Monday, January 28, 2013

Field of Daisys II

Field of Daisys II
S. Tschantz
So often I see other artists in frustration over what gallery goers ohh and ahh over.


“It’s so ordinary!” “All they want is ultra-realism”"Another floral! ugh!" “They don’t understand art”


Well, no, not in the sense you know art. Why would they? Let’s face it. In all areas, those on the inside have a totally different view of that subject/world than those on the outside looking in.


Programmers, carpenters, architects,  they all have an insider’s view.


Why would visual art be any different.


That is not to say that the average gallery goers do not understand art. They do. But what they want from art differs from us.


We look at art all day long. Our eye may tire of the misty landscape. We want the different. Art that pushed the envelop.


Badland Canyon
S. Tschantz
But why would you want or expect that of others?


They want that which enriches their lives. Art they can live with. While the edgy might invigorate us, they might not want art that is, well, uncomfortable.


They want art that is familiar and comfortable. And why not? Life today is upsetting enough. Most find getting up and going to work each day challenging enough. When they come home, they want comfort and joy.




Monday, January 7, 2013


An Acquired Skill


We have all heard of and seen artwork done with a painting knife. Some good, some really bad! And some spectacular. 


Now to be honest, I was not really that fond of painting with a knife. I had seen and tried it in the past. I watched the TV shows, seen the funny knife, and the standard pallet knife. Frankly, I was not that impressed.


I basically knew the steps, but had never taken the time to acquire proficiency on with it. Like all artists, I had my favorite pencils and brushes. I liked my inch wide Grumbacker brushes and felt content. Now, this was before I started to teach. I also had the big old brushes espoused by the big brush school, and was pretty good with them.


But back to knives. I had the usual assortment of painting knives. Just did not do a lot with them.
Fire Falls
S. Tschantz
Knife Painting


A student taught me what could be done with a painting knife.


Monet With Force!


We were working on a copy of Monet’s water lilies.( I am a firm believer in learning to paint by copying the masters.) And she loved Monet. So we were working and she was struggling. I could not understand it because is was really a good student and quite dexterous.  But she could not do the water lilies to please. In desperation I gave her one of my painting knives to work with. A long thin bladed knife.


Water Lily
S. Tschantz
 painting done with Knife
To make a long story short, she made that knife sing! I was floored. I have a hard time with such fine detail with a fine brush! With the rest of my supply (I had acquired a number of them by then) the painting was spectacular.  She went well beyond Monet’s painting to a work of art herself.


Turns out she was a retired surgeon, putting a knife in her hand was second nature to her. With a supply of painting knives, she went on to complete a number of fine works.


This student taught me more than I taught her.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Why Do I Write A Blog?


Well, I like to talk about art. Duh!


No seriously, I like to talk about art. Not just my own finished art, but about my failures and experiences with my students and other artists. Like art itself, writing a blog is about communication. We has humans have a need to communicate. Scientist tell us that our ability to communicate is one of our survival advantages, but they do not talk about our fundamental need to communicate. All of us need to communicate about the things that are important to us.


But why a blog?


I mean, I do know other local artists that I talk to. Why write?


How is writing a different type of communication?


Writing differs from other forms of communication because to not only allows but requires introspection.


When I write it helps me to clarify my thoughts. When I write -review and rewrite- it helps me to really think about art--and to think about how I think about art.


I am a better artist and teacher because of this blog.