Pearls from artists* # 82

"The Sovereign," soft pastel on sandpaper, 58" x 38"

“The Sovereign,” soft pastel on sandpaper, 58″ x 38″

* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.

Art isn’t psychology.  For one thing art deals in images, not language.  Images precede language and are closer to feelings.  They summon feelings before they’re named and categorized, when they’re still fresh and sometimes hard to recognize or identify.

For another thing, to translate his vision an artist uses materials that are, for lack of a better word, alchemical.  Paint, for example, has this wonderful, mysterious quality –  a smell and a sensuous, velvety feel and an ability to hold color and light – that unlocks and speeds up one’s creative metabolism.  And paint captures my every impulse – from my broadest conceptions to the tiniest ticks and tremors of my wrist.

There are literally no words to describe what occurs when an image suddenly and unexpectedly appears on the canvas.  Sometimes it’s serendipity, the result of a fortunate brushstroke.  Sometimes I think it has to do with the inherent qualities of paint, or the slickness of a surface, or the fullness or acuity of a brush.  And sometimes when I’ve got a good rhythm going and everything comes together, I feel as though it produces the purest expression of who I am and what I am and how I perceive the world.   

Eric Fischl and Michael Stone in Bad Boy:  My Life on and off the Canvas

Comments are welcome!

About barbararachkoscoloreddust

New York Artist Barbara Rachko www.barbararachko.com shares her perspective on pastel painting, photography, and the creative inspiration she finds in pre-Columbian civilizations, mythology, and travel to remote places, like her new favorite destinations, Peru and Bolivia.

Posted on March 12, 2014, in An Artist's Life, Art in general, Black Paintings, Creative Process, Inspiration, Painting in General, Pastel Painting, Pearls from Artists, Quotes, Working methods and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. how in the world could you look at “The Sovereign” and not consider the mental-emotional paths and byways involved in the under-the-surface rhythms? The variable events of psychological intrigue, the interconnections in the mapping of horrors, beliefs, connections and options are buzzing over the painting and are within each face or the multiple contiguity of faces, the singularly strong presentation of those, the colors, then suggestions, intimations of the intricate network or networks presented.
    Why people are so afraid of language when language is first to appear in assessments, changing values, understanding, rereading, fumbling through levels of the visual, etc., is beyond the pale. Paint itself is a language, bound up in the rigors and accesses of the hard-to-find and difficult-to-describe or, as it is best comprehended, working with the material and immaterial.
    To tender such separations is no longer necessary in a more inclusive world, especially to greater, more open thought involved in making and receiving.

  2. No P.S.Y by me just do the work –

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