Look. learn, practice.)