Monday, October 14, 2013

Tulips and Creativity

"There is nothing more difficult for a truly creative painter than to paint a rose, because before he can do so he has first to forget all the roses that were ever painted."
 - Henri Matisse         

My models

I've been having fun finding quotes for my posts since I started adding them a while back. This particular one really spoke to me. I find that once I've completed a painting or drawing I end up thinking what's so special about that? There's nothing unique about it. I haven't created anything new. It looks like hundreds of other paintings or drawings of that subject. There are people that would argue it is unique because each person is different therefore each drawing must reflect that difference. I can see that to a point, but my yearning is to create something that isn't subtle in its uniqueness. It'd be nice to create things that make people stop for a minute and really look at the piece instead of just thinking, "Oh another ________."

Mood lighting for my models. I like the effect.

I bought this bunch of tulips simply to bring a little cheer into our house. I put them in a vase and placed them on a table where their color compliments our living room decor and I can easily see them. The more I looked at them and admired them the more I wanted to draw them.

Tulip sketch

And so I settle down to draw tulips and this is all I come up with. Special? No. Unique? I think not. It's just a random sketch of a tulip. It is not particularly insightful or creative. It makes me restless and frustrated just looking at it. Why is it so hard for me to think outside the box as it were? These tulips are beautiful and I love their shape and velvety petals. I've been feasting my eyes on them ever since I bought them. So why doesn't my experience with the tulips, my feelings about the tulips come across in the drawing? Probably because, as Mr. Matisse would say, I first have to forget every other tulip that was ever painted.

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