Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Art direction?

Floral Emotion
Original Oil Painting  12x30" gallery wrap canvas
by Susan Roux

Where is your art going this year? Will it be taking a different direction? Will you try new techniques or work on perfecting your current ones?

With all the talk of New Year's resolutions and dreams for the year, I have trouble not focusing on my art when answering. January of last year marked the birth of my girls at the beach with simplified backgrounds. It seems as though I've been working on them much longer. When I began, I wanted to play with pale shadows that still read like shadow. I've tried to hold that as part of my focus, but also delving into developing fundamentals.

I'm certain you recall me using words like painstakingly. Trying to improve our painting habits is never an easy plight. We become comfortable doing certain things and it's easy to continue to repeat them. Forcing your brain to think differently, apply the paint differently and try to have a result that doesn't look like you spent too much time "thinking" in the first place can be a very painstaking act. I speak to you from experience. 

Personally I'm drawn to great paintings that offer a balance of creativity, meaning that pure emotional spontaneity, with perfectly executed fundamentals. When these two dance on canvas poetically it's difficult to look away. I'm drawn to surprises. That creative use of color, unexpected in its location, yet working beautifully to unify the composition. A harmony that leaves something to the imagination and elevates the viewer to drift and dream. 

As you can see I set my goals high and I still have a long way to go to achieve them.

Working on fundamentals engages the brain. Spontaneity and gut reactions go out the door. Focusing for a full year on these has helped me develop, but a fear of being unable to shut my brain down grew. What if I can't access that creative side again? What if I want to analyze every stroke all the time? I'm striving for a balance of the two. How will this be possible?

The holidays presented me with very little time to paint. I'm certain you can relate to that or at lease to the growing desire to just pick up a brush when time doesn't allow it. The feeling became so great that one day I just exploded on canvas! I didn't want to think. I didn't want to follow any rules. I just wanted to paint!

And so I did. 

The painting posted is pure emotion pouring on canvas. Oh how it felt good! I look at it now and want to return to it to define some element more. Pick a cluster of flowers, maybe just one flower, and give it a bit more attention. I know it doesn't resemble my other work. That's ok. I could go back and define it, but I want to keep it as is. It'll be good to hang in the studio as a reminder that my creative side is not dead and can still be accessed. Now I can relax and continue in my development of fundamentals. 

Something inside still drives me. My work feels cut out for the new year. My direction is clear. Develop the fundamentals further and begin to allow the creative side to dance with it. Somewhere between my girls at the beach and this emotional outburst lies the place I'm headed. 

So I ask again. Where are you headed with regards to your art this year?


  1. oh my, susan, this is just OUTSTANDING!! and i absolutely loved your post. just what i needed to read. keep pouring out the emotion, this is to date one of my very favorite of yours. bravo!!! happy new year, what a way to start it off!

  2. Nice explosion on that canvas! Happy New Year, and may 2012 keep you inspired.

  3. Another beautiful painting Susan. I think it looks like you--your love of gardens and soft lines. It has a Monet-esque (is that a word?) look to it. Yes, what are our goals this year? I'm afraid to think too much about that. Happy New Year!

  4. I found another artist todayon Pinterst mimicing Ande Koh ! LOL they are everywhere

  5. pour commencer.. je te souhaite une belle année de créativité.. pour ma part .. j'essaie de venir plus monochrome.. plus sobre.. en peinture naturellement!

  6. i can't wait for the spring... after this painting!

  7. I can always take your posts and relate them to my writing. I like that you painted the flowers and still look at the painting for edits. I'd been thinking about you and was pleased to see your name:) How was your holiday? I hope fantastic!

  8. I love this burst onto canvas for pure greater reason to paint. Wishing you much joy in 2012.

  9. LOVE this emotional outburst! The colors do dance and express your joy! Much happiness and movement toward your goals this year, Susan. Your posts are always thought provoking and interesting to read and I thank you.

  10. Susan! This painting says so much,(to me anyway)
    I have to comment.
    Fundamentals are always to be exercised,yet when
    you are moved to "just paint" and pour youself onto a canvas, true art is born.

    Don Hatfield once said,"When love and opportunity intersect, true art is made."

    I believe that is what happened here with Floral emotion.
    That picket fence that runs through, yet hides amounst the flowers, speaks to me as a comment made by a person I have just met.
    "Love adds and multiplies, it never divides and takes away."
    That fence does not divide. The flowers add and
    are multiplied.
    Pure beauty visually and poetically.

    You say you just threw yourself into your painting. You took that leap of faith and trusted
    true emotion and love. Look what you've painted!

    Anyone that sees this painting will get a shiver
    up their spine, I did!

    As for the new year, I would like to paint what I believe will be a love story in paint.

    I've met someone, and it's a blessing to have that happen. I want to paint that part of my life. True emotion and love.

  11. Gorgeous colors, the movement of your flowers.

  12. I miss the Spring season so much after seeing this gorgeous painting, Susan!! I love how you throw those colors around creating this outstanding piece!!

  13. Beautiful painting! I give myself the entire month of January to evaluate the previous year and decide this years goals. Thansk for sharing yours!!

  14. Je suis rentrée depuis quelques heures de Marrakech et je suis heureuse de découvrir cette toute dernière oeuvre remplie de lumière, de soleil, de couleurs... Une oeuvre pleine d'espoir et de générosité pour cette nouvelle année.
    Tu le sais, tu connais mon opinion... J'adore ta nature en fête... Des fleurs éclatantes qui pétaradent dans ton univers!!!
    gros gros bisous

  15. It's a beauty and I can relate.
    The longer I go without painting, the more anxiety I develop. As soon as I pick up the brush and start working I can feel the anxiety flowing away.
    Happy Creative New Year Susan ;D

  16. Wonderful post, and certainly something most artists worry about! I can relate to your question of "What if I can't access that creative side again?". I just keep trying, and I don't all of the paintings I do, but that's what gesso is for, LOL! Maybe if we quit questioning ourselves as artists, we quit growing. I love all of your work and I especially like this new one, knowing the story behind it and how you painted it just for the joy of painting. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Your posts are always thought provoking Susan. I love that you talk about how last year's goals and their development. Your lively colorful paintings are always a treat!

  18. Susan... THIS is just gorgeous... Emotion seems to work.

  19. Your Floral Emotion is a colorful burst of joy! Lovely! Your post speaks to me. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and painting goals for the new year. Can't wait to see what's next off your easel!

  20. stunning susan ! ...this is so very beautiful to look at


Please share your thoughts. Your comments are always appreciated.