When I had decided to take art seriously, I began studying for my B.F.A. I commuted to school for about 80 minutes one-way for two years. I had a wonderful professor over there who kept telling the class: "it's not WHAT you paint, but HOW you paint it." I didn't really get what he meant by that statement, and so I just painted the required still lifes, like everyone else in class on handmade 36" square canvases. Enjoyed it and even sold some of my work produced during that period. There were no demonstrations, just painting from life. I guess so everyone could figure out HOW to paint it.
When I went for my Master's, there was disregard for HOW. It was all about WHAT to paint. Theory and ideas coupled with some chance and luck involved...
After a roller-coaster of many years spent drawing and painting, failing and believing in the impossible, now I know that true painting doesn't quite work, if HOW to paint is missing WHAT to paint and vice versa. As a realist contemporary artist, I try to balance both parameters where the skill supports the idea with equal force.
I must admit I have no talent painting people. It's me who drew stick figures. I took more life drawing classes than many other students. That's where I saw the difference between the sheer talent and plain hard work.
|This is how it looked after 2-3 years of drawing. LOL|
Up to this day figurative painting represents the highest challenge for me, yet I do it, working on such pieces 4-5 times longer than on landscapes. Why? Because my bare knowledge of HOW must meet with my concept of WHAT. Figurative painting is the highest form of art, in which emotions and thoughts can be expressed at artist's fullest potential through the power of human form.
|Serenity, oil on canvas, 16x20 inches|