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Do You Believe In Magic?

January 29, 2012

We have a local artist, all-be-it  internationally famous, that writes a twice weekly newsletter/blog on the ins and outs of an artist’s life.  His name is Robert Genn.

Bob’s latest musing concerns the proclivity of artists to begin most of their paintings from a certain part of the canvas.  Apparently some artist most often begin from the centre of interest, while others start either at the right or left side of the canvas.  I suppose it all has to do with brain dominance in individuals which is what Bob’s research eludes to.  At the end of his posting Bob asks for input and this is what I wrote back to him:

Dear Robert
I would say that my proclivity is to start painting at the centre of interest and work out from there.  This habit is not written in stone, however, as I have one notable exception….the painting of skies.  I love skies, I love painting skies and when painting landscapes most often paint them right off the top (so to speak).
Of late, my painting method has been ruled somewhat by ‘magic’.  After having begun with my vision for the subject, considered my centre of interest, that which I would like to emphasize, I choose a rather neutral, earth colour for ground and cover the entire canvas with that colour.  I move between drying the canvas flat and vertical.  The latter creates runs down the canvas.   Then comes the ‘magic’.  After the canvas is dry, I turn the it around and around until I see my painting within the ground.  It is truly remarkable but often I can see the entire painting just sitting there ready to be painted.
I do realise that the contemplation of my subject and the reworking of elements in my mind has likely led to my brush laying the ground down in a certain pattern that reveals the subject but I prefer to think of it as magic.  The reason for this view is that unmarked, white watercolour paper can be viewed in the same way.  The paper reveals the painting long before a brush hits it.
Happy painting.

View of Shukstan Glacier - For Sale

Viewing something as being decidedly ‘magical’ in nature is viewing something from the point of view of intrigue and wonder.  For many artists, this is the point at which most of their paintings are revealed….I am not alone.  When you are an artist, magic is happening every day whether you are looking for it or not.
Once again, Happy Painting!
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