The Manner in Which I Have Been Butchering the Noble Art of Painting…

Over the past three years, I’ve taken up painting portraits.  I’m by no means a prolific painter: In three years, I’ve done fewer than 30 portraits.  Yet, painting seems a bit like comfort food to me. I’ve discovered I’m never more happy than when I have a brush in my hand.  Below is one of my most recent portraits — completed within the last few weeks:

Brett Spring 2015 III-SizedBy comparison, here is one of the first portraits I did from about three years ago:

IMG_0753Although I don’t have much talent or skill as a painter, I do think I’ve made a bit of progress over the past three years.  And more importantly, it’s fun.

Just out of curiosity, what is your creative outlet or outlets for self-expression?

4 thoughts on “The Manner in Which I Have Been Butchering the Noble Art of Painting…”

  1. I write and take photographs. I love both and do both without much reference to what others think about my efforts, although I have been published and had Established Artists praise my photography.

    Loving writing and photography, I try hard to “do it right” Just because Gertrude Stine could get away with having a first draft published doesn’t mean that I will.

    And the difference in my photography before I learned the Rules of Composition and after is…dramatic.

    It’s true. You can’t “break the rules” until you know what you’re breaking.


  2. Welcome to the blog, Edward, and thank you for your comment! I agree with you that it’s a good approach to learn the rules before breaking them. It helps you to break them intelligently. I feel I myself have a long way to go before I learn all the rules.

    I’ve been wondering precisely how your photography changed once you learned the rules of composition?


  3. Aside from learning to get my ass outdoors, irregardless of the weather, to catch the best light, the most important thing I learned was where to stand. It can’t be taught. It’s instinctive, in the sense that once you have deliberately applied the rules, exercised, as it were, your brain into understanding the rules (Practice, practice, practice, there is NO substitute for it.) One “learns” where to stand to get the desired shot. (Or sit, or lay on the ground, or climb a nearby tree/lamp post/ bridge strut)

    Balance is what I seek in my photography. Every time I push the shutter, however I might interpret “balance” at that exact moment. I don’t “think” about it at all anymore. I compose in my head before I even raise the camera. Through the viewfinder I do the fine tuning.

    Does that mean I get boffo shots each and every time? Um….Sure! You bet!

    I have written hundreds of thousands of words that will never see the light of day, and I’m okay with that. I have taken thousands and thousands of pictures that will suffer the same fate, and I’m okay with that.
    Those words are not going to engage anyone other than myself, and those pictures are little better than snapshots by someone with an obsession with architecture and “structure”

    Recognition is wonderful, especially if you get paid for it, but it’s not something that keeps me going with writing or photography.

    My Muse does that, and she does NOT accept excuses for half-assed work.


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