Color and Shape

Utah Cloud by Joyce Van Horn“All art is just color next to color and shape next to shape, whether a painting is abstract or figurative, it is the same thing, color next to color and shape next to shape”.  When creating a piece of art, the artist is intensely drawn into this phenomenon, and while absorbed in those colors and shapes, the artist is often unaware of the whole.   Yet at the same time, the artist wants to work the whole picture at once to avoid  the danger of working too much detail into one part of the painting.  There is almost an “Aha” moment when an artist steps back from the painting (usually as far as one can get) to see what it looks like.  Having worked nose to canvas with the picture, or at best, a brush length away, without really knowing the impact of the work, one must get back!  Get away! Look at something else and then come back surprised at what one has created.

Ah, it needs this.  It needs that!  And more work ensues.  It is fun!  It is frustrating.  It is addictive.  There are stages when one just wants to throw the whole thing away, but those are usually the great teaching moments.  And finally there is the moment when it is finished.  Or is it?   What about those artists who sneak into museums to just change and little of this or a little of that on their work on the wall of the museum.  It has happened, you know.  We artists are all a little bit nuts, and  if we decide that it needs a little bit of blue in the corner, watch out!

Joyce Van Horn