14 Feb Witchcraft
When art critics get together, they talk about content, style, trend and meaning, but when painters get together, they talk about where you can get the best turpentine.
Painter Liz Floyd told me during a recent interview that she uses empty cat food tins as palette cups to hold her medium.
When I share Liz’s practice with other cat-owning painters, they beam and say, what a fabulous idea!
Picasso was right when he said painters, unlike critics, are a pragmatic bunch.
Like artists in every field, painters know that painting is performative and that an artist’s materials can make or break a performance.
Hence their fascination with pigments, mediums, varnishes, brushes, knives, easels, palettes, boards, canvases and a hundred other gizmos—including palette cups.
Most viewers—like most listeners to, say, a guitarist—concern themselves with the final product, not the process that led to it.
Most listeners don’t know or notice that the guitarist fingerpicks, plays a Martin, and uses a capo.
They just hear the song.
And even painters themselves don’t fully grasp the materiality of a painting.
That’s why they so often see their relationship with their materials as a form of alchemy.
Why does a Filbert brush-load of pigment mixed with Gamsol and linseed oil and smooshed against a canvas suddenly acquire the power to move viewers?