Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Painting with Kanevski

I have the good fortune to have Alex Kanevsky as a teacher this semester and I am really enjoying my dialogues with him as the class progresses. This painting above is from his class and again i used the Rustoleum, red, black and white on cardboard.

Alex was really on me to use a much bigger brush this week and so I did, I used one of the biggest bruises I have which is a white nylon which is about 4 inches wide. I think the tool you use is the one you need and feel comfortable with, that's all that matters. Alex says he likes to use the biggest brush he can, and if you look at his work it makes sense as he's doing this bold build and destroy type work. Sargent said the same thing, as does my other painting teacher Scott Noel.

But I have painting teachers who use 00 brushes and do highly rendered paintings like Renee Foulks. But I don't get too caught up in that, I think the right tool for the job--for you.

Big and bold is great, and so is soft and delicate, its what's you desire as a painter. We have a student doing trompe l'oeil at school and our school over the decades has had many excellent artist who do this work attend. It's not my cup of tea, but goddamn some of these painters really had great skill.

I prefer the work of Sargent, or Kanevski--or Cornwell, I like bold, but I also like finesse. Rockwell. Bold for bolds sake doesn't do it either and you can just do as many bad bold paintings as picky ones.

I use a malhstick on some work, like some of my train paintings, on others I don't, just depends. I'll sue a spatula if that's what I need to get an effect.

Kanevski and I had a talk today about what's really important, having a consistent language or tempo in a painting, you don't have huge boldness and then suddenly get picky, you have to orchestrate your application and brushstrokes. This is what makes Sargent so great as well as Valazquez or Sorolla, nothing out of character or out of sync. Alex builds and destroys many times in a painting evaluating these things like edges and detail, lost and found, in and out. A guy like Nelson Shanks goes for a really classical Euro feeling, like David or Ingres. I like some of his work as well before he gets too finished.

Another British artist Scott Noel lent me a book on was Anthony Eyton since I am doing a big painting with a dilapidated factory. I'll say one thing, this semester is my most interesting as a painter so far.

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