Week 7

Week 7 :

Wednesday, October 10

Demonstration: Concept driven interpretation. I will be providing you with photo reference (portrait or landscape). So come ready to paint with all the usual supplies and a new surface to paint on.


  • Instead of a demonstration I talked a little bit about two things: 1. Hyper-focus as a way to open the flood gates of ideas 2. What your painting is OF is not necessarily what your painting is ABOUT.
  • 1. I summarised a story from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance where a student complains to her teacher that she can't think of a single thing to write. The assignment was to write about the town she lived in so the teacher said to instead focus just on Main Street - just write something about Main Street. Student comes back a week later complaining that she still can't think of a single thing to write so the teacher tells her to write instead about a single building on Main Street. She comes back the next week again complaining that she can't think of a thing to write. Finally the teacher tells her to write about a single brick on town hall. The next week the student comes in having written many pages. Sometimes too large a focus can be debilitating. Super focus can give us a way to break into bigger and more complex ideas and projects.
  • 2. I talked about Monet, Giacometti and Jasper Johns. Each of these artists painted pictures of recognizable things, but those things were not really what their paintings were about. For example - Monet painting cathedrals and grain stacks, but the paintings were really about light. The thing being depicted in the image was just a vehicle for an entirely different idea or exploration. You can work this way too.
  • Using the picture of a landscape or portrait as a point of departure I asked you to run the image (which has no real significance to you to begin with) through the filter of something you do really care about - an idea, a color, a memory. Use the image of a landscape or portrait to communicate something else.

Download the image HERE.

Download the image HERE.