Plein Air Fun Day

It’s PREtty. The way he said “pretty” was so slicing. So full of distaste and disgust. As if anyone would stoop to the level of PREtty.

It’s decorative, it’s self-expressive. (But it’s not art, he meant to say.) All of these words fell off his tongue in a slurry of dismissal. They were not, realistic or naturalistic, which he said with a slightly more upright posture and more air retention in the upper palate. These were his styles. Thomas Kincaid-like, in my opinion. But whatever.

I know the tones he was using because it was how I was taught to elevate “classical” music to the false pinnacle of superiority that it took to justify the rigid rules and lack of self-expression inherent in classical music training. Any evidence of your flaws as a human being had to be erased. There was a standard to be met, and it was outside yourself. Your job was to polish and burnish to a high gloss sheen. No matter what it took.

I noticed how quickly every single painter was to say what they didn’t like about their own work. There was no habit of acknowledgment and appreciation and just witnessing of the work. There was this sense of aspiring to something. Of making something “good”.

But what is evident to me is how every single person has a different expression and that is so beautiful. When we try to make it something, we hide ourselves and lose the point. And also the beauty. The art suffers because within all the trying, there is force and extra. There is judgment. There is pause.

“I can tell you what I DON’T like,” she said. I was still busy appreciating the brilliance of the perfect marigold yellow she had created in her sunflower portrait. The shape of the leaves. The daring positioning of the large flower as the centerpiece of a small canvas. And she was already highlighting what was wrong. And then when it’s highlighted, everyone’s eyes go to that place. They exclude the entire experience and focus on just what’s “wrong”.

Such a shame.

And so familiar.

I am bored by attempts at “realism”. I want to see evidence of a human being creating art. Playing. Exploring. Discovering. Not applying a bunch of rules someone wrote down after they had their own fun.

Yesterday was a sunny one here on the coast. I joined the plain air painters for some more outdoor acrylic scraping (painting without brushes):

IMG_3655 IMG_3657 IMG_3658 IMG_3656


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