Driving With Your Artistic License

Creating art is a journey and traveling it can be a very rewarding experience. Learning about technique through reading books and magazines and watching videos or talking to other artists is like looking out the windshield. Hands on painting and sculpting, the act of creating, needs to fill miles. There is no substitute for doing!

When you first got in a car you were sure you couldn’t drive. You probably even said it to yourself. I can’t do this, I’m not sure what I’m doing, and you may even believe you weren’t any good at it. Get over it. You are allowed to become an artist, tell yourself so! The process of creating art is fun and filled with mistakes and happy accidents that I guarantee will make you smile. So go along with it and have fun. That’s why you started.

My first few cars were beaters that ran on maypops (worn out tires). As the cars got better so did the experience of driving. Your art is the same. Cheap quality brushes and paint will have a lasting effect on painting that IS NOT GOOD. Use better quality materials and you will quickly find that the work you create will be better in quality. And you know that it’s hard enough to create without having to deal with the frustration that is caused by inferior quality brushes and paint.

Having artistic license means that you have a responsibility to driving the creative process. Make it interesting. You don’t have to travel down the same roads day after day. Experiment with getting from one point to another. Instead of long careful brushstrokes across a landscape, dab and stroke blotches to see how they relate to the rest of the surface. Instead of pressing forward with your eyes open, squint at the artwork. See the tonal relationship that makes up your art. Color can be important but tones and their relationships are part of the variety that makes a work of art. By changing the size, shape, color and texture of elements in a painting, you are creating an interesting visual environment that a viewer will be pleased to visit. This is the importance of using your artistic license.

Your journey will put you in touch with the elements of design, the rule of thirds and maybe even an exploration of the golden triangle. You will play with cool and warm colors and tints and use them to create depths and perceptions. Your textures might create movement across the surface where you make your marks. And who knows what medium you will choose to express your ideas. Your artistic license will not be revoked for mistakes or experiments. Enjoy the journey!



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