Monday, October 23, 2017

What Every Artist Must Unlearn

October 23, 2017

Nature is not only all that is visible to the eye.. it also includes the inner pictures of the soul. - Edvard Munch



Almost every Artist copies. Almost every trained Artist follows a prescribed script. Artists spend countless hours and many years, and sometimes a small fortune, to learn methods and rules for creating art. They want to become great Artists, they want to create something that will be accepted.

The really enlightened Artist spends the rest of their lives trying to unlearn all of those things. 

I think that's what Pablo Picaso was saying when he uttered the words, It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.

When I was a child, I painted and drew pictures for the simple joy of it. My imagination ran wild and I was transported to strange and fantastic places. There were moments when I was absolutely happy.

As we learn the rules, our drawings and paintings become better, or at least they are perceived to be better. And for each good drawing or painting, we are given praise and this reinforces our adherence to the rules. 

I wanted to seek out the mysteries of drawing and painting. And as the years past I, like every other average Artist, got better at following the rules and the work improved.

These days, I contemplate the meaning of all those rules and I try to recapture the freedom and joy of my childhood. I have those moments, now and again, but much of the time, I am torn between the two worlds, the world of rules and process, and the world of childhood joy. 

I don't know why the two are at odds and maybe the answer isn't in living in one or the other, but in finding harmony between the two. Picasso, would probably say that was bullshit.

Whatever the case may be, I'm sure the journey must be different for everyone. Maybe just recognizing these ideas is enough? Or maybe this is all just a metaphor for life and the lesson is to do what gives your soul joy.











28 comments:

  1. Hi Marty! Thoroughly enjoyed your review of the Hahnemuhle Paper. I especially want to try the Leonardo paper. I could not for the life of me find the "follow" button on your website, but I am on mobile and maybe I just can't see it. Anyway, thanks so much for the paper reviews! I was hoping you would review some papers too since you have been helping me choose the right art products for the past few years. Do please let me know how to follow your website too since I'm a big huge fan of your YouTube channel. ❤

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    1. Hi Alicia - I think you have to be on the website (not mobile) and on the righthand side there's a blue follow button (described in the video). Just click "FOLLOW" and you're all set. Thank you for the kind comments. - Marty

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    2. Sure enough wrong post....just my luck! LOL! Though I enjoyed your review of that paper I think this blog post was even more interesting. I have thought many times "how can I find my own style" when all I ever think about while drawing is if I'm paying attention to all the rules. Is it going to turn out the way I expected....surely if I just obey the rules it will. Right? Many times it doesn't and it throws me for a loop. I never went to art school but I imagine there is much to be gained by both theories. Learning how to draw is one important step but then again there is also that facet of making things your own. Still trying to find my own way with it all. Great thoughts posted here!

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    3. Meant to say "wrong button"! I figured out how to follow! Thank you!

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  2. Hi Marty,
    I saw your las video about the review of Hahnemuler paper, very interesting. I like the your drawings on the Hahnemuler sketckebook, glad you post some here so I can take a look.

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    1. Thank you Svee. Thanks for commenting. You didn't make the first 3, but I appreciate your response and you should stay-tuned to my YouTube channel for more giveaways. Have a great day! ~Marty

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  3. Very inspiring post, food for thought!
    That being said, I really enjoyed the drawing of the boots!!

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  5. Thanks for the hahnemuler review

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  6. Marty, I enjoyed your review of the Hahnenmuler paper. Am searching for a good watercolor sketchbook so it was very timely. Heading over to wet paint to order one! Thanks for your thoughtful videos. Have subscribed and look forward to exploring both your website and your videos.

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    1. Thank you Susan. Don't forget to tell them I sent you. :-) Have an awesome day!

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    1. Thanks Regine - You to. You didn't make the first 3, but I appreciate your response and you should stay-tuned to my YouTube channel for more giveaways. Have a great day! ~Marty

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  8. I know I am to late to get the postcards but wanted to thank you for the review of Hahnemuhle paper. I am going to give them a try.

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  9. Hi. I just watched your youtube...learned alot and have to check out the paper. And I joined as a follower. Am I within the first three to join and write a comment?! Hope not, but either way, thanks for giving!

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    1. Hi Roxy - Thanks for commenting. You didn't make the first 3, but I appreciate your response and you should stay-tuned to my YouTube channel for more giveaways. Have a great day! ~Marty

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  10. I think you made a typo in the last line: "the lesson is to do what gives your should joy."

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    1. Thank you Sir, I appreciate the heads up. Just fixed it. :-)

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  11. Great review! I always love how thorough you are 😊

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  12. Love this blog Marty! It is so true and I really relate. I 'taught' an art class for developmentally disabled adults. I thought I was going to give them some ground rules and watch their art blossom... ha! I was wiswe enough to see they had it going on already and all they needed was the supplys and a word of encouragement. They produced some of the most amazing art I have ever seen. They are an inspiration. They had that childs inagination and freedom to produce it. Like Picasso, I'm still trying to get back there.

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    1. Hi Mary - That sounds like a truly wonderful experience. So happy to hear your let it go and just let it happen. Thanks for the note and good luck on your journey! ~Marty

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  13. Marty, thanks so much for all you do. It'seems very much appreciated. I was interested in your review of this paper.

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    1. Thank you for the kind remarks. Much appreciated.

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  14. Hi Marty. In receipt of Your Sketch Kit. Contents are wonderful. As I am a new "sketcher" (been doing watercolor, pastels), as have not delved into pen/ink very much your kit will give me incentive. Can you do a YouTube video using just the contents of your kit? Would greatly appreciate it.

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    1. Hi Maxine - I should do that, but I've sold every last kit. They were so shorthanded at Wet Paint, that I gave mine up. I'll get another sometime soon when all the contents are in stock and do as you suggest. Thanks much! ~Marty

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  15. I love the remark starting with the Picaso thing. I felt warm and somewhat relieved. I am now 73 and have let over 40 years pass without having performed anything at all. I have just re-introduced myself to drawing and am attempting to improve my skill. I also have been stupid and have bought piles of supplies and repeats. When the opportunity to buy paper at buy one get one free I am captured. I have more paper that I will be able to use before my expiration date. My problem now is getting to do drawing without interuptions which seem to happen daily and I have no control over these intrusions. If I get an hour to draw I am lucky

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