Sunday, May 21, 2006

the creative process

For some time now I've been feeling like I'm on the verge of a new direction in my painting. I've even gone so far as to purchase some very large canvases (48" x 48"). I haven't even been consciously researching, just actively following my curiosity. While doing some book-learnin' on the marketing aspect of the art biz I took a good hard look at the huge success of local painter Bobbie Burgers. What I took away from looking at her art was confirmation that some of my decisions are on the right track: square format, unframed and painted around the side, saturated colour palette -- and painting large I can definitely do. But what I haven't got is the wide appeal of her subject matter (flowers) and the Van Gogh-inspired style (that Dutch heritage!) that is so well-loved.

So far so good. I have kicked around the idea of doing something similar to her using different subject matter: you know, the trees, fruits and veggies I enjoy doing that are also pretty popular subject matter. But I wasn't making much headway as I dabbled with these ideas. I was making that fatal mistake of allowing the market to make decisions for me, rather than looking to myself and what I wanted to do for the kind of inspiration that I really seem to need to create anything that satisfies me.

Then I got a response from Kaya on my small art blog telling me that some of my work reminds her of Hundertwasser. Hallelujah! This is an artist who I knew only slightly and remembered best as being similar to Klimt. A little on-line research and before I knew it I was ordering a book on the artist and gobbling up everything I could find on him and his work. And like all interesting relationships there's a love-hate aspect to it (hmmm ... the first man I ever loved -- and hated -- was Austrian, too...). In any case, there were the spirals that I'd started exploring lately, the delicious colours that I love (so much red!) and the primitive and childlike motifs that I can't get enough of.

I decided then and there that what I need to do is simply continue on with the vocabulary I've been developing for several years (why abandon so much hard work?), but find a fresh context. And why not use Hundertwasser as a kind of teacher at this early stage? I could do worse.

My first stab at this happened today and took so much longer than most of my small art pieces as I work out what I'm trying to say. My new ideas are all over the map but I'm tempted to just jump right in with both feet and use one of those large canvases now.

Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.
~ Goethe

18 Comments:

Blogger kyknoord said...

Sometimes the gut knows more than the head. Is there anything preventing you from using one of the large canvasses?

21/5/06 10:35 PM  
Blogger tlc illustration said...

I love that feeling of being on the cusp of new self-discovery! How exciting! Keep posting your progress! :-)

21/5/06 10:53 PM  
Blogger ChittyChittyBangBang! said...

Sounds like you have an exciting journey ahead of you.
Good luck amd keep us posted.

22/5/06 1:05 AM  
Blogger Caroline said...

Those pictures do look inspiring to me too. The trick in them seems to be to get lots of detail that doesn't look too cluttered because of the composition and colour choices - they are equisitely rich. And feel potently symbolic too.

22/5/06 1:41 AM  
Blogger carla said...

This is exciting! I do think you should follow your muse and see where she takes you...the big canvas format sounds both exciting and challenging. I do like this new small piece very much. The little heron creatuire amidst the various patterns looks lovely, and I really like the stylized sun (it is a sun, isn't it?) This has a really primitive look, yet modern look...very nice!

22/5/06 2:45 AM  
Blogger andrea said...

Kyknoord: I'd call it my Scotch thrift if I had any Scotch in me (you offering?) because I daren't tackle those huge EXPENSIVE suckers without knowing *exactly* what I'm doing.

TLC & Chitty: It's better than any drug I can think of! :)

Caroline: Yes! Exactly how I feel!

Carla: In my world it's a sun. It's based on a Mexican folk motif, so I really should research and make sure...

22/5/06 8:39 AM  
Blogger susan said...

you must go to the hunderwasser house.
it is amazing andrea!

22/5/06 2:50 PM  
Blogger andrea said...

Susan: I can't believe I've been to Vienna three times and never seen it!

22/5/06 3:35 PM  
Blogger Alina Chau said...

beautiful awesome paintings!! Great posting, enjoy reading your creative story too!

22/5/06 10:19 PM  
Blogger susan said...

i can't believe it either! your paintings do not remind me of hundertwasser overly, but maybe the colors? there IS something about them, but i find them much more nature oriented. after we went to wein i found myself outlining my paintings a whole lot more. hard to escape the influence. great post!

23/5/06 4:43 AM  
Blogger HildaRose said...

Jump girl! All you can lose is the cost of a canvas and some paint. This is an amazing leap that you have made. Love the small art but am dying to see what you develop on a large canvas. Go, go go...

23/5/06 7:56 AM  
Blogger Reluctant Nomad said...

Definitely Hundertwasser! Definitely a good direction!

23/5/06 11:19 AM  
Blogger Cherrypie said...

I don't know much about art but I love what you do. I'm really looking forward to seeing the finished large canvasses. Whatever you do will be fabulous x

23/5/06 11:55 AM  
Blogger Toni said...

An artist once told me it's only paper. Not until you are done creating on it would it be of any value. Just go do it. I finally decided I need to paint what inspires me. There will be someone in the market that likes it. You just need then to find where you belong. When I design then that is for the market. Andrea you are talented and have an awesome style. That is why I asked you to be in the gallery. The right people will come along.

24/5/06 4:10 AM  
Blogger AscenderRisesAbove said...

wow; that is an amazing piece

24/5/06 9:57 PM  
Anonymous Kaya said...

I'm so excited by the new work and it is great to hear about your process, finding new direction, etc. I have always been drawn to Hundertwasser's colours and imagry. I also love the qoute from Goethe's "Commitment" - it's one of my family's favourites! Happy exploring. And we want to buy this one!

25/5/06 2:36 PM  
Blogger Nabeel said...

what an awesome pic .. the house .. is it painted or real?

26/5/06 6:57 PM  
Blogger frank h said...

go ahead, andrea
its totally great!

26/5/06 10:15 PM  

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