Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Maynard Dixon Advice

"Crossing" 9x12, oil - $150 - contact Michael

We had an overcast day not too long ago, and we went down to Red Rock Crossing.  The light spoke "pink" to me, and that's the way I painted it.  The water was too high to walk across the stepping stones, but it made for some nice rapids to paint.  I particularly liked that little orange bit of color beneath the clump of grass to the right of the foam.

Maynard Dixon sent a card to painter John Hilton once with some advice.  The card read:  "Be sensitive in perception, circumspect in approach, clear in color, definite in form - and remember, it is not the last stroke but every stroke that counts."

I had to look up "circumspect" to remind myself what it means.  It means "cautious" or "prudent."  I think what Dixon meant here was, among many things, to be careful what you include in your scene.  There was a great deal of very complicated brush and tangled weeds on both the far shore and nearby.  I removed or simplified most of it.

Dixon's paragraph should be printed out in bold letters and taped into the lid of your paintbox.


Frank Gardner said...

Great advice. Looks like you are doing well in Sedona as usual.

Michael Chesley Johnson said...

Thanks, Frank! Sedona is a great place to be in the winter. Cooler than San Miguel de Allende, I know, but I like it!

David Westerfield said...

That's for the post Michael. I will put that image in my paint box.