Archive for March 26th, 2021

matisse.la musique

I want to reach the state of condensation of sensations which constitutes a picture. Perhaps I might be satisfied momentarily with a work finished at one sitting, but I would soon get bored looking at it; therefore, I prefer to continue working on it so that later I may recognize it as a work of my mind…Nowadays, I try to infuse some calm into my pictures and I keep working at them until I have succeeded in doing so.

–-Henri Matisse, 1908

It seems like every artist has a different answer for the question of when a painting is done. Whistler and several others said it was when all traces of its creation have been concealed on the surface. Some say it is when the artist achieves their aim, what they envisioned in their mind’s eye. Edward Munch (The Scream) said that a piece is done after it has had time to mature, weathered a few showers and endured the elements, including nail scratches.

Others say they are never finished. 

I tend to go with the never finished group although Munch’s definition appeals to my love of weathering and patina and Matisse’s infusion of calm is something I also aspire to in my work. Ultimately, my goal is to have the paintings complete enough that they can exist on their own, to be alive in the outer world.

In that respect, because they are human creations, I view them very much as I view other humans– never quite complete and always imperfect. That’s just how we are and I am certainly no different.

I am a collage of imperfections that is still a work-in-progress. If I saw myself hanging on the wall I might want to take a brush and soften an edge here or there and add color in certain parts of my composition. But I probably would not do it because those imperfections actually become part of the composition, create the contrasts that give us, as a painting, life. And that , even with the flaws and weathering exposed, pleases me.

None of us is perfectly painted. Nor should we be.

Very busy this morning and wasn’t willing to distract from the attention needed. But here’s a post from several years ago that I like. Hope you do as well.

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