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The Hidden Order of Painting

May 27th, 2011

On this blog I’ve been beating the bushes. The approach to the muse, however, is not a path which can be marked with words nor delineated with sign posts. And yet I continue to write articles as if it were not the case.

Rex Brandt said: “We do not paint things, we paint relationships.” True as far as it goes. If only it were so simple. Statements like this seem to entrench in the mind and we can easily lose the context. Rex was very much concerned with his medium of watercolor paint. I point this out as an example of how easily the message is compromised with a sign such expressed in blunt terms.

Delacroix said something that addresses what I’m trying to get at. He said the problem with many painters was they used coloration rather than color. He implies that they are not completely devoted to color and their medium.

If we say we do not paint things, we paint relationship in terms of a colored medium I believe we get closer to the crux of our problem as artists. I might add that to paint relationships we must become deeply involved in the initial experience. That very first impression which strikes strongly and ignites the process needs much nurturing. Carrying this around in our heads for a good period of time the muse may visit as we paint. That is the primary relationship.

Published in french as L’ordre caché en peinture

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