The Discipline behind Great Art

This is the second time I've written this post. Which means you benefit from better editing, right? Bright side. I'm hoping that my internet provider has straightened out my connectivity issues. Sporadic internet access is so frustrating!

I've been reading Mastering Composition by Ian Roberts. The book holds a wealth of information for anyone wanting to improve their ability to compose a strong painting, plus I always enjoy supporting Canadian authors.

But Roberts has also reminded me of something I prefer to conveniently forget: I am not the exception.

Today's great artists have in common with the old masters the study, the careful planning and deliberation, the knowledge of the "bones" of art found in composition, colour theory, line and perspective.

A dime a dozen are the artists who choose a genre and style that seems easy, who think that they can "intuit" a painting from start to finish. I know, because that artist is me, and if I don't straighten myself out and start applying myself to the discipline part of this discipline, I will continue to churn out unremarkable paintings, to my own frustration.

My challenge, after reading Mastering Composition, is to open it again and do the exercises for several months, like Roberts recommends. Hard to do when I would rather hold a brush than a pencil, when I want to paint my masterpiece now so I can enter it in that spring competition. But I'd be lying to myself if I thought I didn't need it.

ArtAngela Fehr1 Comment