Considering The Space

Considering the space as your first move
Considering the space as your first move

In painting class last week our teacher, Fred Lipp, was discussing his painting that was recently on display in the faculty show. It is a tour de force and it was a pleasure to hear him discuss it. He talked about his approach to creating this work and coincidentally it overlapped with the way he teaches us to think about our work.

Fred guides us by constantly reminding us to address the worst first and the whole trick is to be able to identify the “the worst.”. And if you don’t start a piece by throwing down a whole lot of “worst” you will have a lot less headaches. It is important to consider the space, the white rectangle, the whole, right from the onset.

Fred strives to achieve maximum results from minimal information so that very first mark must work with the space. “Always address the whole”. Fred says he knows what he is after but he doesn’t know how he will do it. That is the adventure. And he has the confidence to know he can pull it off. He thrives on improvisation and each move is a dialog with the whole.

The Little Theater has a promo display of free New Yorker magazines and I grabbed one between sets at last night’s Margaret Explosion gig. Peter Schjeldahl reviewed a retrospective of the Flemish artist, Luc Tuymans, on display in Columbus, Ohio. Although I had never hear of him, Schjeldahl described him as “the most challenging painter in the recent history of the art.” Tuymans was quoted as saying, “untill I get to the middle of the process — its horific. It’s like I don’t know what I’m doing but I know how to do it, and it’s very strange.” Schjeldahl says this, “— uncertain ends, confident means is as good a general definition of creativity as I know.


2 Replies to “Considering The Space”

  1. these painterly discussions r as entertaining as your tech discussions. but i get more out of the painterly ones. thank u.

  2. I happened to google my dad, not sure why but I did. Darned if everything I read on this site is what I was taught by him as an artist. Now I could tell you a few more things I’ve learned from him as his daughter but that would’t be fair now would it. I printed this site for him so he could know how his students feel but I don’t think it matters to him. I think he just wants some people to know the essence of art, because thats what he is, the essence of art. Some folks have told me how lucky I am to be his offspring….ah well, I guess it’s true, but I tell my students the story that made me tough. I was working on a project for art class and finally finished it after 2 weeks of long nights and what I thought was a great idea.. I bring it to him at midnight , in his TV chair and wait for a response. “Well, it’s not good, not right on” he says. “But I worked on it forever!” I cryed “I don’t care how long you worked on it it’s not on.”
    His words broke me, I had to rebuild, and I did.
    I rebuilt myself to understand the essence of art.
    Thanks dad….Happy 80th…I love ya. Millicent

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