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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Weekly Art Wisdom from the Masters

'Timeless Tides'        5x7         pastel       ©Karen Margulis
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"The true artist is always the student"   Edgar Payne

Did you ever take an art book and just open it up to a random page?  And read just that page?  I do this when I am bored or seeking some inspiration. Sometimes it is helpful. Sometimes it is  totally unrelated to anything I am working on. But it always gives me food for thought.

So I thought it would be fun if I report on one of these random readings and make it a regular feature on the blog.  You just never know when you come across a pearl of art wisdom that you are ready to hear!

So today I chose to open up my copy of Edgar Payne's Composition of Outdoor Painting. Many readers wrote to me yesterday saying how much they love the book and many wish they could find it or afford to buy it. So I will share some random tidbits with you.

Today's Random page is page 20. Here is a quote from that page:

"The study of art is something that cannot be once completed and then set aside.  Knowledge is never complete. Research and meditation are always the source of new ideas. Aside from this, everyone, regardless of his degree of proficiency, needs occasionally to review and take stock lest he become stale, methodical or rests in smug complacency"  Edgar Payne

I find it interesting that I turned to this page. I took out this book in fact to help me review and take stock!   Of interest to all artist especially beginning artists, he goes on to say that practice is of equal importance to study or what he calls the mental approach. We have to learn the essentials as well as practice. He says that knowledge always precedes execution. I will leave you with this quote as food for thought:
"No one can paint better than he knows how" edgar payne


David King said...

"No one can paint better than he knows how"

I love that quote! I'm going to have to share it with my Mom and brother who beleive that making art is mostly natural talent and emotion. How do you explain to someone that has that belief that learning to paint is really primarily many, many hours of study and practice? I tried to compare it to writing, that you can't write a best selling novel if you don't learn grammar, and vocabulary first, still didn't get through to them.

Karen said...

Thanks David. I think it makes a lot of sense. I always stress to my students that they need to practice but it is really a combination of study and practice. I love your comparison to writing! Very good!!

Gloria said...

I am enjoying your bits of wisdom on your blog as well as your paintings. Karen, is there anywhere that I can learn about the step by step for glassless pastels? I have a lot of gallery-wrapped canvas andd would like to experiment with turning some of them into pastel surfaces. I know you said I could do pastels on a surface of clear gesso, but I know nothing about "melting" the pastel with water or alcohol and then proceding with many layers sprayed with fixitive. I have tried some fixative and did not like the "dead" look it gave the pastels.

Thank you, Gloria

Karen said...

Thanks Gloria!
I actually don't know how to do a glassless pastel. I do use fixative between layers but I don't know how to seal a pastel so you don't need glass! I use the clear gesso on matboard to give me a gritty surface to work on.

If anyone knows about glassless pastels please share with us!

Gloria said...

Oh, I thought I saw somewhere a reference to "Cheevy" who did glassless pastels and that you were using his technique. I will try the clear gesso. What fixative do you use? Thank you again.

Karen said...

Hi Gloria, I took a workshop with Bill Creevy who wrote 'The Pastel Book' and he shared his techniques for using water with pastels. For fixative I like to use Blair workable fixative. I like the way it darkens the pastel and lets me create some texture.

Jo Castillo said...

I saw Bill Creevy do a demo using PVA Sizing, Gamblin product, and pastel on canvas. He mixed a small amount with water in a spray bottle. He put a coat of pastel, sprayed, let it dry or dry with a blow dryer, pastel, spray, dry, etc. It made the pastel run and gave a great texture. It looked like an oil painting when done. I did a still life of boots, took about 30 layers to get it the way I wanted. Only did it once, I am not that patient to go over and over it again!

I love the quote. Soooo true. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Maybe oil pastels could be considered "glassless". I've see them for sale on Etsy, anyway, where they are done on wrapped canvasses and need no further framing.