Monday, September 10, 2012

Peter Paul Rubens

 "Self Portrait of Ruben"
8 x 10 in
Oil on Canvas Panel

I have been away for such a long time doing other works and have not really worked on any daily paintings.  I have been also doing copies to try to keep my eye sharp, copies are always beneficial when trying to learn the particular artist technique your copying from.  At the Angel Atelier that's what we did for the first half of the program is copy master drawings and try to duplicate it to an exact match.  The hardest part though is not just settling for it to look almost like it, you have to push pass that barrier and make it look exactly like it (If that's what you want).  

Rubens has always been one of my heroes and it seemed fitting to try to duplicate his self portrait.  Seeing his paintings in person can be overwhelming, I remember thinking to myself one guy made all this happen, what the hell am I doing with my life.  In this modern day and age I still have not seen art taken to the magnitude that the masters took it, I am guilty from not taking it to that level either.  I do think we are getting closer but to say we have surpassed them and carrying the torch, we are far from it.  It's inspiring to see where we can go and how far we can take it, to see the masters especially Rubens take this medium to a realm where we believe whats happening on a piece of cloth is incredible. 

 I can go on and on about how much they inspire me and what I have to do with my art, the important part is recognizing and doing it.  I know I have much to say with my art, the exciting part is deciphering this language of painting like the masters did and presenting it.  I have moved away from the daily paintings for this sole purpose, to know more of my personal voice in art, to know what I am trying to convey to you guys and not just paint a simple alla prima but to have meaning of what I am painting far beyond what the surface holds.  It's a journey and not a simple one but one that satisfies me the most for when I look back at my career I would be satisfied with the choices I have made.  Alla prima paintings I still believe are beneficial in training and learning your craft, but it cannot end there.  One has to go beyond that craft of training and imply it to your personal work, learn of what you practiced and transform it to your language.  I know I will never let go of the alla prima paintings, but I do know that my own body of work for the long run needs more attention.  I hope to find a happy medium for both of them, as for now my personal work has and always will be my passion.

"An artist must breathe life into those ancient works he depicts in his art, and if necessary 'adjust' the source to achieve the desired image."  Peter Paul Rubens.

1 comment:

  1. Hooray for you Jonathan! I wasted (or at least it feels like I wasted) the best part of a year trying to get on board with the daily painting craze before I realized that it would never allow, and in fact detracted from my ability to develop a painting to the level that I wanted to achieve. And by the way, your Reubens portrait is WONDERFUL!!!