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.

3 comments:

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.

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