I guess blogging could come naturally for bloggers, but for me as an artist I find it hard to get started and easy to find more creative things to do. I do not want to leave you out and I have so much to say, it is just a matter of taking the time to sit down and do it. Then it must go to Timothy, the person that installs it on-line with pictures and formatted correctly, and all that geeky stuff that I have no idea how to do! Anyway I am back for the moment as I have some time and lots to say.
We just finished our house in Spain (by finished, I actually mean livable as the house is a living art project that may take years to really complete), and we have celebrated with three fall classes: two private retreats for couples, and one wonderful group of six female artists from different parts of the world.
I do love teaching, and that is why we have artist retreats in our portion of the château located in the middle of wine country in Southwest France, with artists workshops normally in May, June and September, and also here on the Southern coast of Spain in the Winter months, as the sun most always shines and the temperatures are generally very nice. This makes Spain a great destination for the Winter to escape the cold and find the painters sky of blue, gold, orange and pink with sunsets any artist will love. The Spain house was built on the last lot next to a ten mile stretch of nature park with nothing in front of us but nature park, sea, sky and in the far distance the mountains of Morocco, and by night the coastal lights from across the sea, making this the perfect get away for a week of painting. The retreat week is busy for us, with me teaching and Timothy doing his fabulous role as chef creating his works of art for us to dine on everyday. But for the artists, it is a time to relax and let someone else do the cooking, the dishes, and just a time to disappear for one week of magic, painting, creating, loosing time, making new friends and indulging ones self in the creative process of art.
I am rambling on, but I do have a point: my painting experience over these last several weeks. After finishing with clients, I always have new and exciting inspiration for new works. Finding the "zone" for painting is never simple, but when one gets it one has to paint as much as possible and let the work flow. I have written in the past about knowing when a painting is done, and just because I have signed a piece of work never really means it is finished. There is just a special feeling inside, and when you get that feeling then the painting is done. If you have to ask yourself or someone else, the answer is NO it is not done: you and ONLY YOU will know when it is right. Just as for me this last week. I started a painting at the first of the month, painting on it for about a week, liking the result and putting my name on it. Generally paintings do not leave my studio for many weeks after I sign them; I want to look at them, think about them, and enjoy their company. I want to speculate and test myself. Am I really finished? Well this one went down to the living room for a day or two, just to think about it, and then one morning I woke up, had a bite of breakfast, looked at the painting and back to my studio it went. Two hours and a whole lot of painting and energy later, it was looking better including painting over my name! By the end of the next day it had my name on it again and this time the feeling was right.
You must not hurry a painting: you must be happy with it, you must feel it, you must be in harmony with it and you MUST NOT be afraid of it. Way too often people say they like their painting and are afraid to do anything else. Forget it: I always say, you are not done. When you are done with a painting you feel it and are not afraid of it.
I cannot tell you how many times my students have painted and told me “I am done”, and I look at it and we start to talk about what is going on, what is clear, what is not, what reads right, what does not, what is strong, what is not. Normally my response is clear: “there is always more paint”. Because for me, layers of paint build energy, build strength, make a painting strong, brings life to the work, makes it feel three dimensional, gives it energy, gives it life, and more paint makes it feel stronger, richer, and more alive.
Stay with your painting until the feeling is RIGHT. And if you want my help and you happen to be in the mood for a trip to Spain or France, then come on over, lets paint for a week in my studio with a small group of like-minded artists, or in a private retreat. If you have a partner that does not paint but would like to explore during the day, bring them along. Experience a painting journey in creativity, and I am sure you will find that there is always More Paint! Get the feeling, know the feeling, and let your creativity flow, you gotta love the feeling!
For me Life is Painting, not blogging, but I just happen to have something to say; maybe it will inspire you to work longer, to look at your paintings differently, to give your art more time, not to rush or hurry, but to make your day magic with a brush, canvas and More Paint!
Here is the painting I am talking about, the before and after. And this is only one example. I have many more and I keep telling myself “There is always more paint” and usually I am right! Have Fun! Life is short!!! Be Creative!!!!!!!!!!!! My next blog post on movies: Yes we all like to sit back and be entertained once in a while. I have collected many movies about artists and would like to share them with you. Coming Soon!
Copyright © Mike Snow & Timothy White 2020.
Le Bourg, 24240 Saussignac, France, (+33) 6188.8.131.52
c/Centolla 388, Algeciras 11207, Cadiz, Spain, (+34) 6184.108.40.206