• Brendan Watson

    In September life conspired to deliver me unexpectedly to your workshop .
    There you spoke about not seeing ‘an object’, but seeing light and colour through “veils of atmosphere”.
    This blog post finally made a connection I have been missing.
    Having come of age at the start of the ‘troubles’ in N.Ireland I had become accustomed to seeing through those “veils” of political and cultural predominance which have a vested interest in distorting any attempt at a liberating clarity of vision.
    I can see now, however, that my idea of painting (I only started again several months ago) had continued to be informed by that old cultural somnambulance that is safe and comfortable in proportion to its unconscious reluctance to really see – beyond looking.
    I am quietly shocked by this.
    So, thanks.

    November 16, 2012
    • Jerry Fresia

      Yes, it’s amazing. In 1969 I received a BS in engineering. I was “straight” as can be, in spite of the turbulent times. But little by little, the “troublemakers” began to get into my head. The issue was Vietnam and I realized that I didn’t know what I was talking about. In 1970, I had switched over to political science and I remember having a class where one of the professors launched into a critique of US society – a very mild critique. I was aghast. Almost in panic. How strong was my desire to cling to conventional wisdom. Then Uncle Sam finally got me and I spent 4 years in the Air Force. More awakening. I returned to grad school in 1974. So often after a class my head was spinning. What I remember is that about every six months or so, I would have this realization that I no longer was the person I had been only 6 months earlier. I felt exhilarated and at the same time, very anxious. What’s happening? Where does this lead. This is the story of any artist – painters, writers, musicians, teachers, mothers, women, citizens, you name it – who give a higher priority to their creative impulse than to the security of fitting into conventional wisdom. The problem for me after 10 or 20 years passed was that this “exhilaration” was hard to sustain. Except for painting. I can’t tell you how many times, virtually every month or so, I suddenly get this rush and I think: “I’m only now just beginning to get the idea.” I beat the drum of painting-as-freedom, as-becoming, but it is terribly difficult for students to shed that skin of success via production. So it goes. Thanks for the note!!

      November 16, 2012
  • One artist I’ve studied lately is Lila Irving Lewis. Some very artistic video production artists interviewed her last year and filmed her painting a massive canvas. As I was entranced by the video I was listening to her philosophy and I kept thinking, “Yep, Jerry said that a long time ago.”

    For example, Lewis never paints to sell — I believe she calls it the “kiss of death” for art. She lets herself get lost in the act of painting. And the art is a way of becoming herself; it is intuitive and “always done to music.”

    I would encourage anyone to take a peek at this gorgeous mini-documentary. I think Lewis will confirm many of the philosophies we’ve heard Jerry saying for quite some time. If not, you’ll love the video anyway. I guarantee it.

    November 20, 2012
    • Jerry Fresia

      Thanks Jay; I will check it out. One additional comment is this: while I might agree that “painting to sell” may be the “kiss of
      death,” I think there are ways to keep the market at bay and yet make a living. There are ways (as this woman is a good example). The point might be this: we have inherited a market society, but as with just about every great artist in the last 150 years, it is possible to be “in” the market without being “of” the market. This is a discussion artists need to have – which is, how do the institutions that we inherit constrain (or not) our creativity. Great comment! (Just watched the video you recommended: brilliant, loved it.)

      November 20, 2012
    • Ana

      I try to paint too. I used to before I had all of my kids then I put all the pnatis away. Now I have bought the pnatis and the canvas again… they just waiting for me to ‘feel’ like I can do it again. Someday I will try.Thanks for showing your painting and your MIL’s.

      December 11, 2012
  • Heather Ferguson

    You have articulated so well what I have been struggling with, not just with my art, but with whatever I have attempted, for the past fifty years I guess. Thank you, thank you… I will start again from a new place.

    November 25, 2012
    • Jerry Fresia

      Thank you Heather; I appreciate it!

      November 27, 2012
    • Very impressive work thogrohuut your blog. I am a senior QE on Photoshop and would be interested in your opinions/ideas about painting within Photoshop. Please contact me at mshaw at adobe dot com. Feel free to delete this post.

      December 11, 2012
      • Jerry Fresia

        All forms of expression are valid.

        December 13, 2012
  • Hello Lasine,I came across your blog…and the itnsnee color palette you have…I’m so inspired just by looking at them…honestly! :)Say do see some of my latest works too…would love to hear some feedback & constructive criticism on em! A big shout from all the way from Indiacheers!Gulzarcheers!

    December 11, 2012
  • Speaking about Claude Monet’s famous painting The Stroll, Camille Monet and Her Son Jean (Woman with a Parasol) it is worth saying that the artist definitely deserves the title of a founder of Impressionism. It is his manner that is considered classical when researchers speak about the movement, so no wonder that the work reflects all the mains features of Impressionism. Painted in 1875, it is quite conventional in terms of impressionist philosophy by giving emphasis to a short moment in time. It is evident from the painting that the composition is not stable because it was not the same a second ago and it will not be the same a second after the caught snapshot. The characters of the painting, a woman and her small son, stroll in the field on a bright sunny day. The choice of colors, which are the shades of blue and green, and variations of the white, create a fabulous impression of a fresh summer day, full of sun and joy. The green grass and the bushes are almost palpable; they look very juicy due to the splendid pallet of green and yellow. This greenery gives roots and stability to the whole composition, which is also influenced by the artist’s depiction of the sky, sunlight and clouds.

    May 16, 2013
    • Jerry Fresia

      I would prefer to say that it gives not “emphasis to a short moment in time” but rather the painters emotional reaction to the visual experience during that short moment in time. The distinction is important: paintings follow from the experience, the rush, the emotion, the visual enjoyment, the sensation. They do not tell stories.

      May 25, 2013
  • Dear Jerry,

    I have just caught up with your blog, I have enjoyed this series on Monet’s thought and your own, whilst engaged with painting. To my mind it echoes some Christian theology and spirituality and It has particular resonance with Franciscan understanding of our place in the universe. Thank you for your efforts in undergirding the paining process with a philosophical and I would say spiritual means of engagement.

    October 04, 2016
    • Jerry Fresia

      Thanks Robin, it’s all connected. Also with regard to your other comment (which for some reason, I can’t reply to) – an hour and a half or two hours is plenty. Just go so far and allow the experience to carry you along.

      October 16, 2016

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