"An art which isn't based on feeling isn't an art at all ... feeling is the principle, the beginning and the end; craft, objective, technique – all these are in the middle."
"Style is not created through servile imitation of the masters; it proceeds from the artist's own particular way of feeling and expressing himself."
"Genius is the ability to renew one's emotions in daily experience."
Over the course of this past summer and into the fall, I’ve been doing more and more small ‘sketches’ like the one above -- 4-6 per week since June. While immersed in the act of creativity, I feel truly happy, even though I’m living through much unhappiness at this point of time in my life. When people ask me how my work is going or what I’m doing, I tell them “Experiments.” Which makes me think back to Cezanne and some of the paintings that he called his ‘experiments.’
Some things I’ve learned: My experiments are exercises in showing up & doing the work, even if an experiment. I’m using up available space in sketchbooks from the past. I’m using time spent in not working for $$’s. My paintings are small and start simple. In recent months I’ve been enjoying beginning my paintings not with a pencil but with brush and paint, inspired by Chinese Brush Painting videos on YouTube. It’s quicker, saves time while time is flying. It’s more spontaneous and lively. It’s a lot of fun, more fun than figuring out how to improve my score at Angry Birds.
I go for the essence of what I sense is in the scene before me; color, form, perception of what is viewed and what value it has in what I see…. I think that my ‘essence’ is similar to Cezanne’s ‘sensation.’ I’m enjoying getting to know Indigo. And Sepia. I’ve stopped listening to the Drawing Police, Perspective Police and the Color-Mixing Police; if I’m having a good time that’s all that matters. When the sketch is complete, it is what it is. A kind and loving critique from self is Acceptable; demeaning Criticism & harsh judgment is not.
When I review these small sketches I remember what I was feeling when I did them. The form and the color open channels into my memory, as if snapshots in a photo album.
Since I’ve been thinking back to Cezanne and his ‘experiments’ I decided to Google to find the quote I had in mind. I didn’t find that particular one but I did find the ones I quoted here. I’ve always loved Cezanne’s paintings and have read much about the man, himself. In the artist family I’ve created for myself, he’s the Father. The quotes I selected struck a chord within; I feel validated.