Quote of the month

From an interesting series in The Atlantic on first drafts, and creativity:

After the first pass, the painting is wrong—at least in that it’s not complete yet. Because it’s a face, I can’t leave it turquoise, I can’t leave it purple. I love having rights and wrongs. You have to hang in there until you get it to read correctly. I just work intuitively and start making corrections. The colors combine like words into a sentence, or notes into a chord. Then I’ll rotate the painting so that a different axis is up. That allows me to reanalyze all the shapes and colors. The system seems totally mechanical and so systematized, but in fact the thing about limitations like these is that they free you to be more spontaneous and intuitive. The painting is always in a state of flux.

-Chuck Close, as told to Alex Hoyt for The Atlantic

Theres an interview with Close and singer Paul Simon here.

The series includes short articles on creative process by Paul Simon, Frank Gehry, T.C. Boyle and more.

2 Responses to “Quote of the month”

  1. Theo

    “The colors combine like words into a sentence, or notes into a chord.” Love this quote.

  2. Sean Crawford

    Yes, you have to hang in there, I could edit my work for hours. And I do.
    My art is essays, and I just have to laugh: Every night my piece is a finished essay, and every morning my piece becomes a draft. How humbling… They say a work is never finished, just abandoned.

    For a big masterpiece oil painting, they say it hangs together like a master poem, that if you moved even one little shrub you would change everything.

    My stuff will never be at a master level, but the fun is in moving towards mastery.


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