After a rush of complications and a series of doubts and realisations, I am stepping up my art practice and starting what could possibly be a large project. I am going to make some big paintings.
I have an idea for the project. It is going to be called “The Onlookers”. I have been painting landscapes and portraits for the last few years and I want to combine the skills I have developed into scenes.
After talking with a friend I have referred to some quotes from Henri Cartier Bresson. Here are 5 quotes followed by my response and how they may relate to my project and the art of painting.
“Thinking should be done before and after, not during photographing.”- Henri Cartier-Bresson
Clearly in painting the need to be free from criticism or any other blocking action is helpful. With practice, this becomes easier to identify. Look at the object and deliver paint onto the canvas. There are no mistakes just marks and they all have a purpose.
“Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson.
So an immediate reaction could be deemed as instinctive. In a sense, the process that I have been developing is about responding at the moment of painting. Whilst completing a portrait I will revisit the moment time and time again until I have established a strong relationship with the subject.
This can continue for many days and could be different than meditation. I do however experience a zone or flow state. Perhaps the connection is another way to describe the moment or collection of moments.
“I believe that, through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
So during this growing art practice, my awareness of myself and consequently those things around me has heightened and sharpened up. As the action of making paintings grow my understanding of my own life and it ebbs and flows becomes reassuringly stronger.
“You just have to live and life will give you pictures.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
This leads to being able to live life being ever more in touch with your potential. This striving mindset is challenging to maintain. The benefits become cumulative and therefore tangible. Like all good things, it is hard to believe that they will continue to grow and give value. So far the continual growth is a reflection of continuing efforts.
“To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson
Finally, in relation to painting, there are many moments of recognition. The task is trusting a multitude of fractions. We are incredible and see so much detail in such a short time. We have the reflexes to translate these into images. So again the health and wellness of creative making has clear benefits.
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