A ROSE IS A ROSE

Image of  Woody Hansen watercolor, , A Rose IS A Rose Title: ROSE IS A ROSE – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen, 15″ x 22″
To learn more about this painting, including purchase information, click on image.

A ROSE IS A ROSE

A Rose Is A Rose, provides an interesting study of how a non-objective painting can evolve into the suggestion of a recognizable subject. In this way the work becomes not a non-objective watercolor, but one of a more abstract nature.

A Rose Is A Rose, begins free-hand,Without a priliminary  pencil sketch, or value plan, and with no other objective except to served as a class demonstration of one of the ways a shape painter might approach the creation of a non-objective painting. However, about half way through the process I begin to see the suggestion of possible subject matter. When this occurs, I’ve learned it is often wisest to either “destroy” any semblance of subject, or “go with the flow” and see what develops.

In this case, I conclude this might be an excellent learning opportunity, both for myself and the class as well. So, out with the objective of non-objectivity and in with a goal of abstraction.

As I perceive A Rose Is A Rose, the viewer is looking outward through a window of some sort, bordered on each side by drapes of a predominantly green hue. It is a bright, sunny, warm day enjoyed by a bit of red, flora which compliments the green drapery. A few harmonious, green leaves gently float into view adding a feeling of texture to the overall composition.

The flora could be of any garden variety the viewer might imagine, but for me, the flower of choice must be a rose. “When all is said and done, a thing is what it is.”  Or, one might say, “A rose is a rose is a rose.” At the risk of opening Pandora’s Box (or jar), I ask the reader, “Can you smell it?”

Ah, well…okay, there is always hope.

ABOUT THE TITLE IDEA

The Internet offers a wonderfully powerful  tool with which to work. Thanks to today’s amazing technology, a wealth of information is but a few clicks away. Instant informative gratification is at our fingertips.

It’s fun to randomly select a word or phrase aimed at a bit of research. The process can be informative, and an effective method of refreshing one’s memory of previous lessons learned.  For example,  if we Google (or Yahoo) the phrase, “A rose is a rose” we come up with a variety of explanations and opinions.

I select the explanation provided at the web site, The Phrase Generator, “The meaning most often attributed to this is the notion that when all is said and done, a thing is what it is. This is in similar vein to Shakespeare’s ‘a rose by any other name would smell as sweet’.”

The site further clarifies that the phrase’s author interprets the phrase, “Rose is a rose is a rose” differently. “The line is from Gertrude Stein’s poem Sacred Emily, written in 1913 and published in 1922, in Geography and Plays. The verbatim line is actually, ‘Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose’:

LEARN MORE ABOUT WATERCOLOR…

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18th ANNUAL HENRY FUKUHARA MEMORIAL WORKSHOP

18th Annual Henry Fukuhara Memorial Workshop. Photo of Manzanar Cemetery

18th ANNUAL HENRY FUKUHARA MEMORIAL WORKSHOP

May 14 to May 18, 2015
For enrollment info visit www.alsetto.com
Click on “Artist At Work,” then “Manzanar Application.” O, call 9310) 663-9582


ART INSTRUCTION BY PROMINENT ARTISTS

John Barnard 
Dam Dickman
Phyl Doyan 
JoAnn Formia   
Ron Lebrech   
Al Setton
SPECTACULAR SCENERY, INTERESTING CALIFORNIA  HISTORY, AND A PARTY with Good Eats, and a Live Band, too!


LIVE IN THE SACRAMENTO REGION? ENROLL IN A  WATERCOLOR CLASS.

Want to learn more about watercolor, or brush upon your skills? Check out my upcoming watercolor classes and workshops.

You’re invited to visit my WEB SITE, www.woodyhansen.com

QUESTION and COMMENT FORM: Click HERE.

COLLECTION & EXHIBITION of IEMA

IEMA Logo

ART COLLECTOPM

I’m pleased to announce I now have two paintings represented in the Inland Empire Museum of Art’s collection. Both, River Royalty and Sticking Point are seen elsewhere on this blog. Both may be seen either on this blog (above), or as part of the following exhibition.

ANNOUNCING the Inland Empire Museum of Art‘s first exhibition of its entire collection; featuring over 125 artists and more than 200 works of art. Many prominent artists are represented from the Inland Empire , throughout California and beyond. 

Millard Sheets Art Center
1101 West McKinley Avenue
Pomona, CA. 91768
tlcfairplex.org/sty * 909865-4161

Opening reception: April 12th 2:30-5:00pm.
Exhibition Dates: April 11-May 3 
Gallery Open: Wed.-Sun. 11 -4pm

IEMA Collection OpeningOpening View of Exhibition Collection (above)*IEMA collection Public ViewingCollection on public View (above)*

*Photos courtesy of Gene Sasse

LEARN MORE ABOUT WATERCOLOR…

Want to learn more about watercolor, or brush upon your skills? Check out my upcoming watercolor classes and workshops.

You’re invited to visit my WEB SITE, www.woodyhansen.com

QUESTION and COMMENT FORM: Click HERE.

HAPPY ACCIDENTS

Joyful Happiness, Original watercolor painting by Woody HansenJOYFUL HAPPINESS – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen, 15″ x 22″
To learn more about this painting, including purchase information, click on image.

HAPPY ACCIDENTS

There are no accidents; we’re all teachers – if we’re willing to pay attention to the lessons we learn, trust our positive instincts and not be afraid to take risks or wait for some miracle to come knocking at our door. – Marla Gibbs

Since this post promotes the concept of happy accident I can’t agree that a there “are no accidents.” However, I do support  the second part of the quote.

I’ve found that if one paints often enough he is sure to have an infrequent “happy accident.” By that i mean that frequency of painting almost guarantees, at the least, an occasional painting success. So it is with Joyful Happiness. Definitely a result of one or more happy accidents.

“There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.” – Bob Ross

To use a sports metaphor, one can’t score if he doesn’t shoot. Anyone who has played basketball, on what ever level, knows in his heart that successful scoring is a combination of practice, skill, and occasional happy accidents. Some nights, some games it is almost as if one simply can’t miss a shot. Sports casters often refer to this as a player having a”hot hand.”Something similar applies to creative watercolor painting and happy accidents.

Outstanding offensive basketball players like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Jason Williams, Mike Bibby, Bobby Jackson,  and LeBron James know that skill, and experience combined with “happy accidents” play an important role in their on court success. Professional ball players don’t hesitate taking the risk of missing a basket or two, or three, or more!.

When experiencing  a cold spell, these ball players, and others,  keep shooting because they know it’s only a matter of time until the  “hot hand” returns. Call it what you will. However, I suggest this phenomena is–for the most part–a welcome happy accident.

The above painting, Joyful Happiness, came about during a demonstration for a class of optimistic, positive minded, and supportive students. No negativity here, just eager beavers filled with joyful happiness of having the luxury to practice and learn the art of watercolor painting. On this particular day, I felt like I had the “hot hand,” as stroke after stroke, mark after mark, just seemed to fall into place. Happy accidents in action. Lucky me.

Real biologists who actually do the research will tell you that they almost never find a phenomenon, no matter how odd or irrelevant it looks when they first see it, that doesn’t prove to serve a function. The outcome itself may be due to small accidents of evolution.
E. O. Wilson

LEARN MORE ABOUT WATERCOLOR…

Want to learn watercolor, or brush upon your skills? Check out my upcoming watercolor classes and workshops.

You’re invited to visit my WEB SITE, www.woodyhansen.com

QUESTION and COMMENT FORM

CREATIVITY

The Bright Side, original nonobjective watercolor by Woody HansenTHE BRIGHT SIDE – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen, 15″ x 22″
To learn more about this painting, including purchase information, click on image.

ON CREATIVITY

Relative to Fine Art one might ask, What is creativity, how do we recognize it, and what is its real worth?

Many consider Rollo May’s book, The Courage To Create, something akin to the artist’s creative bible.

“Creativity is the process of bringing something new into being. ”– Rollo May

I recently spent a few enjoyable hours searching the Internet for definitions and opinions of creativity. I came up with a wealth of material some of which follows.

A FEW DEFINITION OF CREATIVITY

1. The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work. Synonyms: Inventiveness, imagination, innovation, innovativeness, originality, individuality; artistry, inspiration, vision; enterprise, initiative. (SOURCE: (Google)

2. The quality of being creative. First known use of the term CREATIVITY, 1875. (SOURCE: Merriam Webster Dictionary

3. The use of the imagination or original ideas, especially in the production of an artistic work.(SOURCE: Oxford Dictionaries

Of course the above definitions raise the highly subjective and controversial question of what qualifies as an “artistic work.” When a work is considered artistic, do we automatically label it creative? Are all creative works artistic? To what degree are artistic works creative, or vice versa? What do the famous and not so famous think about creativity?  As the saying goes, “Stay tuned.”

Continue reading

EVOLUTIONARY TREE – Watercolor Painting

Evolutionary Tree, watercolor by Woody HansenEvolutionary Treee – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen, 15″ x 22″

UNAIMED ARROWS

Have you ever heard the saying, “An unaimed arrow never misses its mark?” This simple proverb can be  a valuable asset when it comes to creativity. Applied to art, the saying opens the door of possibility by not limiting one’s options, and lessens the pressure to succeed. In short, an unaimed arrow reduces the chance of failure, or at best totally eliminates  failure, while encouraging experimentation.

Of course there are those who scoff at such an “evolutionary” approach, and they have their place. However, if one’s goal is creativity, translation not transcription, there can be few better approaches than that of an unaimed “arrow. Evolutionary Tree, is an example of how the arrow premise can be extremely  helpful to a painter.

The painting begins outdoors, during a Free Friday session. I intend to avoid subject matter, using nothing as a preliminary guide (sketch, drawing), just the desire to freely apply paint to paper for the sake of the paint alone. The work begins with no preconceived opinion what so ever; an attempt to allow the evolutionary process to seek its own level.

Although I am painting in a scenic area, amid rocks, trees, and water, on this day I am not interested in painting the obvious. So, I begin with a single, large brush, one color, and no more than five, rather rapid brush strokes of various sizes (see below). Unfortunately, there remains no original image of Evolutionary Tree’s first stage. But, read on …

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Preliminary Sketch

The above re-creation illustrates an approximation of the painting’s initial stage. The reader must take my word the overall composition, unlike the above photo, is–at the time–quite good. I seem to like it so much  I seriously consider framing the painting as a nonobjective watercolor. Luckily, a better decision eventually prevails.

EVOLUTIONARY TREE

However, Evolutionary Tree, as yet unnamed, finds its way into a stack of unfinished paintings, where it remains for several weeks, months, often reviewed but essentially ignored. All this simply due to a state of indecision and immobilization on my part.

In time,  original infatuation and indecision fade. Evolutionary Tree is selected as a candidate for experimentation. As work continues, the painting, thus far of a nonobjective approach,  begins to suggest subject matter. A decision is made to “listen” to the painting, allowing it to take me on a bit of a creative ride into the unknown.

Fortunately, the work eventually evolves into it present, subjective state. To the painting I say, “Thanks for the splendid suggestion, and special thanks for the great ride. It was a lot of fun!.”

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FALL FROLIC – Nonobjective Watercolor

Fall Frolic, watercolor painting by Woody HansenFall Frolic – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen, 15″ x 22″

Nonobjective Paintings

Some nonobjective paintings take more time than others to complete. There are  paintings that require more thought, more  than a casual observer might imagine. For example, Fall Frolic began on June 6, 2013. Further work was done on June 12, and June 19, 2013. the painting lay dormant for nearly a year and a half, until January 16, 2015, when it receives its final touches.

The painting begins outdoors during a Free Friday session along the American River, near the Watt Avenue entrance, Sacramento. In this case the usual preliminary plan does not exist. The untitled painting is, initially free form with regard to composition.  Like many nonobjective paintings, subsequent work is accomplished indoors, in a studio setting.

The composition/design slowly evolves during the painting process. Thought is given to contrast, informal balance, repetition, alternation, size, harmony, unity, gradation, and movement. The use of overlapping and interlocking shapes, occur prior to, and during the application of calligraphy. Not a bad idea for objective or nonobjective paintings.

PROMOTIONAL LINK

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For purchase information, go HERE.

QUESTIONS? Comment? Leave a message below, or on my Contact Pag

TRIAD TRASH CANS – Watercolor

Triad Trash Cans. A watercolor by Woody Hansen. Triad Trash Cans – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen, 15″ x 22″

Spotlight On the Art Critic*

Normally, my personal comments occupy this space relative to the featured painting (above). However, as a change of pace I’ve decided to, instead post comments from various media art critics and their constructive criticisms. I hope you will find their opinions informative.

William Smyth – Boston News art critic:
I find this work menacingly playful because of the way the internal dynamic of the sexual placement of the packages brings the composition within the realm of discourse to the distinctive informal design. A masterful approach to say the least.

Margaret Fishbine – Los Angeles Globe, art crtitic:
It’s difficult to enter into this work because of how the subaqueous qualities of the traditional motifs create a unique and subterraneous participation in the critical design dialogue of the current century. 

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Mort Figamann, – San Francisco Free Press, art critic:
With regard to the issue of content, the optical suggestions of the purity of line contextualize the inherent over-specificity of the greater rectangle. especially with regard to  the unequal measures of the composition. 

Albert Bloomberg, – Arizona Herald, art critic:
It should be noted that the icon relationships of the elements of design seem very disturbing in light of the distinctive formal and informal juxtapositions of shape, value, and color, relative to exemplifying the trash cans as a contemporary landscape. Close, but no cigar.

NOW YOU BE THE ART CRITIC
So, what’s your comment?

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QUESTIONS? Comment? Leave a message below, or on my Contact Page.

* The above art critic comments are fictitious and intended to be puzzling, fun, nonsensical, and  humorous. Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead Is Purely Coincidental. The basis for each of the above fictitious comments has been generated courtesy of The Instant Art Critique Phrase Generator. Try it yourself.

BAJO LA LUMA – Watercolor

BajoLLa Luma. Original watercolor by Woody HansenBajo ls Luma – Original watercolor by Woody Hansen, 15″ x 22″

To learn more, or view this painting framed, select the image.

WATERCOLOR HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

Bajo la Luma, represents another example of allowing a painting to age before discarding it, or sending it to the circular file, glue factory, etc. This non-objective painting begins on July 13, 2013. I no longer recall why it remains in the “unfinished” stack for so long. However, in early November 2014, it is rediscovered and selected for a class watercolor demonstration.

THE APPROACH TO THIS WATERCOLOR

I recall the beginnings of Bajo la Luma, is as what I call my “whisk broom”  approach. The watercolor paper is first saturated with clear water. After a brief period to allow the water to soften the fibers of the paper, a common whisk broom is used to scar, score, rough the paper’s surface, giving it a different texture than what one might expect of a sheet of 140 pound, cold press watercolor paper.

PROMOTIONAL LINK

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Only three, single-pigment colors are used in the development of this watercolor. The approach is direct painting without a preliminary plan, or pencil/black ink line as a guide. A work of this nature just evolves over time, the outcome is always tenuous, and  certainly never a sure thing. It might be thought of as painting “without a net.” Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Highly subjective in any case. But then, isn’t that part of what creativity is all about? I think so.

THE TITLE

What about a title? It’s fun to title non-objective paintings, and for me, the titles come at the conclusion of the work. Quite often I look to an appreciation of music for a title. At times a painting’s title is based on a piece of music because the melody or rhythm seems suited to the work, while other times the title, has little to do with the painting and is chosen only for the purpose of differentiating  one watercolor from another.

In this case, Bajo ls Luma, by the great guitarist Otmar Liebert, is playing on an iPod as the painting is photographed in preparation for posting. The music seemed to fit my mood and perhaps, even the painting.

NOTE: All links are working properly when originally posted. However, third-party links may–in time–become inoperable for reasons beyond my control. Therefore, some links may not work as expected.

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