Saturday, September 4, 2010

to be compared to Sargent!

Painting is hard, that is what makes it so worthwhile as a lifelong, never quite finished goal.
Of course  John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was the most successful portrait painter of his era, as well as a gifted landscape painter and watercolorist.
Which makes the comparison all the more startling with my effort!
Here is the rest of what Stapleton Kearns had to say instructively about painting, light and how to make a work into poetry.
"               Most importantly this painting needs something the French call raison d'etre, that is reason to exist. rather than just showing us a fountain, the painting needs to say something more. It might describe something about the fountain or the light on the fountain or a romanticized description of the fountain. The picture needs to have a treatment, a way of seeing the fountain that is special.
It needs to say more than HERE IS THE FOUNTAIN. Below is a fountain painted by Sargent.

This is more a exposition of the light, the glowing shadows and crisp details against an amorphous background than it is a picture of a water spewing masonry doodad. It is an opinion, a poem painted about the fountain. It is often a good idea to think about painting the radiant light more than painting the subject. Painting the light has made lots of ordinary subjects noble.


Its not what you paint, but how you paint it that matters.

It might help to ask yourself, what can I say about this fountain,? How does this fountain make me feel? How can I make this fountain look cool? It is all in telling a story about the subject rather than showing up and recording it."

And here is another cool fountain painting by Sargent. This one was painted in Spain, someday maybe I will follow his footsteps to that spot.