Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Thoughts on starting this new blog

January 22, 2009 by  
Filed under why painting perceptions

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.

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Comments

7 Responses to “Thoughts on starting this new blog”
  1. Larry, I am so happy to stumble over to your blog. I have not gone through all of it yet, but I’m so enheartened to see similar sensiblities and thoughts. Wonderful! I look forward to catching up, and following you along your perceptual discoveries.

    • Larry says:

      Thanks Alia! I have lots more stuff on my to do list for this blog so I’m hopeful it will be worth your while to follow.

  2. Amanda Wagstaff says:

    Hi, I’m an art student at William and Mary in Virginia. Just wanted to say that I love your blog and it’s been really helpful to me as far as looking at contemporary painters and finding new ideas/influences. Thanks!

    • Larry says:

      Hi Amanda,
      Glad you found this site. It thrills me to no end that my blog might help in some small way to find new influences and possibilities. good luck with your art.

  3. Larry, I somehow clicked a link to your site while looking up my old teacher at Brooklyn College, Lennart Anderson, whom you mention. I’m glad I did. I enjoyed reading your exploration of issues relevant to painters who persist in making art based on visual information. I am one of those as well. Inspiration can come from so many places, artists have so many different motivations for why they do what they do. I’ve tried all kind of different approaches from abstract, to conceptual to tonal. I settled on painting from observation, mostly because that is what I am good at. I have received a lot of inspiration from modernism and abstract expressionism, although I think that is not obvious from looking at my work. There are many ways of sorting artists out, but one that I’ve found useful is to ask, “how do artists deal with space and form?” This has led me feel more aligned with Modrian and Jackson Pollock than many other realists, since I gravitate toward shallow spaces, orderly deliberate compositions, and a containment of my subject within the bounds of the rectangle to create a isolated world rather than a “window onto an existing scene”. I encourage you and your readers to continue to maintain an open mind about the work of others that may seem at odds with or irrelevant to what you do. You never know where inspiration may come from and how the sum of your past experiences will inform your next body of work.

    • Larry says:

      Thanks for your kind words Peter. I glad you found the site and hope that you will feel welcome to participate in the comments as you see fit and have the time. I am excited that a real community of somewhat like-minded painted is shaping up here.

      I looked at your painting and I’m blown away at how successful you are in merging the abstract with realist concerns. Gorgeous work! I’d like to make a post about your work at some point. I will contact you directly to talk more about sometime in the few weeks. Thanks again for commenting.

  4. naomi says:

    Hi Larry,
    I know nothing about art, except what pleases my senses. I’ve found your blog and started to go through it; a fine education for me as well as enjoyable and pleasing to the eye. Thank you, I’ll visit often.

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