On Painting: Words and Wisdom From 7 Masters

Today I bring you a special collection of thoughts and reflections on painting from some of the artists featured in The Art Students League of New York: Works and Wisdom from The Artist’s Magazine. This download contains 70 pages of master paintings that will leave you in awe, not to mention the art techniques and commentary on the artists and their work. I’ve included seven excerpts that will give you a taste of what you’ll find within. Enjoy!

Painting inspiration | Sharon Sprung, ArtistsNetwork.com

‘M’ (oil on panel, 54×50) by Sharon Sprung (Pin this!)

Sharon Sprung: “To depict the skin, I use a very limited palette, a very small range of colors,” she says. “Color has a need to identify itself. I will have a puddle of a homogenous ‘flesh’ color and then little puddles of a warm and a cool. The resulting differences in the colors are so slight and subtle that they have impact. Freud said there’s a ‘narcissism of small differences’; I think there’s a narcissism of small colors.”

Juliette Aristides: “The idea of a muse encapsulates a real phenomenon: meeting someone who captures your imagination. A particular model can physically complete an artist’s thoughts and give clothing to an idea–it’s a real collaboration and not something you can set out to make happen.”

Painting inspiration | Mary Beth McKenzie, ArtistsNetwork.com

New York Window (oil, 73×56) by Mary Beth McKenzie

Thomas Torak: “I always call my palette my piano and set it up so that all of my colors are organized from light to dark, just as piano keys are arranged from higher to lower notes. This arrangement is important because everything in the painting is always moving from light to shade.”

Ephraim Rubenstein: “On some level, painting all subjects is the same. We do not paint with cloth or flesh or trees or stone; we paint with shapes of colored paint on a flat surface, and if we get it right, it will look like a piece of drapery or a figure or a landscape or a building. I am mostly interested in what I have to say, emotionally. If it takes a figure to say it or a foggy riverbank or a ruined Doric temple, so be it. Jamie Wyeth said that even a bale of hay can be a self-portrait if it is painted with feeling.”

Ellen Eagle: “I love close values; I love to recognize very small changes. Incremental value and color changes convey the illumination and passage of natural light across form.”

Naomi Campbell: “I find that the positioning of the elbows, the turn of the head, the hand pointing or the twisting of the body in the space it occupies all create different vectors that can bring you into or push you away from what you’re looking at. I draw on this to emphasize not only composition and volume, but to create drama. I also like to play with depth, creating a path for the eye through a painting.”

Mary Beth McKenzie: “Everything is relationship. I’m looking for the large shapes in relation to one another, considering the entire canvas a whole. I construct both sides of the figure at once, while looking for fluid lines and emphasizing the large movements. I never work on one side without considering its relationship to the other side.”

This special download is now part of an exclusive offer that also features the lushly illustrated hardcover Art Students League of New York on Painting. It’s a collection you won’t want to miss, and it’s only available here at North Light Shop.

Wishing you endless inspiration,
Cherie

Cherie Haas, online editor
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