Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Archive for September 1st, 2014

The painter’s process

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Hiram Williams

The good painter also understands the creative process. He expects the following pattern to be commonplace: a mulling over of ideas; a gestation of these ideas over a period of days, months, or years; the reappearance of the idea from the lower reaches of his mind; the attempt to embody the idea, now fully formed, through the medium; the finding of his intention (what idea plus the medium looks like); the visualization of his intention, which is his statement—the finished painting. Some persons call this “self-expression.”

It is to be noted that a painting is not arrived at straight on by simple transference of idea from mind to canvas. The painting is achieved obliquely through an encounter, a kind of dialogue with the medium and surface while the painter is trying to pin down the idea.

The painter “trying to pin down the idea” uses materials, and out of the struggle with and through these materials the picture comes to be finally resolved. The struggle is intense and at times extremely painful.

Hiram Williams, Notes for a Young Painter

Written by nevalalee

September 1, 2014 at 7:30 am

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