Available at RiverSea Gallery
It’s been over a month since I posted, and I have been busy in the studio! Often times I like to let new work stew for a bit before I decide whether I like it or not. My perception sometimes changes and I like a new piece more… other times I like it less than I did when I first painted it and I see things that need to change.
The above painting is one I did on the first day of Randall Tipton‘s workshop here at the end of January. I gleaned a wealth of knowledge by watching him paint and listening to his inspirations and process. The two key influences that I will come away with are his use of flattened, simplified shapes and his fabulous sense of color. Of the two, my greatest challenge is the flattened shape. But I look forward to improving that! It is my main goal for the year.
I am infinitely grateful that I have had the chance to study with some wonderful artists. My idea of heaven is filled with endless days of learning and discovery. There is something beautiful and exciting about the gathering of minds to improve and inspire. But I don’t mean to imply that taking classes is the answer to better art. I know that there is only one way to improve: diligent, intentional practice. Creative growth is a delicate balance between being influenced and venturing out independently.
I was talking to an art buddy this week about a class she was teaching and students that may or may not have been influenced. It got me to thinking of all the artists I have studied with, and how they have influenced my art. Then, this morning in my internet browsing, I came across this article and illustration about Circles of Influence. It is “a visualization of literary, scientific and artistic influences… designed to illustrate the enormous creative indebtedness that permeates humanity’s proudest intellectual output, while also demonstrating the cross-pollination of disciplines across science, art, literature, film and music.”
It got me to wondering what an illustration of my Circles of Influence might look like. I’m focusing on art just to keep it simple. If I included books, friends and other influences, I would be at this forever! Here is a diagram I’ve worked up…. it is interesting how the paths to these inspirations cross and criss-cross. An annotated version would be fascinating. I’m wondering if you can see the influence of any of these artists in my work? Which ones? What would your Circles of Influence diagram look like? It is interesting to think about how infinitely this web could continue…
Making art can be a lonely, isolating enterprise, and I enjoy spending time with artist friends! Everyone can use a little cross-pollination. This past week I am spent some time in Arizona with art buddies. It really reminded me how much their friendships have helped and nurtured me. Now I am revived and excited for my “Spark Session” workshop, which starts tomorrow!
Neat idea, Ruth. How did you make that flowchart? I went to the link and was hoping they had some sort of template for doing this, but I didn’t find one. I think we are all influenced by the artists we’ve studied with, and it enriches and informs our work. I try to come away from a workshop with one good idea that I can tweak a bit and incorporate into my work (I obviously can’t use them ALL in one painting, but even so…the influences are there). Thanks for sharing this. Good thoughts.
I used an app on my ipad called Idea Sketch 🙂 Pretty fun way to outline complex ideas, huh? I would be interested to see what your flow chart would look like 🙂
This is quite interesting and I’m encouraged to think about who has influenced me. Having painted just a few years, it should be easier for me!
I read in Ron Ranson’s book about Edgar Whitney that Skip Lawrence was a Whitney student. So maybe he belongs in your circle.
See you in about an hour for the Spark session. Looking forward to it.
Yes, I think Whitney was one of Skip’s influential teachers too. I should add him! We are going to have a fun & challenging weekend 🙂
You continue to entertain me with your creative ways of presenting a worthwhile point.
We are interconnected in so many ways and your cross pollination chart demonstrates it and encourages thought.
I am honored to be included in your mentor list and enjoy learning from you on so many levels.
Linda Rothchild Ollis
Thanks Linda! The feeling is mutual!
Great painting and nice circles of influence.
Love your new work. “Flat” becomes you. Richard Diebenkorn has been a favorite of mine for many years. I will have to re-visit his work
and see what new things I can learn. Lots of white and grey with special spots of pure color. The Oakland Museum has
several of his pieces in it’s permanent collection. What a privilege
to be able to stand in front of one and be ingulfed by his genius.
Sorry to miss your spark session. Too many good workshops at the
Thanks Claudia! Museum visits rank high on my inspiration list too…. I’m past due & looking forward to the Rothko exhibit here in Portland. Hope our paths cross sooner than later…
I really like “Palouse,” especially the large flat shape. And the chart is fun! What a great idea.
Thank you Margaret 🙂 Congratulations again on your award in Western Federation!