I was having a conversation about art with my friend Joanie, an accomplished pianist, and she shared this important insight with me:
I know it’s hard not to get caught up in the mindset that ‘better art equals more sales,’ but seriously, there are so many wonderful artists that never make any money…it isn’t ABOUT the money. Art, and the arts in general, is about your love of and for your art, the fact that you put your heart and soul into something that you love.
Yikes! She’s right. Guilty as charged. I do tend to get caught up in the belief that sales = successful art. I create more of what people want and will buy instead of exploring different and more challenging concepts.
Based on this reminder from Joanie, I decided I needed a few days in the studio to explore without the pressure of creating anything successful or sellable. Just time to experiment and have fun.
I’ve been wanting to play around with thinned down paints — adding water to the paints to see what the effects will be. Here’s what I found.
These four paintings are all 18″ x 18″, and with each one I added more water to the paints. The colors blend together giving them a watercolor look. The thinned paints also create what are known as “open cells,” where one color breaks up to reveal other colors underneath.
The first painting has the most contrast and the brightest colors.
As I add more water to the paints the colors become more muted.
This piece reminds me of fairy dust! Very soft with an other-worldly look.
In the last painting the colors are very muted with little contrast.
I thought I would play around with a couple of these pieces, emphasizing some areas of the paintings and covering other parts. Here are the results:
Are these paintings perfect? No. Are they beautiful? Not really. But I had fun working on them and I learned some things in the process.
Not all ideas are good ideas! In fact most of them aren’t good ideas. Even the ideas with potential need to be refined before they become something worthy of being called “art.” It’s an ongoing process of trial-and-error.
Where’s your leading edge? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please share them with us in the comments section below.
May your days be filled with fun, play and unfettered joy.
With love and appreciation,