Presbyopic art

Broken DoorI used to love painting at school, but overall I hated everything else about the place and the confinement.

So despite my art teacher’s calls for me to stay at school to continue studying art, on balance I thought it was best to get out of there as soon as humanly possible. I stupidly thought that it would be easy to keep up my painting on the “outside”, but of course there was always something more pressing to do and it’s not easy to keep a messy painting studio at your parents house for long.

I also thought at the time that the teaching of art was a strange concept in that surely the teaching process would stifle any innate talent or originality. I still struggle with that one, but I do recognise the value of art school and there seems to be a an endless line of great artists coming out of places like the Glasgow School of Art, so not all artists share my opinions obviously. Maybe it’s the getting right of the basics that’s important and that the innate individuality comes through even during or after years of formal teaching.

As an amateur guitarist I know for instance that if armed with Eric Clapton’s exact stage set up, even an accomplished guitar virtuoso will sound like himself/herself and not like Eric Clapton.

Anyway all of that twaddle is just my way of making you aware of my little dream of rekindling my love of painting 30 years on from where I left off. So today I started a little private project to do a painting a day. Tentatively this is what I believe is called a 365 project. I do intend at this stage to complete a painting every day, in the hope that my ability and eye will improve. Speaking of my eye; I’m drawn to the study and impression of light and as such the paintings are short on detail. If you’re over 40, these are best viewed without your reading specs.

At this stage volume of work is important to me and also speed. My art teacher’s pleas were based on his love of the fact that I didn’t pay much (any) attention to detail and that I seemed to work exclusively with one big brush for most of the time. Speed was the thing and getting paint on canvas was important to avoid “painters block”. With all of that in mind I am starting off on very small boards, only about A5 size for now. That way I can get some work done and move on fast; I don’t like the thought of coming back to the same picture every day at this stage.

I won’t drone on about it, but I will stick up a photo of everything I finish here.

Do you have a latent desire to create something? If so, would this approach help you? Or have you already embarked on or completed a similar project? I’d love to know about it and what it’s done for you.

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