The Laws of Nature

Monday, January 18, 2010

Content vs. Artistry

I'm fortunate enough to belong to a group of highly accomplished artists who are good enough to critique my work. So, I put before them these three paintings that I posted a couple of days ago and made revisions from their suggestions (above). Mainly, I needed to achieve greater focus and unity in each painting. They're better now. However, I need to address a more important problem: Never let the message get in the way of artistry. Artistry is always more important than the message. In this case, I had let the content of this work get in the way. And, I KNEW better! I was too immersed in the excitement of the details that I forgot to be painterly. This will be corrected in the future.

So, how did I revise these paintings? I lost some of the edges and put them more into shadow, especially along the margins of the paintings nearer the corners and at the tops of the pillars. I added warmth to the bluish colors, and dulled some of the reds in the eggshells. And, in the central painting, I eliminated the big red circles that were in the architecture at the top. Better? yes. Best? No way!! This is what keeps me painting :)

10 comments:

hwfarber said...

I did wonder about the red circles (& just assumed that I was too dense to understand their significance). You are fortunate to have a group you trust.

Thanks for another lesson.

-Don said...

Kathy, What a blessing that you have other artists in your life that hold your creative hands to the fire. I feel that the adjustments take these paintings to another level - especially adding warmth to the foreground statues.

Thank you for allowing us to see "behind the veil". Your willingness to use your experiences as teaching tools are priceless.

BTW, Eric just walked by and did a double-take. He made me stop typing while he took time to check out each one of them thoroughly. He asked me, "What's the deal with the eggs?", and when I told him the title he said, "That makes sense. Cool!".

-Don

PAMO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chris Beck said...

A very captivating trilogy, Kathy!! It is very hard in my experience to make art with a message because we keep getting pulled back over to that left brain -- I think you've done a great job of combining the two and I agree that your adjustments have strengthened the paintings.

Susan Liles said...

Kathy- Love the theme of these paintings and the adjustments that the other artists suggested. Lucky you! And yes, we are all P.O.'ed at the arrogance of these politicians.

Kathy said...

Thank you, everyone! It's very important to get a critique as I work. You can see what a difference it makes.

Margaret Ryall said...

That's what friends are for... When I saw the these paintings before I was so enthralled with their complexity I thought they were perfect. This often happens to me. I find I have to set my head to analytical mode to see any problems that might exist. Your tweaking has made a great painting even better.

Mark Sheeky said...

Well a more beautiful picture always helps. The changes work. The central one is the best.

I'd rather say that you should never let artistry get in the way of the message though. I struggle to keep the message true that I'd rather do that than change something that might affect it. Fortunately, most changes like colour balances don't really change the message. If anything, better artistry enhances impact.

Gary Keimig said...

great message, Kathy. Something we all need to reafirm.

Kathy said...

Thanks all!