Or is painting a good hobby?” I was a little put off by the question.
However, a while later I decided that painting was more than making the right choices for my current work. I have done over 35 years in the arts and I had seen enough of the way the world painted, and it felt like the world was painting the world wrong in ways I wanted it to change. I was looking for more, not less. I had a great mentor for this one, so I tried working myself out of my own delusions by working with him on many projects. Working with him brought great satisfaction, as I was able to understand the world in a more complete and scientific manner. This did not, however, solve the problem of painting that had been building up inside of me for years, one in which I had often felt that I should be better – or even, worse, better! – than my peers.
While at my most recent class for painting techniques I was able to understand and appreciate the difference in technique that different artists make when working on a canvas. The painter uses techniques such as water color (and later acrylic painting), spray inks, and paints that come in thin or water-based. I found that I was very happy when we came across acrylic painting techniques. We looked at paintings and tried them on our machines and then returned to the table and watched the works being made and reviewed the results. The works, I was told, were not ‘good enough’. The paintings weren’t good enough, and we asked why! In my mind the paint, the oil in the paint, were not good enough, and as my teacher put it, ‘you are not painting enough right now’. But how could I paint enough right now? The answer came from the work of the painters before me. I took this concept to heart and, in an amazing coincidence, had a breakthrough while at work working with a very old friend from art school.
After a little more investigation, and my own research about the painting techniques, I realized that it was a matter of trying different techniques for different tasks that were in the same field of art. The artist could experiment, and he could have some success and be happy. There was good work to be done from this ‘experimentation’. By experimenting, we had the ability to test painting techniques for other fields, which is the essence of the art-school technique. In the end I decided to study the problem, and I began my own research and found some
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