Breaking the Copy Habit
Artists often find it valuable to take many classes in order to gain understanding and control. While it is important to advance your level of skill and technique, remember this: your teachers want to inspire you, not influence you. Their ultimate goal is to guide and encourage you to eventually go far beyond the mere technicalities of painting or duplications of what they can do, or have done.
The artistic merit of your work can only be found in its uniqueness. There never has been and never will be another you. At the easel, each decision you make, each choice and evaluation, will always provide evidence of your uniqueness. The more possibilities you're aware of, the more creative and original you can be.
The first step toward creativity is to understand that art and subject matter are two totally different things. We artists produce illusions of things that aren't actually on the picture surface at all. For example, people may look at your finished painting and think they see mountains, the ocean, an animal, a beautiful bouquet, or a familiar face. But in reality, those are illusions. On the picture surface are merely patches of paint, creatively and cleverly organized to trigger predictable responses in the eye and mind of the viewer. That's what I want to share with you.
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