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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Art Quote of the Week ... on Simplification

'I Can See Forever'        16 x 20    pastel    ©Karen Margulis   $250 Etsy shop
Wouldn't it be nice to start the week with an inspiring art thought to give us a little food for thought. Welcome to my new weekly blog feature.  I will search for and share a quote that will provide us with inspiration and something to consider as we create art during the week.

Today's quote is from Edgar Whitney and his book 'Complete Guide to Watercolor Painting'  which by the way is a wonderful book full of his teachings that apply not only to watercolor.

"When you work from the whole to the parts, expressing the large gesture first, you frequently find when you get to the parts that the subconscious has beautifully suggested the details"  Edgar Whitney

'Marsh Study'   6x8   pastel     $55 Etsy shop
I love this quote!  This is exactly what I was trying to share at both my SPS demo and classes last week.  We want to suggest details rather than spell everything out and by starting with the big simple shapes first we have a better chance of stopping before we overwork the painting.  On the other hand if we start with the little details we may end up with a busy overworked painting with no strong structure to hold it together.

The painting I am sharing today was the demo for the Southeastern Pastel Society. My goal was to show ways to simplify a busy landscape and to find ways to suggest details. I began by painting the big simple rectangle of dark earth and blue sky.  I then added the color in the grass with broad strokes of pastel.  I worked from the whole to the parts as Whitney suggested in his quote.  I'd like to think that my subconscious suggested the details!

This week we will be working on watercolor under paintings and I will let this quote guide me!


Vanessa said...

That is a great quote! It's a difficult thing to remember because you can often get so carried away or distracted by the detail that you need up with all these " bits and pieces" that may look great on their own but together just have no connection or unity.

Karen said...

Thanks for the comment Vanessa. I printed out this quote to stick near my easel!