Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Killing the Canvas


One of the simplest and most effective painting tips I ever received came from one of my favorite artists (and bestie) MG Stout. Years ago I would begin a painting by drawing my image onto a blank canvas. Only then, did I begin using brushes and paints.
It wasn't a bad or wrong way to paint; I created hundreds of works this way. There is no wrong way to paint. But from time to time I would find myself "stuck". When this feeling takes over an artist's process there is no more intimidating site than that of a stark-white blank canvas staring back at you as you second guess every creative intention.
One tedious self-doubting day a not-so-gentle voice (one of Mary's superpowers) ordered over my shoulder "Kill the canvas!" That moment changed the way I begin every painting. It doesn't even matter if the color you use to "kill" the canvas ever makes it through to the final product. It frees you from the sterility of the blank surface. The second-guessing fades away and mistakes are not only no longer worrisome, they are sometimes welcome.
So the next time you find yourself in a staring contest with a blank canvas just "Kill it!"...with paint.

3 comments:

SECK1 said...

I totally agree! Sometimes you gotta take risks to get your art to an higher level. :)

One Woman's Thoughts said...

Without even realizing it I had found this process works well for me as well. And it starts playing a foundation of beautiful layers that give a painting more depth and bring it to life.

John Gascot said...

:)