Today begins my new blog about painting perceptions. Perceptions about painting and painting about perceptions and painting perceptually.
Perceptual painting is painting with your vision as well as all the other senses. Not just the obvious easel set up in front of a landscape or still-life but also paintings done from studies, even photos and memory on occasion. Perceptual painting is not just copying nature but painting life from both vision and experience. As Cézanne said, “Painting is nature seen through a temperament.”
I am Larry Groff, a landscape and cityscape painter living in San Diego. After painting for about 30 years I’ve often felt discouraged that perceptual painting has often gotten less attention in the major art publications and art world in general compared to conceptual based artists. Eventually I asked myself, “why not start a blog devoted to modern painting done from life?”
There are magazines, like American Artist, which has articles about some very good contemporary realists working from life but many of the articles lean towards a more conservative and non-modern style. Currently, I haven’t found any magazine or blog that specifically focuses on writing about perceptual painting with a contemporary sensibility. This blog aims to correct that problem.
My interests tend to be more with landscape, and this blog at least initially will probably reflect that, but still-life and figurative work certainly is just as relevant. I hope to have articles about painters working today whose work evolves from this long tradition of painters working in plein air like: Corot, Constable, Monet, Cézanne, George Bellows, Charles Hawthorne, Edwin Dickinson, Antonio Lopez Garcia, George Nick, Lennard Anderson, and many more.
I am not an art history scholar, I’m not a terribly good writer, I’d rather be painting. I’m no art critic, hate dense modern art speak but I do feel there is a need for good writing about painting written from the painter’s perspective. My plans for this blog is to encourage other painters or art lovers to submit articles, reviews, interviews and what ever else may be of relevant interest. I would love to see it evolve into a useful resource and community of like-minded people.
In practical terms I hope to use this blog to not only talk about other painters who work from observation but also to discuss anything related to painting from life. I plan to have articles and reviews as well as interviewing painters, interview podcasts, video when possible and relevent, articles on technique, reviews of painting supplies, and anything else I or anyone else might come up with.