Fighting with a Painting (and Winning)

NON-FICTION, 179 words.

Copyright 2012 Ara Hagopian.

Painting is still-life combat: I’m fighting every limitation of my technique on the canvas battlefield. I am covering, discovering, and raising the quality of the work by building upon those strokes that come by accident but look good.

When painting, I constantly think: what does this work bring to the collection? How can this canvas be improved?

When judgment outmatches weakness in ability, advancements can be made. I’ll try a stroke, a color, a blend; if it’s just OK, I’ll try again in another combination. If I notice a stroke looks beyond the quality of what I’ve delivered so far in the painting, then that stroke is the new standard for the picture.

The Shelleron went through a long ability vs. judgment war. Good, consistent judgment is the best tool in the secret-weapon toolbox. Good judgment says, “This part is fine. Here’s where you need work.” And is right.

Take a look at The Shelleron and read its essay on my art page. The Shelleron art card is here.

The Shelleron is the result of a three-month battle of ability vs. judgement.

The Shelleron is the result of a three-month battle of ability vs. judgement.

About Ara Hagopian's The LITERATE Show

For over thirty years, I have enjoyed drawing beautiful shapes and writing complementary stories. The imagery tends to focus on our place in the world—whomever or whatever we may be. I am influenced by Twentieth Century history—I read vintage magazines, books and letters. Inspiration comes from visualizing human achievement and personal interaction—derived from people, places and things which may be obscure, but never insignificant. My pen-and-ink THE MAGNIFICENT RECOVERY was selected by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston for their 2008 summer art auction.
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2 Responses to Fighting with a Painting (and Winning)

  1. Excellent description of what the creative process entails.

    • Thank you. Painting, as an analog technology, doesn’t allow us to “undo”, so we’re always taking a risk as we move the work along. That facet brings an exhilaration too; maybe we’re ruining this, or maybe we’re making it better, we’ll see.

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