Answering a question from P.E.I.

Posted by Kitara Julian On 9:43 AM

At times the blog ‘writes itself’ when questions come our way. A friendly person from Prince Edward Island asks, “How come you changed so much from those earlier pictures on your website? I don’t understand. Our daughter is interested in art. She draws a bit and likes modern.
These posts are not meant to give art lessons as such, but if she’s serious, then the best advice is practice, practice and more practice. Nothing can surpass experience. Foundation is important. Art is 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration.
Also a good teacher would be beneficial. But keep in mind the old saying from the Orient,
"All instruction is but a finger pointing to the moon; and those whose gaze is fixed upon the pointer will never see beyond."
Returning to the PEI question about changing styles in my work, with the summer Olympics only one day away, some of my techniques could be compared to Track & Field.
The 100-metre dash are the free-flowing acrylics applied with water on canvas or paper. The Marathon is my “Organiverse” series, done in pointillism, (dot by dot), and requiring endurance, focus, lots of time, a steady hand and sharp eye.
Then there are the watercolours, “Spatial Rhythms”. Or what in China is called “Yet Fei Er Jeou” (“Everything done successfully, in place, with one stroke.” ) These also belong in the 100-metre dash category, except done in one day, not a few minutes. (Each stroke is a 100-metre ‘dash’.)
When it comes to change itself, does not everything change? From spring to winter, from small to big? The only permanence is impermanence”.

For the record, I never changed for the sake of change, my work evolved naturally over several years. In a sense, change is also growth.

Imagination and intuition also play an important role for any artist, not just technique or talent.
When someone asks me, “How long did it take you to do that painting?” My reply is, “Thirty to forty years.” That’s how long it may take to master some techniques, for example
the “Spatial Rhythms” watercolours.
However, I don’t want to discourage anyone from taking up the brush. Each one of us is unique and has something to give.
An artist evolves through practice, skill, experience, questioning and trusting the inner voice. This way you avoid becoming stale or static and change and growth, “evolution”, is visible in the work.
I hope this answers the question from PEI. From the Pacific here in Victoria, to the Atlantic. Happy Trails, Henri

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