- Art Adventures Southwest

Art Adventures Southwest Blog

Art, Imagination and Repetition

Jane Shoenfeld Art Adventures

Jennifer is sketching. The photo above is from a plein air painting class at Ghost Ranch, NM. Jennifer was one of 11 participants. The assignment was to make three charcoal drawings of the same scene before beginning to work in color. Repetition is a very exciting and useful part of the creative process. Repetition helps in "seeing" and opens up the imagination.

One way in which repetition is useful is that it develops the ability to see the "value", that is the shade from dark to light, of a specific color. Advanced students still confuse color saturation, color temperature, and the hue of a color with lightness and darkness. In my own work, I frequently change the literal colors of a scene, but I tend to stick pretty closely to accurate values. The values, and particularly the contrast between dark and light, have a great deal to do with how the eye moves through the picture. Movement is a big part of what gives the painting its energy.

Most of the art work I do is in series. One pastel series completed several years ago was "100 View of Guadalupe Mesa". I fell in love with Guadalupe Mesa and stayed with its image for several years. The more I repeat and absorb a particular view, the more inventive I become. The borders that are dictated by "reality" break down and the edges between trees, clouds and mesas take on unexpected diversions.

The borders between what I think is there in the landscape, and what may be hidden there, open up in response to repetition. Repetition is a form of devotion. I love looking at the world and I believe I see more, the more I look. I am convinced that the interior world and the exterior world meet in response to this act of devotion and seeing.


You are here: Home Blog Art, Imagination and Repetition