playing around at paint nite!

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social painting has become quite the phenom in the last little while, and I have to admit, I started out very skeptical about the whole thing. seemed cheesy and not very ”productive.” It defies a lot of what I thought art was about, planning, strategy, isolated focus.

after participating in a few paint nites, one in Toronto and the other in Kanata, I have come to appreciate the benefits of ”playing around” with your art, and the benefit of being guided through a technique, one shape and one colour at a time.

too often we artists are alone in a cavernous hole of deep thought and contemplation. Mind you, the paint nites are not really for ”artists” as they are most often populated by newbies and people out to have a good time. I wonder what kind of work would result if paint nites were exclusive to professional painters? — and there I go dreaming about being the 8th in the group of 7 again. ­čÖé

what do you think of local paint nites? do you think they produce credible works of art? or is it just drunken, copy catting in a crowd?

on matters of process.

more recently in my artwork i have been trying to follow a process for development of finely tuned, composed works of art. It has involved assessment of not only the composition of the subject (doing sketching for placement and initial vision of shapes and line) , but also a focus on tone, lightest lights and darkest darks in the work. I used to do this all very haphazardly, and it has been very rewarding to see my artistic development since incorporating pre-creative sketch work into my process.

a talented photographer on instagram was kind enough to allow me permission to recreate his work as an oil painting. i took great pains to assess it through multiple sketches before putting it onto the canvas. it was truly a great process for me to follow, as throughout putting down the colour, i could refer back to my tonal sketch to bring in the lightest lights and the darkest darks in all the right places. making a map for your artwork is turning out to be an essential skill. it requires intent, and patience and the results are encouraging.

what process do you follow before you get into the nitty gritty for rendering work? You are welcome to share your ideas and inspirations.