Week 4

Instead of a demonstration today I showed you the work of two artists I admire: Salvador Dali and Alfredo Castaneda.  

For the past three weeks I have been discussing the importance and difficulty of cultivating your own ideas and making artwork that reflects the things you find significant or meaningful. It can be helpful to see how other artists accomplish this. 

One way Dali found to identify what he wanted to make artwork about he called the "paranoic method". As understand it, it was kind of a state of self-induced hallucination and/or exploration of dreams and the subconscious. He was just letting his imagination run wild and trying to capture it - the weirder the better it seems. 

Castaneda often painting self portraits, sometimes multiple self portraits in a single painting. Self portrait is a great way to make explore subject matter that is important to you - it is you. Many artists use their own image as a starting point or way to access and express abstract feelings and ideas. 

In both cases these artists were able to find ways to identify things that were important to them and make images of, or in response to, those things. Sounds easy enough but it can be very difficult. 

NEXT WEEK: Don't forget all this discussion about the content or meaning side of your work.

I will start a new three-week project and I want to begin by showing you a range of acrylic mediums that can be used to achieve a really wide range of effects. Come prepared to start a new painting. I will bring the mediums for you to experiment with but you will need to bring your usual supplies and a new surface to paint on.