Friday, May 4, 2012

Priorities - Its Always Priorities

When  I decided to set up a studio there were things that had to be done first. Everyone is different, and every artist has different needs. I always thought that one must plan, or maybe have a vision. I'm the visionary - then I plan. It had to be inviting, and one capable of sustaining prolonged periods of time spent developing my art, whatever the medium. It was only after having this mental picture that all efforts were directed to the making of the space.

My proposition is this; Your studio does not exist only in the real world - it exists primarily and more concretely in your mind before it ever takes shape in wood, tile, concrete and plumbing. Your 'studio concept' is what goes on in the time prior to the building time, in the pre-execution, in how, and what order you direct your efforts to the making of your studio and by extension your art. 

We put in the walls of my studio before we put in the floor. We secured a water source before we put in the sink. We plastered before we painted. All this seems obvious. But how does an artist plan a painting? A work of art? It is even more critical in plein air. We are assaulted by a barrage of input. All demand the same attention. We must distill, create a mental image, discard the flotsam and solidify the concept, the plan to build upon.

Creative time is precious. As you get older it becomes more precious. Those of us over 60 are ever more painfully aware that if we are to succeed, we must plan more audaciously, execute more unerringly and promote more unabashedly. Wow - did I say that?

So why do I need a studio if I paint 'en plein air'? Well to paint plein air is to learn to distill, to study and to execute. Does the musician study only to study? Of course not, he performs, to the delight (he hopes) of his audience. An artist performs by enlarging his studies into larger canvasses. By the building of my actual studio, I will have the space to build upon my plein air studies. But I will always be doing plein air, because that is the spark for the concept.

Below are 2 new pieces that I did two weeks ago when I went to the Plein Air Convention in Las Vegas. That could be a blog entry all on its own. Two days spent painting and two extremes in environment. From squalling rain and wind to extreme sunshine and wild burros.

If you are interested in either oil, please let me know. Both are 11x14 and are framed.

Rainy Day at Red Rocks

Red Rocks at Spring Valley

 "A work of art which did not begin in emotion is not art."Paul Cezanne


  1. I enjoyed reading all about your move - brave souls!)and building your studio.
    I Love the paintings above. Your colors are beautiful and capture the desert light.

    1. Hi Julie! Thank you for the kind words. Both Dick and I thought 'if not now, when?' about the move. Its a gamble that we have won, according to both of us. Our new home and friends more than make up for any frustration, anxiety and second thoughts. And just because you move, you do not have to lose those friends of long standing. I enjoy painting the desert and still am looking for my desert painting legs. But they will come with time. Again, thanks.