"DOWNTOWN FRIDAY NIGHT"
This painting was a real breakthrough for me as an artist. Previously I had painted in a "semi-realistic" or "representational" style with a twinge of impressionism thrown in. Here's the story about how this painting (which is anything but realistic or representational!) came to be.
I was working on a painting of a downtown Chicago night scene. The more I worked on it the more dissatisfied I was with the results I was getting. I basically gave up on what I was trying to do and just started playing around with my brush doing all kinds of wild things with color and brushstrokes and texture. I felt like a crazy man just slopping paint here and there. In reality, instinct was taking over over-thinking and the need to be realistic. Was the right brain beginning to dominate the left brain? YES! The end result is what you see here. People love it so much I won't sell it!
At first I must confess that I wasn't sure what had happened and not sure I liked it. But the more I lived with it the more excited I became. For years I've been trying to "loosen up" my painting and get away from the more realistic or representational style. I just couldn't do it. I'd get protective of my image and was afraid that I'd mess it up if started getting too loose. This painting has become one of those "turning points" or "watersheds" you often hear artists talking about in their careers.
There are several important things I learned from this experience:
1. The end result of this process reinforced a concept I learned from an article by Indiana artist CW Mundy that "The power of suggestion is greater than a statement of reality"..
2. I learned that "loose is more". What this means is that fewer, more dramatic, and less precise brushstrokes create what is often called a "painterly effect". It's definitely not a photographic representation. It's very clearly a painting. I've discovered that I like this in a piece of art as do many other people.
3. From exhibiting this piece at various art fairs I discovered how much people are drawn to bright colors. Even if they don't buy a painting I'll get lots of comments about how people love my colors. In fact, I've even subtitled this blog ". . .painting for people who love color."
4. I learned that it's best not to analyze a painting too much, especially while I'm in the midst of painting itself. This doesn't mean don't think. It's just that "over thinking" can get in the way of the creative process.
5. This also taught me to trust my instincts, intuitions, and feelings, and to allow them to contribute their fair share to the process.
Anyway, ever since this painting "happened" my style is notably different and I'm having the time of my life with this new direction!
Order a print of this painting at "Downtown Friday Night" Print
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