Friday, May 9, 2014

Parameters, what are you talking about?

Warm, cloudy with rain threatening.
#163 Bill's Bald Spot (view of Big Moose Lake)

11 x 14


This is from last summer, I just re-photographed it because the color was off and I wanted to illustrate today's post.

Parameters are something I think about in my work a lot, they are essentially rules, and these are my own rules.  In art the first rule: there are no rules. A statement I wholeheartedly believe in. But I've constructed a series of parameters for myself, if I had written them down, I'd have lost the paper, so I'll try to outline them now.

1) I will paint landscapes. I will paint from life. I will paint what I see.

2) I will paint certain "medium sizes" mostly between 12 x 16 and 11 x 14, (I break this rule a lot!)

3) The "real estate" in view will not be overwhelmingly huge, and the larger views will be painted on the larger panels. The more intimate views generally will be on the smaller panels. There is some equation about this but I don't know exactly what the result is. I don't want the image on the panel to be miniaturized that you  couldn't see it like that in nature.
#198 Cambridge creek @ Coila Rd.

8 x 10


4) Subject. OK so I said landscapes, but as a subject that's huge, so I'll try and focus. I love pastures, farms, creeks, rivers, bridges, roads,  industrial ruins, all things in my world. That's still a huge amount of material, but I'll restrict it by saying I don't want any of these subjects to be "portraits" as in bridges or barns, and you'll notice that most of the time I'll place these "items" running off the edge of the panel.

5) Color. I'm not big on bright color, obviously, and my pallet (or what's on it) has been the same for a while, I'm not sure if this is a parameter or a natural propensity or just a way of working.

6) Composition. like color, I'm not sure if this is a parameter or a tendency, it's what you're naturally drawn to, and what the subject dictates.

7) Style. The deeper we get into this the more inter-connected  the factors are. I call myself a "Washington County Impressionist" which means nothing.  I've said I try and get out of my own way and try not to "stylize" whatever that means.

All these parameters are subject to change anytime I want. Currently I have more room in there than I need and my work shows the boundaries of the parameters I've been working in. I could tie this into a discussion of truth and beauty, how and why, but that's really a different chapter. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Matt, for sharing your parameters. I am convinced that it is important to have something like that in your mind, and to be able to change them at any time (in life, only stupid people probably never change their minds)... For me as well, there are no rules (I will always remember Neil Gailman's "Break the rules!").

    Style: if you are a "Washington Country Impressionist", you *are* a Washington Country Impressionist. You have created your own path. It is more interesting than following a theory or a teacher ;-)