In a month when I have lost two good friends, who were also fine artists, this is a very apt phrase, for the moment. My friends were certainly very active, trying to learn all they could and to create fresh work, living life to the full, as long as they were able. The alternative to Carpe Diem is Mañana (or Procrastination for short,) meaning, why do something today that could be put off till tomorrow. I hate Procrastination! it is the enemy of creativity. It was Henri Matisse who famously said “Creativity takes courage”. Most artists writers and composers, will understand this. So let’s not waste another moment, lets pluck up some courage and get creating!
May is traditionally the month when us ‘warm weather plein air painters’ wake up from hibernation to discover sunshine and the joys of carrying our equipment, easels, palettes, paints, papers, boards, etc through the woods and along streams or coastal paths to a spot that begs to be painted. The spot that chose me this time was Pegwell Bay. William Dyce who painted the above work, was a geologist, hence his interest in the details of the chalk cliff formations. I chose to paint from the other side of the bay, with these cliffs in the distance. I’ve painted there many times, and many times I’ve returned with nothing except experience, having ruined a perfectly good painting in the final stages.
One thing I’ve learned is never to reach those final stages. I aim to get to the point when it is nearly finished and then to leave it alone and take a look a day or two later. I then study it and look for any areas that are not clear or may be confusing to the viewer. Also tonal values, are the darkest darks, dark enough, etc? I then just attend to those issues. When It is complete, I then have to decide if it Is good enough to display or offer for sale? If not, it goes on the ‘also ran’ pile. If yes, it gets mounted and perhaps eventually, framed.
The sun is out again today, hooray! I want to go out painting again, but the lawn needs cutting and how will that get done from Ramsgate I am reminded. A Ha! The life of an Artist is brought back down to earth again! To visit my on line shop and gallery, click on my painting above. Till the next time!