Treasure Chest: Tips for Improving Your Paintings

"Alien Gate" Watercolor crayon on paper 9" x 12" © 2009 Marilyn Fenn
“Alien Gate” Watercolor crayon on paper 9″ x 12″ © 2009 Marilyn Fenn

Treasure Chest

Today I’m participating in a collaborative online project with other art bloggers.  We are re-posting one of our favorite posts from our blogs.  I chose to re-post some notes from art school from way back when, because I find these tips personally useful to review every so often, especially this year when I am exploring various other avenues in my creative process.  Perhaps other artists will find some of these tips helpful, too.

I also recommend that you view the post from the organizer of this project, Seth Apter, on his blog The Altered Page.  It’s a gorgeous, compelling and inspiring piece.

You can link to all participating artists from the Treasure Chest post on Seth’s blog.

Finally, the piece above is a brand new work from my new series, the Hot, Hot Summer of 2009.  So here’s my Buried Treasure:

Class notes from art camp classes with George Liebert and Dan Gustin, Oxbow, MI, summer 1991.

Continue reading “Treasure Chest: Tips for Improving Your Paintings”

Drawing vs. Painting: More Artists to Look At

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series SAIC Class Notes
Painting by Susan Rothenberg "Triphammer Bridge" 1974 Synthetic polymer paint and tempera on canvas 67 1/8" x 9' 7 3/8"
Painting by Susan Rothenberg “Triphammer Bridge” 1974 Synthetic polymer paint and tempera on canvas 67 1/8″ x 9′ 7 3/8″
Class Notes from Art School, SAIC, 1991

More artists to look at:

Figuration and abstraction.
How ideas are developed.
Comes from nature.
Look at source periodically.

Can you not go back and be very particular after moving fast, getting abstract?

Look at:
Diebenkorn (Diebenkorn’s missing works) – colors on cigar box top – beautiful: Yellow, lavendar, green, pink, peach, white – very pale with strip of red, brown. Archeological presence of landscape – strata, layers.

Giorgio Morandi – simplicity of shapes. The less there is to look at, the more you look at it (a specific edge). Drawing aspect vs. painting aspect – how to find out from different material.

Draw Abstracted Form Merging with Landscape

This entry is part 2 of 7 in the series Class Notes
Sketch of anthropomorphized landscape form pencil Left: sketch of termite mound; right: anthropomorphized forms © 1991 Marilyn Fenn
Sketch of anthropomorphized landscape form Pencil Left: sketch of termite mound; right: anthropomorphized forms © 1991 Marilyn Fenn

Class notes, from Advanced Drawing Studio with Barbara Rossi, SAIC, 1991

“The creative process lies not in imitating, but in paralleling nature—translating the impulse received from nature into the medium of expression, thus vitalizing this medium. The picture should be alive, the statue should be alive and every work of art should be alive.”

– Hans Hoffman

Think about forms of nature that excite you: creatures, clouds, rocks, wood, trees, bones, water, fog.

Make lots of drawings of abstracted form merging with the landscape.

Hoffman’s “Search for the Real.”

The sound of machines; music.

Thorax (horse drowning in a sea of sadness).