Nancy’s Painting Blog

The Objective Eye: Keeping Your Artwork Alive

You’d think being a Santa Fe painter surrounded by beautiful skies and bright light, would be enough to keep me inspired for every painting session. There are plenty of times, however, that I need to work at it. Energy, spontaneity, clear focus as well as inspiration, are qualities I need to create my work. Sometimes these qualities come to me naturally, while other times I need to work to get them activated. The key for me comes from using what I call my “Objective Eye”. This Objective Eye is readily available during the first hours or days working on a painting. But after working on the same painting for a long stretch of time, I lose it, and may get bored, side tracked and have difficulty making the new decisions that had been abundantly flowing a short time ago. My Objective Eye helps me see the work fresh, make good painting decisions, and continue being inspired. I have several tricks to keep it on. To start a new painting series, I begin by preparing 8-10 canvases at a time. I rotate working on each of them separately, painting on about 1-3 of them each day. Whatever painting is currently being worked on, I will have hanging on my wall easel. The rest of the works are lined up along the floor facing the wall. That way I cannot see them in my periphery. By focusing on only one painting at a time I don’t get overwhelmed by looking at the entire group of work, each of which would be calling for attention all at once. My motto is to only look at a painting-in-process with my brush in hand, and paints ready to go. As soon as I look at the work, after not having seen it for awhile, my first impression, my first decision, is the most accurate because it comes from the “Objective Eye”. By sticking to this plan, I am able to take action as soon as I see the next step. No time lags. There’s a three time rule in play while painting. If you see something that needs fixing in your painting, but don’t take action, and you do this 3 times, you won’t see it again, and the mistake stays. The Objective Eye starts to edit. Take advantage of your Objective Eye. It is the artist’s best weapon.

One thought on “The Objective Eye: Keeping Your Artwork Alive

  1. Nancy,
    Your notion of the objective eye has helped me to think about the days, weeks, years! that I sometimes let a piece sit and sift through my subconscious. I find that one day, I am suddenly ready to work on it again adding, revising, finalizing it. I had been thinking critically of my process, but your post made me see this process, that I had yet to name, in a different, move positive light. Thank you!And thank you for that first Golden workshop, in which the artist in me was awakened, inspired and acknowledged!
    Heather
    paperfollies.typepad.com

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