|G. Daniel Massad's pastel paintings (above, Studio, 2008) are
eloquent examples of thoughtful, tension-filled compositions.
I’m starting this year by reassessing my approach to how to paint and recommitting to more concentrated studio time. I don’t necessarily feel that I want to completely revamp my process, but there are a few old habits that I want to break and a few new ones I want to instill. I’ve found that the more people I tell about my plans, the more likely I am to follow through, so here are my painting resolutions for the New Year:
Quality compositions. I want to spend more time critically assessing my compositions before picking up a brush. I was inspired to do this after studying the still lifes of G. Daniel Massad, seeing how he deliberately chooses objects that will make the most impact in his works. He angles and positions the objects to control the sense of movement around them and any emotion that they imbue, making me realize that the more thoughtful the choices we make at this stage, the better our paintings can be.
Explore color. In my personal style and in my home, there is color everywhere, but I tend to shrink away from a diverse color palette when it comes to my paintings. I don’t want to necessarily incorporate more color just for the sake of doing so, but I want to better utilize the colors I have. I also want to see how altering values and taking more care with color mixing can help me achieve my ends.
Heidi Fowler's works embody a crisp sense of atmosphere
Work with the negative. Negative space is often an afterthought when I’m working on a piece, and I am still trying to remember the importance of giving the area around an object attention and visual weight. I want to come up with strategies to work better in this space, creating atmosphere and using texture and movement to communicate my ideas.
Don’t tighten up. When painting, the best results often come about when you aren’t chasing perfection. I want to create work that is thoughtful and well-executed, but I also want to spend more time in the moment, responding immediately to what I see and assessing a painting as it progresses.
What are some of your art resolutions for this year? I’d love to hear them, along with any advice on how I can reach my own. If any of the above resolutions resonate with you, check out our VIP Program for privileged access to the art instruction that can make a real difference in anyone’s painting practice.