Friday, August 23, 2013
Direct painting and Knox Martin
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!