My art teacher Naomi Campbell at the Art Students League said to do these three things:
1. Make it strong
2. Keep it simple
3. Edit it down
Is this brilliant or what? She advised us to start with a big solid shape. To convey a gesture, make a strong line.
I love this. I’m a dip-my-toe-in kind of painter but this advice gives me permission to be bold.
Speaking of permission, Robert Burridge, my teacher at the Holbein workshop in Vermont, begins his class by passing out permission slips – bright magenta slips with the word “Permission” printed on them.
And whatever question you ask him, Burridge said, he will always answer, “Yes.”
“More blue?” “Yes.”
So one smart aleck asked, “What if I ask, ‘Does my painting stink?’ Will you say Yes?”
And Burridge said, “I’ll say, ‘You have permission to start over.'”
And that’s kinda what Campbell said today too when she said, “It’s only paper. Don’t try to make it perfect.”