Sunday, August 28, 2016

Three different avenues to creativity

For me there are several levels of inspiration and creativity. Each have their own advantages and disadvantages.

The first and simplest way I am inspired is in the moment. Although I don’t often paint plain air, this is the kind of inspiration that lends itself to painting from life.

You are inspired with a place or object. You paint from life or from a photograph, in this process you can simplify the image you see, exaggerate certain aspects you need to convey or attempt ultra realism.

In this process, the small details are captured often without my knowledge. Subconsciously I often interpret the scene with many intangible elements that are rendered with varying degrees of detail depending on intent or my level of concentration.

The next inspiration is that which does exist, only not necessarily in one place. Different pieces of many different scenes are assembled to capture an idea.

This process is usually a snapshot in the mind that adds multiple images. I will use photos for details but much of the details are often absent, the subtle nuances of the scene can often be overlooked in this kind of painting but often this allows for the viewer to see what the artist intends without the extraneous details causing distraction.

The next process is from an inspiration that does not exist, it is an idea, often in dreams. Not all of the image is discerned in the initial view.

This particular image can take years to develop. Usually this kind of painting sits on the easel half done for several periods of work and often the idea never makes it past a sketch.

All three ways I paint have positives and negatives and just like writing, sometimes I can paint one way and other times I can’t even paint from life. 

Creativity is a very mystical thing for me, it’s the intangible feelings and aspects that are most rewarding for me as an artist.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Unraveling the Abstract: Artist Review Monique Carr

Sunflowers Galore by Monique Carr, Used with permission

What is abstract and where does the impetus come from. I have always painted emotions, feelings and objects of memory and have never fully appreciated abstract until recently.

A few artists have inspired me to learn more about abstract. It’s the shapes and colors, without description or explanation, in my opinion they create a raw feelings from abstraction.

This post is about an artist that has captured so beautifully the space between reality and the nuance that is abstract. Her name is Monique Carr.

I found her on a google plus page. Her art had that connection to reality and yet it exploded with color and energetic forms that leapt off the page.

I went to her website and discovered more paintings that were just as bold and exciting as the first painting I saw.

I found her portraits and that’s where I saw how she mixed the needed discipline of a skilled portrait with the energy and richness of abstraction.

Monique’s plein air paintings take you to a specific place but what she captures is the moment. A splash of colors and warm light describe the energy and excitement of a day in a sunflower field.

I could feel the heat of the afternoon, I could taste the summer air; to me that is where art transcends it’s two dimensional form. An emotional response is triggered by the kinetic humming of shapes and colors with just enough realism to keep the viewers eyes grounded.

I sent her a long winded email and we talked about abstract, I shared another artist who I am very fond of and she agreed. Her description of doing abstract was to abandon her assumptions, expectations and fears and paint the light and shapes that surround the image.

We both agreed, it’s an amazing feeling to connect with other artists especially the ones that perhaps see the world the same and yet so different than you have.

I am still unraveling the riddle that is the abstract. Monique inspires me to learn more about it and explore perhaps my inner abstract.

Check out Monique Carr Fine Art at