08 December, 2009

Get There Quick!

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"Time...is running...OUT, old chum!!!"

Every artist wishes to excel in their work. The Colorist has been looking at How to Paint for the Prize.

Because I was seeking the prize for my art last summer, I was in a hurry. One thing I knew about myself when it came to painting for my show in California was that if I didn't complete all of the artworks in a narrow time frame, their look would be discernibly different from one another. As an example, the first few pastel paintings would not seem very much "like" the last few - they would still look to be done by the same artist, but they would convey different ideas.

If focus was a pathway to winning First Prize, then I would need to get my body of work done in the shortest time possible. Long days in the studio, with early starts and after dinner sessions would be in order. Since I knew the venue, I had a firm idea of how many works I'd need, which was about 25. Since I was at an art festival, and since running out of art is the big taboo, I knew that I could fill-in with paintings that didn't match my series on the last day.

One thing that worked against my goal was the danger of reworking the same idea so often that I might produce a boring inventory. Same scene - different day, so to speak. My belief is that returning to a scene will generate more good than harm, as the artist can actually better define his ideas by repetition. A stop gap for me, though, was the limit of about 25 works.

Narrow the time frame of your painting project to keep your works coherent and focused, and your audience will appreciate the results.

Congratulations to Tom Christopher, Images from the Iowa Greenbelt, whose pastel "Barely Alive," won first prize in the Arkansas Pastel Society competition. That's how it's done.


Unknown said...

This post is timely for me, and good advice. I'm presently working on 34 canvases for a solo exhibition in June, and I can relate to what you mean. Thanks!

Adam Cope said...

Nicely & concisely put, in a nutshell.

a narrow time frame limits the meandering curiosity & a dealine helps get it done.

Brenda Boylan said...

Casey, this is great info! I'd only hope to absorb it and run with it. On another note, in the video clip, Batman throws the bomb after much indecision and says "Somedays, you just can't get rid of a bomb!"

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