Monday Motivator: Paint Intentional Ambiguity

“Think of your painting as being an example of peripheral vision, with some areas being seen more sharply than others. Deliberately throw some forms a bit out of focus, or treat several forms purely as color areas or shapes that have no specific meaning or reference.

“… If you sense that a painting needs a green smudge here or a bright red accent there, put it in, whether or not it has a logical counterpart in nature.

“… Consider the idea of making your viewers put forth a little more effort to get the most out of what your pictures have to offer.”

Edward Betts, “Creative Landscape Painting”, page 86

A painting that doesn’t stipulate every tiny detail encourages the viewer to engage, interpret, and possibly never know why something is like it is. A poem not an instruction manual.

2 Replies to “Monday Motivator: Paint Intentional Ambiguity”

  1. you are wonderful! that problem of making every detail count was the problem of a painting I did last week. finally fixed it with help from another teacher earlier. I love your posts.

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