Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Imagination or interpretation? Where does your Art come from...

I am wondering if most artists can fall into one of two categories - Imaginative or Interpretive.  A loose definition...Imaginative Artists build their work from within, based on passed experiences, images in their mind, colors and textures that flow naturally.  Interpretive Artists need a reference source - a live model, a photograph, a landscape, a still life.  The artist can Interpret the inspiration any way they want, but it still has to be physically in front of them.

I am debating about this because I definitely fall into the second category.  I have tried to create work based on books, dreams, ideas...but they never seem to become fully fleshed out a realized.  I always admire art created by those who can just let it flow from their imagination to their fingertips, it comes out right from their subconscious onto the page, and is as real as anything else.  If you put me in front of a model, a photograph, a still life, I can turn it into anything I want, in many different ways - realistic, abstract, painterly, whatever!  But I can not just "come up with" an image.

What kind of artist are you? Imaginative or Interpretive?  Do you think most Artists fall into one category or another?

Just finished...from a photo I took of the live model..."The Center Ring", charcoal on textured panel


Melissa Lynn D said...

I'm a bit of both I guess. While I always use photos for reference, sometimes I run across a photo and interpret it, and other times I use an idea from my imagination and find photos that will work with it.

Christabel said...

I'm still interpretive, although I hope to become imaginative, I think it will come with experience and trying again and again

HarlequiNQB said...

While I am not a patch on yourself when it comes to my skill level I find I do far better when using a reference than without, in fact I wrote a post mentioning this in passing a little while back. I've been meaning to expand upon it, perhaps your mentioning it is the kick I need to get on with it :)

usually, if I'm trying to do something that does not truly exist, I will seek out references that are close to what I'm trying to create and extrapolate, but I need something to work from or the results are usually terrible (they're not that great even with :)).

(I'm new to your blog, but I think your style is wonderful)

nothingprofound said...

Imagination relies on external reality as much as the eye. The imagination simply re-arranges our sensations and presents them differently, gives them a subjective reference.

Justine said...

I definitely need references to look at to create my art, but a lot of times, I have an idea in my mind and I go looking for image references to help me produce the painting. I'm constantly photographing things I see that seem interesting to me visually with the intention of perhaps later they will become something else in a painting.
I really enjoy seeing your paintings, thanks for posting them :)

krystyna81 said...

@inmyownspace on Twitter tweeted... picasso said ' there is no abstract art, you must always start with something, afterwards you can remove all trace of reality'

I love all of the insights and learning more about how different artists bring their work to realization!

janet bright said...

hi Krystyna.

I admire your work; love the colour! and appreciate your comments re: intrepretive and imaginative creation.

I've just taken down a gallery show where I spent considerable time talking to visitors about creative process, subject matter and interpretation.

Many were open to ideas beyond their own experience and were interested to hear of my process: expressionist painting based entirely on remembered experience and impression of place, time and experience. Within this process, great value is placed on the inclusion of recognizable characteristics (most commonly in the form of horizon, sky, water) to provide context and understanding for the viewer.

(All been summed up in my writings re: MemoRealism online)

Looking forward to reading more here!

Ruth Hunter said...

Love your work...I have always loved figuritive painting and have been trained classicly. I drew and painted portraits/figures for many years but my true love is painting from imagination which is insistantly figurative! the key to painting from the subconscious (for me) is enjoying the process of painting and accepting the
'happy accidents' that lead to 'the image'. staying out of your own way and relenquishing control over the outcome. from that place, the soul speaks...

feel free to check out my blog..