CHERYL BAILEY
Contemporary Landscape Artist

Blog/News

(posted on 25 Nov 2018)

 

Freedom and Rules

The freedom available to me in the art of painting is one of Art’s main attractions. We learn how the tools work and use them in any way we choose. Despite what some art instructors teach, there are in fact no rules when we know how to break the rules successfully. It just has to work.

For example , some say don’t put your main interest in the  dead centre of the canvas. This is because when all of the power is in the middle of the painting, the painting will suffer from what is called “the tyranny of the centre,” a phrase coined by Rembrandt. In fact, you can choose to put the largest amount of power in the centre, as long as you provide a way for the viewer to move their gaze away from the centre. Put a little power elsewhere in the painting to draw the eye. Simple.

Some have a rule ‘don’t use black.’ As the darkest dark, black is in fact extremely useful. My current work begins on an unusual textured black surface. Because the texture reflects light in many directions, it is tricky to photograph accurately but also the black becomes visually varied. Black provides the ultimate contrast in colour relationships. Any colour is lighter and brighter than black. That is a very useful tool. Black works for me. To make it work, I am careful with my colour intensities, using it sparingly, so that the painting is not screaming at the viewer like a painting on black velvet.

There is also a rule of thirds to create a perfect balance. If you put the focal points on the crossing lines of where the length and width of the painting is divided into thirds, you will certainly get a balanced work. But what is so interesting about a perfect balance? Risk taking is part of art. Great art can teeter on the edge of being balanced. We can push the envelope as long as it works.

Abstracting landscapes provides a nice sense of satisfaction for me.  I love our Canadian landscape. I have always taken photographs of landscape. In abstracting my landscapes, I get to play with the colours and shapes of landscapes in whatever way I choose, sometimes using more abstraction, sometimes less. It’s all up to me, as long as I can make it work.  

We have the freedom to make the art we choose.Be Fearless. The magic happens when we are out of our comfort zone.

Here is a little still life that I completed a few weeks ago:

 

Time 12"x12"