Saturday, March 21, 2020

An Uncluttered Mind

Jane Goodall was a guest on Science Friday yesterday, and she said something that spoke to my heart:

"Louis Leakey deliberately chose me because he said he wanted somebody whose mind was uncluttered by the, in his opinion, sometimes not good scientific thinking."

The benefits of an uncluttered mind.  That's exactly how I feel about my lack of formal art training - a mind uncluttered by the "rules" does not make me less of an artist, rather it allows me the freedom to explore *all the things* on my own terms.  After my Jo Sonja post, my cousin emailed me and said she loves my range, to which I replied it's less a matter of having a large range and more a matter of not being afraid to try.  That, to me, is the benefit of no formal training - I can try whatever and however I want without fear of doing it wrong.  There is no right or wrong.

Now.  That being said, I still make a lot of crappy art.  HA!  Remember at the end of my Jo Sonja post I said I was going to try that color palette on mixed media paper?  Well, I did.  Two things about this experiment were new and different for me - painting on paper and using a vertical surface.  I paint flat on a table, not on an easel, and I don't currently have clear table space big enough for a 16" x 20" paper that needed to be taped down.  (I had a hard enough time cutting this piece - the roll of paper is 42" across by eight yards and it is very tightly rolled.)  So I taped it onto my bathroom wall.  That space is Studio B, and it's where all the messy fluid art happens.  Plus a lot of art storage.  Here's what it looked like with my painting on the wall:

Seating for one, right there.  Maybe I shouldn't have said it's the room for "messy" and "fluid" and then showed a picture of a toilet....

But I digress.  This first vertical painting experience was not a total success - I probably should have used a larger palette knife to begin with, and I shouldn't have been so frenetic.  Maybe then I wouldn't have ended up with a face covered in paint.  It was a mess.  Here's the end result (of the painting, not my face):

Obviously my paper-cutting skills are poor, and if you could see it up close you would notice my tape peeling skills are just as poor.  We can't argue about whether the painting is good or bad because that's subjective (I would say it's not great and the composition is terrible) yet we also can't argue about whether it is right or wrong.  To this uncluttered mind it's art, therefore it's always going to be right.

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