10 paintings can come out of every painting

DSC_0405Phil and I watched the documentary about Keith Richards the other night.  Keith said something (about writing music) that strongly resonated with my instincts and experience in painting.

He said that in every song there are at least 10 songs; that’s how I feel about a painting.  As I am creating a design, laying down the brush strokes, I am often flooded with ideas for other paintings that are born out of the one that I am working on .

Right now I am working on the theme poster for a future art showing and am aware of the need to leave some of my ideas out–to focus on the theme of the painting, and not overwhelm it with ideas from other paintings.

I think concept paintings can be quite hard in this way. Posters are often concept pieces which are advertising something else other than just the painting itself.

A piece of art cannot be all things–it has to be what it is.

I can explain a little more about this.: Say I’m doing a poster for the theme Girls Just Gotta Have Fun:  Wow this could go so many ways, right?!

I have so many choices of ways to represent this. I chose one direction for this piece and I need to discipline myself to leave out all the many ideas I have for GirlsJustGottaHaveFun posters of the future to allow this one to hold together and have some symmetry and impact.

I love being free. But freedom also needs the constraint of (self imposed) boundaries–what to leave in and what to leave out.

I highly value the resoundingly quiet imposition of negative space–the space in a painting left uncluttered for the eye to rest.  Sometimes it’s what you don’t paint into a picture that is the most important part. The artist Edward Hopper was a master of this in his paintings.

So I need to leave some of the ideas and possibilities that flood my mind out of the painting in order to create a focused piece.

I love the phrase  “you can have it all in life–just not all at the same time.”

You see how I’m teaching myself a lesson here.  😉

Patience, my dear, I say to myself.

Wait for the season.  There will be just the right time for an idea, a painting, a photograph to happen:

Allowing creativity to unfold naturally feels both limiting and hard, freeing and easy at the same time. I think I’ll have some of that.

Author: Margaret Huntley Harrison

I’m a painter using my gifts to transform the seemingly ordinary into the beautiful and extraordinary. What I love more than anything is tracking down, creating, and spreading the beauty in our amazing world! And I LOVE helping you find and spread your beauty into your home, your family and your world. Art for sale: fineartamerica.com Margaret Huntley Harrison

2 thoughts on “10 paintings can come out of every painting”

  1. I love this Margaret! And I needed to hear it in this beautiful way. I look forward to seeing your wonderful paintings that have your signature breathing spaces! Much love, Jennifer

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