Friday, August 23, 2013

Direct painting and Knox Martin


Available $250.
Oil on 5x9" panel
A month ago, I was flipping trough YouTube, looking for painters doing what painters do. I love watching academe teachers demonstrate painting to their students... I found Knox Martin! he really inspired me, not just his creative style but his philosophy and exuberant art spirit. He's in his nineties and still working and lecturing. I wish I could meet him! I would tell him that finding him was a cure for my art depression. For a very long time I have felt that I needed to prove myself as a real painter by tackling realism, isn't that the bottom line? They say before you break the rules you must know the rules? After fifteen years of very focused painting I began feeling a lack of inspiration, a disconnect.

When Eureka Studio Arts asked me to teach a workshop on direct painting, I felt unsure of myself. I started to look for teachers demonstrating their techniques and sharing their philosophies on art through YouTube. I learned so much I could barely contain myself. And I found out quickly what I knew and what I didn't. My workshop has gone well and I am so thankful to those who give freely on YouTube for helping me achieve my goals in the workshop.

Back to Knox Martin. One thing I really needed was to feel the truth about painting for myself. Who am I as a painter and artist? Knox opened that door for me, through his words and his work I saw my own truth. He told his students that you do not become a painter, you are born a painter! Sounds simple, but it's not because we do not recognize or value the natural expression when it happens, that's because we are trained to think that you have to learn before you can know. The opposite is true. You know "The Thing" right out of the blocks. Then you must learn the ins and outs of art, the rules. All that stuff that help establish the artist on a secure foundation. 

I have spent my life knowing that my call is art. I remember my first painting as a student in Chicago's head start program at the age of four, making that painting sealed it for me. After fifty years of art making I am given the gift of memory. I'm not trying to paint anymore, I'm just painting!

5 comments:

Gary L. Everest said...

Good Morning Rachel,
Wow! What a post! Who knew someone with your talent, ability, gift, work ethic, drive and/or persistence could feel that way?
Of course, what I just wrote is really dumb, because all true artists suffer similar angst. It comes with the job, so-to-speak and though most of us have felt that way and questioned ourselves, we never seem to think it applies to the artists we admire and want to secretly (or not) emulate.
I was always shocked to hear the man who tried to teach me how to paint, remark about a problem he was having. Or, sometimes, about how hard it was for him to begin a painting. How could it be true? How could a great painter, who seems to do everything so easily, still have problems?
Well, Rachel, now I understand, but it was still something of a surprise to read your words this morning.
I'll wrap this up by saying I'm happy for you and your positive resolution to the problem. You Tube is a wonderful source for everything and like you, I visit it often for both inspiration, as well as, technical help. Also, like you, I'm amazed at the generosity of artists everywhere who share their knowledge so freely.
Congrats on the workshop success and personal growth. We are so lucky to be able to follow our dreams!
Sincerely,
Gary.

RK Schlueter-Oils said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RK Schlueter-Oils said...

Hi Gary, thank you for your very thoughtful comment. We are so luck to do what we love and inspire others...:)

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