At today’s meeting Loretta U, Thomas, Susan, Stephanie, Bill, Kristina, Ward, Loretta L, Tom, Joanne, Annie, Jim, Mike, Eunice, Sharon, Tracie, Paula, and me, Celeste.
Today’s suggested table topic “risk-taking”-- can you describe a time painting (or otherwise) when you took risks and what was the outcome?
Celeste: I brought in a cartoon of Sergei Bongart. The cartoon shows how Bongart “attacked” the canvas. Taking risks seems to have a direct relationship with the amount of experience you have. I'm also reading an exchange I had with Terry Muira on Facebook where in he advised that this “secret” to getting ahead is with a willingness to“lose it”.
Annie: Someone once said to me that it is important to “listen to the faint voices”. When I was illustrating I had a assignment and I wanted to do it in collage but I was told no –don’t do that. I completed the project without collage but then I went back and added collage! I knew it was the right answer for the project and it worked out the best. There was another time when I was studying a marble table top and I said this is how I want it to be! I wound up buying a tile just like it so that I could use it in the project. Listen to your own intuition.
Tom: Why do you need to take a risk? I think it's a matter of becoming familiar with every aspect of our endeavor. My profession has been accounting. I had to learn to add then I had to learn to subtract (Laughter)! Point is, I needed to know all aspects in order to do a good job. We do need to get out of our comfort zones. I do it because it stretches me. I am showing a recent painting.
Loretta L: I do best when I am thinking ---but not thinking too much! I am showing a recent painting that I did at Fine Art Friday at OSA. This was with the model Tony on his birthday. Joanne Kollman helped me some with this painting. She just put a couple touches on it and it made a lot of difference.
Joanne T: I brought two paintings that are favorites of mine. In both cases I had a what the HECK attitude. I just went for it! It seems like we’ll be rewarded when we go for it! This watercolor is of a scene in Westport Mass. I thought “I give up! I don’t care what happens”! then it worked out! (Laughter)!
Sharon: The most afraid I’ve been was during a quick draw…But I’ve decided to do whatever event that I am invited into …that is another form of courage. It helps us grow.
Ward: I skated in an important competition-- I had selected the music from 2001 Space Odessey and I decided (in an impromptu way) to “throw in” a triple axle. But I wound up missing it and I just did the splits! The worst that could happen did happen. Funny, though, ever after that nothing I’ve done since compares to that type of failure. It was the absolute worst—but I lived through it! Since I began painting I have been told to always use more expensive paint and paper because your work will look better—it is not easy to believe that, but once you’re used to using the better quality materials you really will advance. That is another way to “go for it”—to believe in yourself. I am showing a recent watercolor that was done with the product Brusho. It confirms that Brusho can be used in a more traditional way.
Kristina: I just go for it every time I paint! I discovered palette knife awhile back and I’ve embraced it! I am showing a recent painting.
Bill: I attended a 4th of July celebration in Lake Tahoe and I had my paints with me…this was at night with fireworks and I thought, why not try this?? And I painted this painting, I am also showing two verisons of this recent painting I did of my granddaughter and a lantern. I had a print made and they “color corrected” it. I like their version best and I am going to repaint my original to be more like the print!
Stephanie: We won’t talk about all the risks I took when I was in my 20s (laughter)! Art has always mattered to me….a lot! Like more than anything! So the first time I was rejected by a gallery it was awful! However, I’ve learned you have to get over it! If you do this type of thing you are going to be criticized and not everyone will appreciate your efforts. So what! I realize none of this is brain surgery. No one will get arrested if you don’t do “well”! I went to the Warhol exhibit. A quote by him: "Art is anything that you can get away with".
I am showing recent paintings that I’ve changed (improved).
Susan: When I was in my 30s I was invited to do a demonstration at a big art convention. They flew me there and I was put on a big stage and “mic-ed” up etcetera! I must have done all right—no one booed me or threw tomatoes. After that, nothing else seemed near a risky as that. I recently painted my grown son from life. The last time he sat for me he was a little boy. Here is the drawing I did of him when he was little. Now he has a 5 oclock shadow! (laughter)! That is how many years have been in between. Not long ago my son took some art classes and he wound up saying to me “you’re really good , Mom” (That lifted me up)!
Loretta U: The first brushstroke is a risk and every subsequent one is a risk too! (laughter)! But I am pretty good at getting rid of old failed paintings. I just throw them out!
Eunice: I learned plein air painting when I lived in the desert . That is risky in and of itself…because there are holes in the earth there and you just don’t know what resides in the hole! That is why I eventually turned to working from photo reference. I copied an Ovanes Berbarian painting once and it hangs in my kitchen. I love that painting about as much as any I have ever done.
Mike: I was a Navy pilot and it was my “job” to routinely do some death-defying maneuvers, but it became second nature to me and I honestly thought of it all as “fun”! Put some paints and a piece of paper in front of me now, however, and it just might make me “afraid” (laughter! Laughter)! Think of the absurdity of it all! Where is the fear, Grasshopper? It comes from your own mind (applause)!
Jim: I paintined in college, but then I went off to Viet Nam and then after that I had a profession and a family. So I went back to painting by taking a workshop and the instructor took us all these places where there was tons of onlookers. That took some getting used to…it was nerve wracking, but I survived it. I think I might be all the better for it. I am showing two paintings. I like to use palette knife.
Tracie: I don’t really feel that I take many “risks”—the biggest risk I take is in wearing something dangly that doesn’t already have paint on it (laughter)! The watercolorists are the REAL risk takers, if you ask me! I am showing a painting that I am doing for someone…sort of a commission.
Paula: I went to Italy by myself to paint! Huge risk, because there was the language problem and I was all on my own. But I’d do it again..and in fact I will do it again. Next time I will plant myself and stay longer than 3 weeks. I am showing a pastel from Villa Catalana.
Thomas: I am experienced, but I also experience all the things we’ve talked about here. I painted along side a guy, Jose De Juan at Telleride. He posted something about me on facebook that I really liked. He wrote: “That Thomas Kitts, he’ll risk everything”! I know this, you don’t get better by painting the easy ones. I recently painted a really complex scene…I thought “why not”! and I went for it. I did a live demonstration on facebook of a little girl! Talk about risky! And it did not come off without a hitch, I had nothing but problems…still in the end it was all worth it.
Fine art Friday and OSA 1-4pm 20 clothed model
Palette and Chisel with Joanne Mehl
Classes with Ward, Susan, Brenda and others at OSA
Tracie has a painting at the Pittock Mansion
Thomas will teach here in Portland one week next summer
Interested in a one day composition workshop? Let us know (Tracie has an idea)
Next meeting Jan 5 suggested table topic: Welcoming 2017!! Let's hear about your goals and plans!