Thursday, February 4

That's How We Learn with Paint

Pears in the Light
Acrylic on Watercolor Paper
8 x 5 in/20.3 x 12.7
Copyright Byrne Smith 2016
As I mentioned before, an old artist friend used to remind us painters to try new techniques or paints or tools or brushstrokes, and always ended with, "That's how we learn."

That is how we learn as painters; otherwise, you may get caught in what feels like a circular room with no doors (or windows). What I mean is, you keep going around and around, but can never break out.

We should try things that may not always seem logical or conventional, and may even be considered just  "wrong" by many painters.

Well, I say if you're painting like most painters, you're not doing it right. That is, you're just trying to paint like others, and you're not finding your own way to paint.

I do agree that to improve it's perfectly OK to find a mentor painter and study how he or she paints the way they do. But at some point you have to make it your own.

I painted today's image with water-y acrylic on (gasp) watercolor paper. Watercolor and acrylic painters are probably rolling their eyes.

But if you never try something different, you may be missing an opportunity to find a new, painterly way to express yourself.

After all, that's how we learn.

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