TO STUDY OR NOT TO STUDY February 12 2015
Back in the early days of my art career in Sydney, the pressure to produce was such that I couldn’t justify the time spent on doing preliminary colour studies. At the time I felt it would be like painting the same painting twice. I always did a lot of pencil sketches of the poses but I would iron out the problems of composition and colour on the actual canvas during painting. If something wasn’t working I would go over it and keep changing it until I was happy with the result. Oils are like that, they are very forgiving.
Now I have pressure of a different variety – the self-imposed pressure to evolve. I believe the worst crime an artist can be guilty of is not copying other artists or painting from a photograph, it’s that they never change their style, and continue to paint the same way over and over again. I’m not talking about subject matter but the evolution of their creativity on a fundamental level.
The time has most surely come for me to ‘study’ – as often as I can and as much as I can produce. Right now I’m experimenting on un-primed board which seems to suck the paint right off the surface and roughens any attempt at fine detail. But I don’t mind. The lack of planning lends itself to the excitement of discovery, and the insights already gained far outweigh the time I once considered to be wasted.