Sunday, February 22, 2009

In the begining

Hello, I think, I am a first time blogger and I feel a little like the first radio broadcasters must have felt. Is any one out there?

I wonder if what I am going to say is relevant or interesting to to the reader. Can spell check catch all my typos? Will what I write make the readers angry, happy, sad or bored? Does that even matter? I do not know, but as always in my life when i did not know, I simply forged ahead. Dam the Torpedoes, full speed ahead!

My name is D.T LaVercombe, I am an artist and have been almost all of my life. I knew I was an artist when my mother told me as a young boy of a Dutch artist Vincent Van Gogh. She showed me pictures in books of paintings he did, and told wondrous tales of his life. I was hooked. I took crayon to paper and nimbly drew the things I loved in my young boy world. Horses, deer, cartoon characters, my dog Muffet, rocket ships and fast cars. I eventually graduated to paints and canvas and just about every other medium I could try.

I went to art school and learn some things, I became a commercial artist and illustrator and learned other things. But all of that is ancient history. I just paint, I paint for love of the journey, the smell of the oils, the bounce of the canvas and the challenge of the image. I am a representational painter, not a realist. I am influenced by many styles of art and many artist past and present. They exist on the same plane with me and you, dear reader. What i do in some ways is out of date. I am not rattling the pinnacle of Art, with a capital A, I am not Van Gogh challenging the art world with techniques never before seen. I am not Picasso shaking the fiber of existence to its core. I am a humble painter. After the second half of the last century, I am not sure that art has anything else to prove. Maybe it does and I am just not clever enough to see it. I just paint, I move paint (oils mostly) with brushes on canvas to achieve the results I am looking for. It never is as I plan, totally, and that is the one part i love more than all others in being an artist, a painter. The unplanned, the happy accident that adds so much to the painting. The slip of the brush, wrong color on the brush that blends just right, these things make art for me, a living entity.

The experience of creating is a combination of willpower and grace, and knowing when to accept each of those and when to reject what doesn't work and start over again. When I have taught other about painting, they mostly have wanted me to say: first hold the brush like this. . .second use this color. . . third move the brush this way. . .etc. It is not how to create, the mechanics are personal and come with trial and error, over and over again. Experience is the only training that I know of. Oh, a teacher can show you their technique, but they can not have experience for yourself, to feel the sensation on the texture of the paint as it stumbles over the canvas leaving a trail of color in its wake. They cannot tell you which of those strokes is working for you and which is not. Only you can. It is for the love of the discovery, that i create and ultimately so do most artist. Never before has this unique combination of colors and stroke existed, it is new and will never be done again. Each new painting leads to the next, feeding your mind to go forward, to see what is around the bend. I tell my students, when you are done with a piece, move on. If it did not turn out the way you wanted throw it away or paint over it. That is how you learn art, not by methods or by techniques, but moving on, trying again. It is not easy to move on, the mind wants to keep trying to reach the pinnacle, but it is unattainable. Everything you see and feel just leads to the next piece, the next painting. Do not fight it.

Creating is not for everyone, it is hard work and the reward is small. All my life people have said to me that they admire my "God Given Talent" or that they wished they could paint. Well God did not give me anything, I worked hard to develop my talent and for nearly 40 years. I am still working on it. If you wish you could paint, just do it. The first painting will not be a good and the next, nor will that one be as good as the one after it. It is that easy. just do it.

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