Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Server Study; Emily Dickinson, "Dwell In Possibility."; Simone Weill, "the rarest and purest form of generosity."

Server Study
 oil  11" x 14"

"Dwell in possibility."
Emily Dickinson

"Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity."
Simone Weill

I'm not certain if I've posted this Server or not in the past. It is from a year or so back. I don't often do still life but this old dented silver plate server posed too much of a delicious challenge to ignore. So, being perverse in my avoidance of normal procedures, I set my self a  task I used to assign students: No edges allowed, no preliminary drawing. Simply use shape next to shape to create edges - value and temperature from a limited palette to create form. This way of working, usually just in an exercise or study, requires the utmost attention to the location and scale and value of every mark - as each one depends on the previous and the next to hold its place in the structure. Accurate seeing must be poured onto the subject and transferred to the painting requiring a kind of meditative state. 
    Beyond these impositions there are things required that are necessary in every painting, no matter the technical approach. The idea behind Emily Dickinson's quote - a painter must constantly take a leap of faith that process will end in a record of exploration and the essence of the sensations produced and the attention paid - learning to "dwell in possibility" enough to abandon themselves every day to the process. If one works regularly, with good craft and intelligent process, something worthwhile may be the result. 

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