Tuesday 21 July 2009


Some paint is on canvas.

I hesitate.

Traditional painting involves planning. Sketches. A clear vision. There is no "undo" function. Oil paints are capricious. As they dry, they darken but also become more transparent. Mistakes are revealed, old compositional frameworks exposed. The graphite in pencil can float to visibility on the surface.

Bah. I don't worry about the graphite. These days I aim to immortalize the pigments and oil with pixels and photons. But I must get the composition right. I want this painting to be able to be framed as an oil.

I need to begin my altered chess pieces. They make the painting. This is only the background.

Yet I hesitate.

- - - - - - - -
Original artwork on The Flying Trilobite Copyright to Glendon Mellow
Creative Commons Licence.

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Sean Craven said...

I hear you. I draw back from projects even in digital form -- even writing projects -- because of the feeling that this one needs to be done right -- and I may not be up to it. I am starting to learn that living up to your intellectual ideals or sources of perceived beauty is a dead end -- you need to devote yourself to the work, not its inspiration.

But you've already started. Now, are you hesitating or cogitating? If the latter, take your time and be patient with yourself.

If the former, well. You know what I'm going to say.

And think of it this way. There is an extremely laborious version of command-Z in traditional media. It's called, "Try it again."

Here's a quote from Goethe. I'd bet money that you're familiar with it, but it's one that every artist should return to from time to time, in order to refresh themselves.

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

Sean Craven said...

Oops. It's not Goethe; it was written by a Scottish mountain climber named. Murray.

It's still a good one, though.

(And in one of those creepy , the pedant is given the captcha word padent. Cue Twilight Zone theme music. Sigh... I may be an atheistic materialist, but as Goethe once told the haunted forest, "I do believe in spooks, I do I do I do believe in spooks.")

Dicing with Dragons said...

Glendon, I never pencil on the canvas underneath oils.

I project my underdrawing onto the canvas with an overhead projector. (Ask Zach.)

This way, there's no pencil lines to be concerned with.

Dicing with Dragons said...

Dollars to doughnuts Goethe never had a deadline.

So he can pretty much sit down, shut up, and go back to being dead.

Glendon Mellow said...

Hey Sean,
I realllly like that quote! Hadn't heard it before. "Boldness has genius, power and magic in it." I like that. I should have more studio time tonight. Time to mess up my pretty chess board and redeem myself.

I often scan my drawing and print it out on canvas paper so the original is intact. In this case, I just wanted a few guiding lines for the grid. The projector is a good idea though, I've got one. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Speaking from an artist's point of view. I see where you're coming from. As you said, mistakes are revealed and the "old compositional frameworks exposed."

Remember, this is your creation and mistakes should be allowed so you can grow. Don't expect perfection even with planning. Doing so contradicts the meaning of Art. Whatever your ideas are, Glendon, just remember to trust yourself and your own judgement. That is an artist's TRUE strength!

Glendon Mellow said...

Hey Raptor thanks for the encouragement. But - not expect perfection!?!? Humph.


Anonymous said...

No problem, dude! I'm glad to help since I love your Art! And, yes, do NOT expect perfection. ;) (I know you're kidding with that last part.)

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