“Best Use of Materials”…Masterworks 2013

My coach advised me not to miss the opportunity to share  this with you. Having omitted mentioning it in the last newsletter, I was inclined to let it slide.  Geez, you want me to send out another letter? Really? This shows how brilliant I am, at least to have a coach, because when I thought about it I realized she had a point. Thank You Coach…and no I’m not telling you her name, because then you will want her too !

The second award Masterworks gave me at Charman was that of “Best Use Of Materials” Actually when I really think about it, that is a very meaningful notation. You know I hear from a good deal of followers, well-wishers and collectors. Sometimes folks out and out ask why I don’t seem to paint the way i used to. They then tell me what they liked about a specific group of paintings or a specific piece. My subject over the years has not changed much but the use of materials has.
Some of my viewers are comfortable with a clear image, one that looks more photographic. Some find the courage to express that opinion. In thier minds, that shows greater skill by the artist, you know, if she can make it look just like the photo.

Sometimes it’s impossible to tell what material the artist has used to create her painting as there is so little evidence of it in the execution. Here is how I see it. Painting should be about paint. Art is as much about the materials used as it is about what one does with the materials. The thickness or runniness, the way it bleeds, or the trail left by the pallet knife. When materials are used in such a way as to make it impossible to identify them then I think you are being cheated. Each material has a way it behaves naturally and although we push and pull materials in oder to create with them, we want to enjoy them for their intrinsic qualities, otherwise why have different materials?

Fortunately I have both these paintings in the gallery now. The first one is made with cold wax paint, a completely different animal. The one on the right, regular encaustic paint, that is to say heated beeswax. Look at he close up below.

The nature of the material  and the pallet meaning the colors used, can satisfy the eye sometimes irregardless of the subject of the painting. Textures can be yummy.


Here’s a  closeup example of pastel on a hand prepared sanded surface. See the color below the sand, and then the color sitting on top of the grains of sand?. Compare this use of pastel to the next painting.

One is chunky earthy and rough, the other softer in feel, more fitting perhaps to the subject. What do you think?

People who own original art tend to notice and appreciate the use of materials, because they are looking at the original painting all the time, and not looking at a print, which is a picture of a painting.

I understand when people don’t get it.  It’s like learning to appreciate good wine from cheap and then noticing even more, like the subtle  handling of the same material on differing surfaces. Surfaces change the look and behaviour of materials. Like anything else, once you do get it, it’s hard to imagine a time when you did not.. To view the painting up close, to see the reds and blues, then to step back and see  that your eye has married the two colors visually, and now from five feet away there is violet!  Now you see it  whole. It is a beautiful thing when it is well executed.

Thank you Masterworks, thank you Coach, and thank you for not thinking this email was a duplication of the earlier one. Thanks for opening it.