Austin Deuel is an artist noted for his sculptures and paintings. He's also featured in a book that I love called "Being an Artist" by Lehrman. I may have written about this book before. Anyway, it's a book that is so great to read if you're feeling discouraged about producing art and in a rut. All these successful artists, at one time or another, have struggled to become successful. They also impart little pearls of wisdom to give any creative person a shot in the arm. I love what Austin says about what makes a painting sell:
"1. Tell a story. Like that Andrew Wyeth painting. A water pump, a board, and an old bucket. The bucket is the story. Because it puts the human touch to it....Smoke out of a chimney, light in a window.
2. Create a dramatic mood. Fog. Snow. Rain. Sunset. Even the heat of day with all the shadows burned out.
3. Dramatic composition. Every painting has to have a strong vertical in it.....every artist from Michelangelo to Tiepolo...they all used strong verticals. It's what draws you across the room, and it has nothing to do with style or subject."
I agree with Deuel's concept 100%. I may have told this story before but here it is again. Years ago when I first started my house paintings I was dang proud of them. Then one day a coworker of my husband's came over and took a look at my portfolio. He was a real character, this guy. The kind of person that could be quite blunt. After looking at my glossy pics he asked me, "Why?" I asked him what he meant and he asked what was the point of all the paintings. I said I had done commissions for people and that's what they wanted: photographic paintings. I, honestly, was a tad peeved about his comments but through the years I'm glad that Brent said that to me. I needed someone to get me thinking about truly becoming creative. Deuel's theory is part of my reasoning.
I hope when you all look at my paintings you'll see a story. In "Julie's All About Blue 1" you'll notice the wind blowing through my hair. This adds just a hint of atmosphere. It's obviously Spring and that's why I put in the tulips. You don't see my face but I'm very deep in thought. Here's the story about how I made this a more meaningful composition. Years ago I was in church and feeling sort of alone, I guess. I must have been going through a moody phase and did this drawing. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this but I've always said to keep any doodles and sketches you do because someday you might want to use them in some way. Here's a perfect example. I remembered this when I was getting into this little house painting and I asked myself, "why?" I needed to put the story in. Now I don't have a dramatic angle but there is somewhat of a tilt to the bench and that helps create a different perspective to draw the eye in better than just straight on.
As I said in my title-this is how I'm doing it. What I mean is that I'm going to post to Facebook after I post as I think more people will see my blog that way and I love sharing about my art (as well as other things). I hope this is successful and I can spark something in someone. Even if it's to go out and carve a totem pole or something.