non-conceptual painting

still some work to do..

work in progress (oil on linen) — Bev Byrnes

Some time away from the studio which has delayed progress a bit, but the end is nearing now. I decided to finish this piece with glazing so have been working the grisaille to bring it to a high degree of finish. Should be ready for color by next week. Just entering my favorite stage of a painting where I can begin to tweak for subtlety and nuance.

A few who’ve seen this work in progress have called it a trompe l’oeil painting, but that hasn’t been the goal. It’s brought to mind the matter of intention while painting. Though it looks like a blouse, the idea or intention of painting a blouse is nowhere in mind while working. In the past I’ve sometimes been asked to teach drawing classes. I always title these classes ‘Learning to See’ rather than ‘Learning to Draw.’ Doing work of this kind essentially requires the abandonment of conceptual thinking to as great a degree as possible, and an opening to recognizing — seeing — what is simply there, what is seen as purely visual information. Instead of painting lace or a sleeve, the focus is on simple visual information like light and dark (value relationships), hard and soft (edge or line quality). Stepping back to a broader view the smaller details of light and dark merge into larger patterns revealing unities of flow (whether flow of light or line). The more subtle the information your vision is able to pick up, the more nuance you can add to the drawing or painting (if you choose.. there’s also much to be said for editing the information). The matter of learning how to use the materials is a far distant second to the matter of learning how to see.

© Bev Byrnes--WIP

work in progress (oil on linen) – Bev Byrnes