Friday, July 6, 2012

William MacGregor Paxton on Painting

The Nude,24x33, by William MacGregor Paxton, Collection of Boston Museum of Fine Arts
"Let the surfaces flow into one another in a supple envelope of light and paint"
"Find a new motive"
"Make the picture look as if it were painted in one sitting"
"Paint as large a piece as possible at once" 
"Never paint on one piece too long at a time"
"Do Something somewhere else, to rest your eyes"
"Paint neither too thickly nor thinly"
"The quickest way is the best"
"Compose by masses of light and dark or dark and light"
"Chiaroscuro is what makes pictures rich"
"Seek a noble and ample design"
"Make the objects swim in the air"
"Paint all things in relation to the focus"

William MacGregor Paxton, 1901
The Letter, 30x25, by William MacGregor Paxton

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Painting the Visual Impression" by Richard Whitney

While searching online for Mr. Whitney's out of print book, I found an article he wrote at the following web address, including several other interesting related articles:


 This series of articles is a summary of the fundamental ideas used by artists to help them paint the look of nature and the effects of light and shadow. I have listed them in order of importance with the essential ideas in bold type to help the working painter logically solve problems. I have written these concepts in a concise manner so that they can be memorized. Learning to paint involves learning to see and guidance from a master craftsman is necessary. This series should be used as a supplement to studio instruction.

The Seamstress
By Robert Hale Ives Gammell, 1893-1981
This overview was inspired by the teachings of R. H. Ives Gammell who studied with some of the most skillful painters at the turn of the century. The ideas presented here are therefore not mine, nor even his, but rather have been passed down from master to student for many generations. While studying with Mr. Gammell I wrote down much that he told me about these principles. I later organized my notes and added to them from extensive reading to produce this summary.

The first articles on composition and drawing list many concepts and helpful hints that can be used by artists of all stylistic persuasions. The main portion of the series emphasizes the impressionistic approach to painting. I do not mean to imply that this is the only way, or the best way to paint. Nothing in this series is meant to be taken as absolute law since some advances in the field of painting have come from breaking the rules after training is completed. My hope is that these articles will be a useful reference you can use in finding your way when you feel lost.

These ideas are most useful in helping artists paint the visual world. The impressionist paints what he sees, not what he knows. He looks at the whole subject at once and paints this visual impression in a broad manner with only a suggestion of detail. I list the ways in which the impressionist uses light and shadow, values, color vibration, edges and paint texture to achieve an atmospheric appearance. I also discuss methods of training the visual memory so that artists can successfully capture the fleeting effects of nature.

I have included a section on helpful advice to students followed by a listing of some of the artists of the past that I recommend for study. I have decided not to include living painters for fear of unintentionally offending those that I might omit. I have instead decided to illustrate this booklet with some examples of my work to show how these ideas have influenced one contemporary painter. I have also included an extensive reading list for further research.

It has been the dream of Mr. Gammell and others who have survived the onslaught of Modernism that future generations will restore the craft of painting. I hope my articles will contribute to this end.
Richard Whitney
Stoddard, New Hampshire

To Read a book preview online of Mr. Whitney's book, "Painting the Visual Impression, click here. or cut and paste:

To read more of this series of articles, please refer to the website:  <>.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Frank Benson “Advice to Artists”

Advice on Painting from F. W. B. (Frank W. Benson) taken after criticism by his daughter Eleanor Bedford (Scanned from an original)
Thanks to Mary Minifie and Paul Ingbretson for assembling and formatting the following text. I corrected some typos, laid it out and added the images collected from the web.


"The only fun in life is trying hard to do something you can't quite accomplish. There is no real fun in accomplishing some defi­nite fixed thing.

"It is not easy. It is never easy. There is no magic about it. It is just as much a science as the science of a doctor. It has to be studied and worked at, and even then you never really learn it. No one has any magic way of doing It. No one has anything to start with except an over-mastering desire to do it, and the more you have the desire, the more you will work at it and the more you will learn. I am still working at it and learning, and that is all I care about. I don't care about the pictures I have painted. I may become fond of one and say "that's a good one", but all I really care about is working at this thing, and it is still so far ahead of me that I shall never reach it, and have only just begun to know anything about it.


"There is no such thing as teaching a person anything. You may be helped toward learning by a hint someone has given you, but anything you really learn has got to be learned by experience and only by working and solving the problem your self can anything become a part of your real knowledge. Most people don't believe this, and want you to show them. Showing them is like giving candy to a child. It doesn't help them at all. They couldn't do it themselves and the next time they met the problem they would not even recognize it. Most people think painting is a God-given talent. It Isn't. It is a product of hard work and intense mental effort and only those can succeed who have the capacity for work and the necessary intelligence. (Said long before.)

“When I was working in the studio in Paris the French Maitre who previously had never been known to say anything to a student more complimentary than "Pas mal", and that very seldom, said to me one day: "Vous avez le metier dans le main; si vous jugerez mieux le caractere personelle de votre models, vous deviendrez tres fort." There it is — Le metier dans la main — your career is in your hand, to work out for yourself. No one else can help you. But people will not believe this.

There was dead silence in the room. It caused so much excite­ment that there were crowds of students around my drawing all the rest of the morning." (This was in the studio of M. Gustave Boulanger. The picture referred to was the study of the head of an old bearded man. This picture was given to Emerson Benson, cousin of F. W. B., and later Inherited by E. B. L. and later given to her son, Ralph Lawson).

Me: "Thanks for the lecture"
FWB.: "All right. It won't do you a bit of good. You've got go dig these things out for yourself."

"The only way to learn to paint is to paint, No matter how dissatisfied you are with what you have done, you learn something. No one can tell you things which you must learn from experience."

"My belief lies in this direction—that you should learn absolutely to see the thing truly as it exists, and then use that knowledge as you like. A man should use his knowledge of this and express himself according to his inclination, but beneath everything should be the solid foundation of reality.


"The important thing in painting is to keep everything as flat as possible. Your tendency is to model surfaces too much, because you are looking for effects of light and shade. Especially keep flat the less important parts of a picture. Don't blend and soften too much. Where an edge cuts sharply, make it sharp, with a flat value against the contrasting background."

"You can't paint reality by just describing things. You must pay attention to light and shade and values.

"Look continuously at the whole picture, not at parts, and roam from place to place making adjustments. That's what painting is — Making adjustments. Don't look at one part too long or you will paint it too much in detail. The unimportant parts of a picture should not be minutely described so that they will attract notice. Do the values and let it go. Everyon - all of us — tries to get an effect by carefully describing an object. That's not the way it's done. Go back again and again — I can't say it often enough — to the effect of things when you are looking at the whole picture. Anything is important which increases the effect of light and shade. That light streak on the tablecloth for instance emphasizes the shadow which the instrument casts across the table.

"Always keep in mind the direction from which the light is coming, and the fact that objects are casting their shadows across the table, even if barely perceptible. That will help you to select the things that are of significance.

"You are still thinking of things in terms of objects rather than in terms of areas of light."

"If you find a thing is going badly, go back and make more strongly the effects of light and shadow.

(Still-life)."Describe the lights and shadows of the drapery in masses. Pay special attention to the direction of folds in relation to the design. Invent if necessary. Draw carefully and don't make fuzzy places. Where the edge of the table disappears into shadow, don't make it plain. The light on the edge of the table is important because it describes the kind of material that covers the table. Yours might be a blanket."

Me: "Why do my watercolors lack a certain spontaneity and directness."

F.W.B.: Because you don't look at things with their large aspects of light and shade. As a design, not as objects. If you do this, you will get the objects afterwards. No one who was not born with the ability to do this can achieve it without a constant effort of will. If a landscape is not worth painting purely as a design in light and shade it is not work painting at all, unless by the addition of a wave or a rock or an interesting form of some sort. Those pretty colors mean nothing without good drawing and an interesting design.

"I simply follow the light, where it comes from, where it goes to. In the beginning make an artificially simple division of light and shade. Of course, light has very subtle variations - it wouldn't be interesting If it hadn't - but do not make them in the beginning. Get the large forms right by the simple light and simple shadows. Don't fuzz It up and soften the edges and lose the characteristic forms of ???, etc. In the clothes you aren't sure just what you see in the large forms, so you say, well, here is a wrinkle, anyway, I know where that is, and you put it in and spoil all the large effect of the mass of light as distinguished from the mass of shadow. You haven't made the shadows on the white collar a part of the whole shadow, you are too anxious to keep it looking white."

"You must be entirely absorbed by the light and shade. You must turn right away from what has been most important up to now - drawing -and put down merely what the eye can see. Look for the places where the outline is lost and paint those most carefully. Because that is very difficult to do, don't yield to the temptation to draw a line around things. That (Mother's silver pitcher - this was at 14 Chestnut) is very beautiful, lovely to paint. But it is beautiful because wherever you put it, - there are places you can't see, that lose themselves against the background. In arranging a still-life you are carried away by the beauty of the things themselves, instead of arranging them so that light is beautiful. Don't paint anything but the effect of light. DON'T PAINT THINGS."

"You still won't believe me when I tell you that the light on the whole figure is far more important than anything else you can do (any details) In giving the reality of the thing."

(Landscape). "Look at the shapes of the lights and shadows, put them down flat, make them exactly the shapes they are, without detail, and leave them. Don't puddle around with leaves and branches. Make the shadows right in relation to each other- near in value - and only when you have that done right, put in details. As much or as little a3 you like. That is not important.

(About a still-life with a vase of oak leaves). "I see very clearly the simplicity of the way the light falls, and yet the drawing is terribly complicated. As long as you try to make it better by improving the imitation of things, you will get into trouble; paint the light only. The drawing of the drapery gives the texture.


"There never was a great portrait which was not great because of its design, its arrangement or the whole figure and canvas, rather than just the face. The face is important too, but much less so than the whole. Few understand this, and because there is a face, think that is why they like a portrait. ----- paints only the face and so will never be successful in making a good portrait—paints the mask only and disregards the design. No one can be told what design means, but must feel the need of it and learn through experience. I never realized its importance until I was In my 30's— had an intuitive feel­ing for it before. When I realized it I enthusiastically organized a class in design at the school and tried to teach the students some­thing that I never had had taught to me. They didn’t know what I was talking about.

"A picture is merely an experiment in design. If the design is pleasing the picture is good, no matter whether composed of objects,still life, figures or birds. Few appreciate that what makes them admire a picture is the design made by the painter.

"The important part of a still-life is the design. Just so long as you are working on it to improve the design the picture is going ahead."

(Apropos of some photographs of places, I asked why it is that things dim; seen, in a mist for instance, seem much handsomer than those seen in detail.) "Simply because it allows you to see the design and does not distract your attention with unimportant small things."

"You will always get into trouble unless you design all the time you are painting. Stop designing and you are in trouble. You are so fascinated with painting, with making the things to look like reality that you forget to design. The things themselves should be made only at the very end —till then concentrate only on the values, and relations of color and space.

"You should look at a landscape — here's a way to get yourself into the right frame of mind — as if you were going to decorate a plate, to make a pattern that would successfully decorate that plate, and use the landscape before you to do it."

(I said I did not like the way my paint looked when it was on) "That has nothing whatever to do with it. Any more than what kind of ink I use in etching. The only way to achieve the kind of effect you are trying for is to get the right point of view toward the whole thing. Then you could put on paint with your finger and do better than you do now. You will never get what you are after until you arrive at the purpose that is behind it. You have a certain sense of design, but you don't use it when you sit down before a landscape. You try to paint what you have seen other people do and to make it look like rocks and trees instead of Using it as a design. The great value of simplification in design is something you don't yet understand.

"Design makes the picture. Good painting can never save the picture if the composition is bad. Good painting - representation of objects -is utterly useless unless there is a good design. That is the whole object of painting, and unless you can think in those terms, you will never be a good painter. That is why painting is bad for you, except as practice in representation. You will not learn to be a good painter by doing portraits. You are too much interested in an eye or a nose, in the likeness.

"People who write about painting rarely know what a painter is trying to do. It doesn't matter whether you use landscapes, or birds, or people. Try to fill your space with the best possible pattern. Only intuition will tell you what is right. Men have tried to do it by math­ematics. The Greeks had a feeling for it like no other people since.

"A picture is good or bad only as its composition is good or bad. You can't make a good still-life simply by grouping a lot of objects, handsome in themselves. You must make a handsome arrangement, no matter what the objects are. Remember the clipping of a still-life of a disorderly table desk with papers, a hat, etc."

(We were talking of how the same principles of composition seemed to apply in all the arts, and FWB told me of a conversation with his friend Charles Martin Loeffler, the composer.) "We were sitting in front of the fire and talking of pictures, which he enjoyed and appreciated very much. Loeffler asked me to describe to him what went on in my mind when I was In the process of composing a picture. I tried to tell him as best I could, and went on talking I suppose for half an hour. At the end of that time I said: "I don't know why I am going on like this, for it can't mean much to you." He leaned forward and put his hand on my knee and said, "My dear Frank, I am greatly moved by what you have told me. 3y changing a few nouns, that might be a des­cription of exactly what gees on in my mind when I am composing a symphony or an opera."

This was to emphasize, again, the fact that it is the composition, the design, the creation of the artist's mine, which is important, not the representation of objects with paint. "I grew up with a generation of art students who believed that it wa3 actually immoral to depart in any way from nature when you were painting. It was not till after I was thirty and had been working seriously for more than ten years that it came to me, the idea that the design was what mattered. It seemed like an inspiration from heaven. I gave up the stupid canvas I was working on and sent the model home. Some men never discover this. And it is to this that I lay the fact of such success as I have had. For people in general have a sense of beauty, and know when things are right. They don't know that they have but they recognize great painting. And design is the ONLY thing that matters."


"Paint in a tentative way - not as though you had to paint a picture of the fabric to sell it to someone. The reason for the effectiveness of such a way of painting is that you are painting a light, a value, in relation to the whole picture - not just by looking at that exact spot and painting what you see, which is what you do. That fold Is not interesting in itself. But it is interesting to paint because of what it does to the whole picture. You are still interested in too small things - an ear, an eye, a likeness, that Is the worst thing, a likeness. It takes your,, attention from the whole picture. But you have to have it, of course.

"Paint a shadow where it comes, don't fuzz it up. Then when it is dry, if necessary do the small things. Did it ever occur to you that you could make things look lighter, not by using more light paint, but by making a sharper edge where the shadow comes? Paint exact shapes." (He takes mixed paint on the brush, held loosely by the end, and drags it over an area that needs light or dark, leaving irregular edges, slowly and carefully - modifies it, if necessary by another brushful of darker color dragged over it. As different as possible from mixing a lot of the same' color and slapping it on. "Tentative." And the effect is miraculous. More like nature than the most meticulously painted area. And glowing with light and color. He says it is because he is putting down values in relation to the whole picture. That does not explain it. To me.)

"Look at the picture as a whole all the time you are painting it.

"Look at a head (or a landscape) always as a whole, as a head and not as a collection of features. If you look at one feature alone you will not make it in proper relation to the whole. Don't draw lines around things—make them by rendering the light and shadow.

(About a still-life.) "It is perfectly possible, with all those handsome things to paint to go on making each thing better and better and at the same time to have the picture grow worse and worse. The reason it looked well at the beginning was because in order to get the thing laid out quickly you had to make everything flat and simple. Don't paint each object for itself, separately, but as a part of the whole. Paint the Biosphere, in which all the objects are, and in which they have their relations to each other. Don't fuzz things up, and mess the paint around. If it isn't right, pushing it around and blending it in won't make it so. Scrape it off and put in something that is right, drawing the shapes carefully. But at all times observe minutely the delicate variations of value between one thing and another or between the light and shadow. Do not paint the figure, the rabbit, the Instrument — paint the light and shade and interrelating values of the whole thing."

"A picture is always a synthesis, never forget that. Made up, it is true, of analysis—it must be. But the synthesis is what is important. Choice is what matters. It may not be conscious choice, but what seems natural and inevitable to the painter. This makes a distinguished sketch, or picture. Distinction cannot be achieved by "spelling words" — by doing each half-inch meticulously and perfectly. Never do anything without regard to expressing the whole, the spirit. Your drawing must be better than pretty good. It must be distinctively done.

"Do not look at one spot and paint that exactly. Look at the whole thing. Look at the head, and see at the same time what value and color the landscape is, and upright of the screen.

"Paint in a tentative way - not as though you had to paint a picture of the fabric to sell it to someone. The reason for the effectiveness of such a way of painting is that you are painting a light, a value, in relation to the whole picture - not just by looking at that exact spot and painting what you see, which is what you do. That fold Is not interesting in itself. But it is interesting to paint because of what it does to the whole picture. You are still interested in too small things - an ear, an eye, a likeness, that Is the worst thing, a likeness. It takes your,, attention from the whole picture. But you have to have it, of course.

"Paint a shadow where it comes, don't fuzz it up. Then when it is dry, if necessary do the small things. Did it ever occur to you that you could make things look lighter, not by using more light paint, but by making a sharper edge where the shadow comes? Paint exact shapes." (He takes mixed paint on the brush, held loosely by the end, and drags it over an area that needs light or dark, leaving irregular edges, slowly and carefully - modifies it, if necessary by another brushful of darker color dragged over it. As different as possible from mixing a lot of the same' color and slapping it on. "Tentative." And the effect is miraculous. More like nature than the most meticulously painted area. And glowing with light and color. He says it is because he is putting down values in relation to the whole picture. That does not explain it. To me.)


“Look at the whole scene constantly. You are too anxious to complete the thing instead of trying to see it right. You have got to give up what is easy and attractive (and natural, too) to do, and simply try to see the relations of values. A skilful man will seem to be making things at the same time, but really if he is good he will be only painting "the relations of things. You think you do, but you have got to do it entirely differently if you are to get a real effect. Careful drawing of shapes is not making things.


"You are always making things too complicated. Looking for small variations and little reflected lights. The trouble with most women is that they soften and prettify things and so lose punch. Don't make it look right near to — make it look right twenty feet away. Keep a flat tone over all that background, edge on to the light, with a solid figure in front of it.


"You are paying too much attention to getting different colors in the background. Colors don't matter much--values are what you must get right—they are the only things that give any effect of sun and shadow. Don't mess around with your color and pat it down and smooth it out. Put it on and leave it. And make it "strong." You can't exaggerate too much—in the house it will all tone down and look too feeble. If a thing looks pinkish to you, make it vermilion. Don't be afraid of making things too strong. Draw very carefully the fine shape of a handsome tree or object. Take plenty of time and draw it well. Not easy to do.

(Concerning a portrait). "Don't draw the hair with strokes of the brush or make ringlets. Make a flat mass of the correct value, and lay on the lights drawing carefully the exact shapes. The light on that black hair must be cool. And don't paint it with black paint even if it is black. Against that green background It must have a certain warmth. (The model was not present) ."The things that are important are the correct relations of one thing to another—the hair, the shadow, the reflection, the half-tones, etc. Until you have these values right it is absolutely no use going ahead with anything else.

(Sketch of Mother on the piazza). “Composition, Drawing, Values, Color, Hot local color, Edges. Above all, values. How the light falls. Keep comparing everything else with the darkest spot. With the lightest. Draw shapes carefully -that is not finishing. Don't paint objects. Paint only values.

"When you don't know what the values are, you make It fuzzy, try to fix something that's wrong by doing something more wrong. If you can't make sharp edges between the values, they are wrong ... By making a sharp edge between the light and shadow, here, the shadow does not need to be too dark.

"Scumble it with white or black if a thing goes wrong and start over.


" I am going to talk to you about something I have told you many times, and you don't know anything about. You over-represent things. You should be looking for the places in the picture where you can't quite see things, and paint those the way they are. Choose a subject with those places in it. Look at that face and then at the shoulder. Compared to the head you can hardly see it. You make it that way and the head will suddenly stand out. In your effort to get the features and likeness, you make everything alike, and immediately everything loses its force. I don't mean things are absolutely vague, but relatively vague. Try it. No one can understand it 'till it happens to them.

"If that head wasn't there, you'd have a darned hard time telling what that coat was. Well, make your coat just as hard to see. This is something people never get told in school. It shows in all your work, landscapes and everything.


"When we speak of color, we do not mean colors, such as the green of leaves or the pick of cheeks. We mean the effect of light on an object, and the effect which one color has on another nearby. No relation to what the ordinary person calls color.

(Still Life.) "You don't keep your lights flat enough. That is flat yellow light right up to the edge, not fading away pinkly at the bottom. And you will not get an effect of light unless there is more warmth In your shadows. I don't know whether I see the colors — I think I do — or merely have learned that things must be that color in order to have the necessary effect. I sometimes think I have no sense of color, as people mean it.

"When most people talk of color, they mean colors. What I mean is not the local color of any object but the relative value of light and shade. Warmth in the shadows. It doesn't matter whether a model has a colorless face — there is color in the contrasts of light and shade. Don't make your shadows so slatey. When painting the drapery don't make it in carefully modeled stripes. (Drapery at the top of the picture). Look at the center of the arrangement and then notice how much of the folds you see-practically nothing, just a vague light here and there. Paint it so.

"What gives charm to a picture is not the brilliant color—the strong contrasts, but the delicate bits, where one thing comes against another with no difference in value, and only a slight one in color. This is what is hard to do, and hard to see. Only a trained eye can see it. But the doing well of these bits is the most essential part of making an interesting picture. What makes the difference between a good picture and one where only the obvious differences are put down is how these delicate, intimate details are made." (This is as near as I can remember, and frequently repeated.)


"The difference between warmth and coolness gives the true colors. See in the shadow there, behind the figure (still-life) there are lots of rich colors. But look away from it and you will see that it is all very vague compared to the figure itself. But vagueness does not mean fussiness, it means a very narrow difference between the different values. Paint it crisply, but keep it well in the background.

"Put down things strongly that indicate the nature and character of an object. Look for the significant things. Don't paint and model each little detail, (of the drapery) but put down in proper value and warmth or coolness of color the salient and characteristic lines.

"When you notice that one color is cooler or grayer beside a warm shade it does no harm to intensify the color of that spot as you do with effects of sunlight.


"A real artist is constantly looking for, searching out, the places in a picture which are not brilliantly colored. The neutral colors—Tarbell calls them the dirty colors. Without them, the rest lose their effect. A picture all bright colors loses the effect it would have if there were in it these contrasting bits of dull color. They are not noticeable in the picture, but they are what makes for Its effectiveness—something that people not painters think is made in some magical way.


"Drawing is only learned by long hard practice. You can't learn it quickly, and you won't learn it quickly."

"Drawing can be learned — a sense of color must be born in a person").

"You are beginning at the wrong end; no one should begin to paint until he is able to draw well. Drawing is always hard. You always have to work at it, even after forty years(said in a discussion of Jacobleff's work).

“Get rid of all that purple molasses. You draw things light-heartedly and slap on paint. It would take anyone two hours to draw that branch properly.


"Lay the values in flat.

"You haven't painted long enough to know what "flatness" means. It Is the most valuable quality there is. You see a mere breath of difference in value, and you put In all sorts of changes and modulations."

''You don't know what flatness means. When that is dry, scratch on a few lines of paint over it to make that place lighter. Get It flat.


"The most important parts of a picture are where edges meet, or one thing comes against another. Anybody can paint the rest of it. Edges must be very carefully studied. If there is no defined edge, don't make one” Don’t make edges meet. Paint one over the other. A sky with variations of light and dark and especially a light or a dark line around the edge of objects simply spoils all effect of reality.

"Don't make a thing inconspicuous by making it fuzzy." (difficulties with the background). "Make it flat in tone, all over, and it will stay back. Never make fuzzy edges, unless it actually is fuzzy, like the back of the hair." (portrait)


(About outdoor painting.) "Don't fuss around with all the details until you have your masses in and your composition arranged. The important things are the edges. The contrast between the hard sharp outline of branches against sky with the soft edges of shrubbery and foliage.

"If you make things right in the order of their importance you will never get into trouble. This business of fussing around with the details before you have gotten the masses in correctly is what makes for a poor picture.

"Do not make the unimportant parts of the picture in detail, only do as much as you can see when you are looking at the main theme of your picture. Don't make so many different values and colors. Decide on what you want. Mix It. Try it. Mix it again if it is wrong. Then put it on flat and leave it. If you can only do a small part of the canvas, do It right and leave It that way."

"The reason you got into a mess with that picture is that you get fascinated with details and forget the main things. You had to have because you had gotten into a state that you couldn't have gotten out of alone. Now you have gone ahead in the right way." (The help consisted mostly in blotting out and blurring what I had done, leaving the plan and the drawing but obliterating the details, giving me a chance to start fresh and repaint the lower part of the canvas.)


People who paint cheap things do it by modeling the pieces. People who paint good things seem to do it without modeling. If you put on a pure value there, right up to the edge of the shadow, it will seem to model. Don't paint square inches, paint large masses.


"We used to talk about "loose" and "tight" methods of painting
when we were young. There are only a few people - Lucas Van Leaden,
Holbien, for instance - who can paint as tight as a drum and still have
it good; and that is because they look at it in the same way I am teaching you. And they are able to paint in that manner and still not lose
the effect."
(In answer to my question as to the explanation of the effective­ness of "loose" painting.) "Because it admits the varying qualities of the unseen. Literal description inpainting will never make a picture. In order to be good it must have some touch of that magic which gives the effect of light and shade, leaving undescribed the places that are dim and cloudy, and painting sharply the silhouetted values."


''Do carefully and well what you do. If you haven't time to finish a sketch, make what you do count. Don't hastily rub it in just to cover the canvas and say to yourself you will go back and do it better later—that's lazy, and besides it never looks the same.


"A head which is to look right when finished, in the early stages of blocking in the lights and darks, ought not to look right; it ought to look raw, crude, almost violent. Then all the qualify­ing tones will not spoil its strong effect of light and shade when it is finished.


"Never leave white spaces around the edges of things. That absolutely ruins any effect of reality whatever. Beginners always make that mistake. Don't paint two things up to each other, paint one on top of the other. Sargent always said to paint the background of a head half an inch inside the outline of the head, and then paint the head on top.

"Where trees look thin, don't put a thin wash of color on over the sky. Decide what the value is and they lay it on with plenty of paint.


Don't paint with soup, paint with paint. You will never get any effect of color without using lots of paint and very little medium.

"One of the most interesting times in my painting life was when Tarbell and I saw some pictures in Boston by a European artist— I've forgotten his name — who evidently got his effects by using a very "full" brush. We decided from that time on to use only a very full brush in all our work. The effect is produced because you carry your color, or value all across and it does*not thin out at the edges, but keeps it full effect everywhere." (This still does not explain to me why this method of dragging a full brush loosely across an area, leaving a more or less broken surface of color, is so effective.I said it gave a certain effect of texture, but he said no.)


"Sergeant was said to "dash" his paint on to his canvas. It is good practice (apropos of working from a model) to make a sketch by mixing your paints carefully, studying your model carefully and then lay the paint on where it should go and don't touch it again. Never puddle around and go dab, dab, dab. Scrape it off if-it is wrong and lay on some more. But don't pat it and blur it and try to remedy it by blending it with something else.


"Its no use trying to paint under unfavorable conditions. It’s hard enough to paint with everything just right.


(When I said that my finished portrait looked "soft") "It is very difficult to make the right adjustment between strength and delicacy. Both are important and one must not be allowed to spoil the other.


"Colored moving pictures do not attract me because although the local color is there, the subtle variations of light and reflections are missing. Those are what make any scene In nature attractive to the eye, although the casual observes does not realize it. When one has analyzed it with the eye of an artist and tried to paint these very subtle variations he appreciates them, they are what makes the picture
good, what gives it an atmosphere, and must be painted very delicately and with nice attention to the minuteness of the differences. Although not at all obvious in themselves, if well done they make the success of the picture.


"There is a saying that there is nothing more to be found in a picture by the beholder than has been put into it by the painter. The more a painter knows about his subject, the more he studies and understands it, the more the true nature of it is perceived by whoever looks at it, even though It is extremely subtle and not easy to see or understand. A painter must search deeply into the aspects of a subject, must know and understand it thoroughly before he can represent it well. The bald, obvious aspect of a picture are not the interesting ones. That is why the public will never understand painting. They admire it, yes, and like it, but will never understand it because they cannot understand what goes into the making of It. They ascribe all sorts of motives and ideas to the painter—none of which he ever has—because they can't understand how he thinks."


"Those things which you do when you are freshly inspired and excited by the beauty of what you are seeing before you are important things. If you go back to them later and think you will improve them by making them carefully, slicking them up, you will lose that important thing and there is no method of getting it back. It is gone for good. Let things look rough, rather than try and smooth them out. There Is a certain inspiration which comes when you work quickly and surely and enthusiastic about the beauty of the light. You should leave this work and go back to it later to realize how good it is, and that it must not be painted over. Get the force of the light.


"A picture or drawing is like a poem, when the poet starts, he has no more and no different words to work with then you have. A work of art is made by his choice — selection and combination of ordinary material. Each man sees a subject differently and selects different things in it to emphasize. See any roomful of student's drawings."


( When I asked how to get the effect of a mass of bare tree branches against the sky)
"The general mass effect is darker than the sky, even than the pieces of sky seen through them. So don't draw a faint tracery of branches against the light value of the sky—you'll get no effect that way. Put on a flat tone just faintly darker than the sky and then indicate a few darker lines against that.


"The trouble with you is that like most beginners you try to embrace too wide a scene. You are looking for the sort of scenery that a photographer would look for with lots of sky and distant hills. Be broad-minded and don't go out with a pre-determined notion of what you want to find to„ paint. Intimate studies of light and shadow in a small area are most Interesting. A thing to be beautiful must be complicated. Don't paint something bad just because it is simple. It's just like a tailored suit—the thing must be subtle In order to be good. The fine distinctions of value where one object comes against another are what make a picture interesting. When Sergeant went up to visit Billy James at Chicora, they went out painting and Bill led him along without saying anything, and took him unobtrusively to the "town view", mountain reflected in lake, etc. Asked him if he thought he could find anything round there to paint. Sergeant said yes, he could find something anywhere, looked around him and sat down and painted an old gnarled root with, some leaves and branches on it. What interested him (and F. V. 3.) was the delicate play of light and shadows on the leaves and trunk.

"Whenever I find myself—as I do sometimes—painting a "scene" I am disgusted with myself. Take a small piece of something with a handsome shape—don't include too much. That tree trunk against the cedars veiled "by the thin underbrush in front. Don't take in the branches against the sky, that gives a second center of interest."

"In looking for a subject don't look for a grand panorama but a near thing with interesting lines and values. DON'T PAINT A SCENE.


"A good picture has a certain austerity, a distinction, whether of the thing itself, the lighting, the color, or the arrangement. Mere craftsmanship, representing nature, does not make a picture.


(Speaking of modernists)" That is what the most honest of the modernists are trying for. The plain fact does not interest them. They say "I will not say D-O-G spells dog, because that is stupid and literal. So they make something else, liberate themselves to say the same thing in another, more interesting way. But the others, less honest, merely look at the fact of liberation, do not understand what they were liberated for, and merely think they can make anything and call it Art. They are not happy about it, don't enjoy what they do, so says J.P.B (John Benson).

"The modernists think they are Inventing something new every day. Men's minds don't work that way. Every invention is based on completeness. You might say I invented something. I merely noticed and painted an aspect of nature that had escaped other men's observation. Now there are hundreds of men who do the same thing, more or less well, according to their real knowledge."

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Enigma of John Sargent's Art by RH Ives Gammell

Sargent Painting Mrs. Fiske Warren
and Her Daughter Rachel (painting below)
Recently there was a question wondering what R.H. Ives Gammell thought about John Singer Sargent. One of the artists involved, Tom Dunlay (who studied with Gammell for 8 years), shared the answer by sending me The Enigma of John Sargent's Art, and I thought that you might like to read it. Mr. Gammell's hypothesis focuses on what it was that motivated JSS to create his finest work.

"In the course of his working life John Sargent devoted his energies to several kinds of painting. He painted portraits and figure pieces and mural decorations. He sketched all sorts of subjects in watercolors and in oils. He devoted some of his time to sculpture and not a little of it to designing textiles. He made portrait studies in charcoal. Though he took up these various activities at widely separated periods of his existence it is notable that, generally speaking, his earliest productions in each of these several fields remained superior to anything he subsequently produced in the same form.

Mrs. Fiske-Warren and Her
Daughter, Rachel
The work of no other eminent painter falls into a similar pattern. Pictures painted in the later years of an artist's career often show a decline due to physiological changes or to illness. Some painters, overwhelmed by the press of orders, have entrusted the execution of their pictures to assistants, with unfortunate results. Some have been spoiled by success. Others have prostituted their talents for the sake of gain. In Sargent's case none of these causes were operative.

Throughout his life the sincerity and humility of his attitude toward painting was recognized as one of his outstanding characteristics. He was never much interested in financial gain. Except when painting portraits, he chose his own subject matter and worked on his own time schedule. His faculties continued to be unimpaired until the day of his death and his physical strength declined far less than that of most men.

The baffling thing about Sargent as an artist is that we can discern no completely dominant motive behind his urge to paint.
  • His was not an art of self-expression, as was that of a Delacroix, of a Puvis de Chavannes, or a Burne-Jones, for instance. 
  • Nor was it in essence an art of conviction, dedicated to an ideal principle of interpretation and workmanship, as we recognize the art of Manet, of Degas, or of Whistler to have been. Sargent's approach was akin to that of these last-named men, but his fidelity to a particular concept of painting was less complete and uncompromising than theirs. 
It was precisely this absence of a deeply felt guiding principle which puzzled the serious artists of his time and kept them from giving their wholehearted admiration to the work of a man whose great talent and obvious sincerity they could not fail to recognize. * (see note below)

Boston Public Library Mural of Prophets
The first murals seemed to herald the development of something resembling an art of self-expression but the promise was not fulfilled by the later decorations. Only a few of Sargent's canvases, and all of those were painted early in his career, achieve the full dignity of great impressionist art. The majority of his pictures are apt to suggest a disinterested display of virtuosity rather than devotion to a high artistic ideal. If, after studying Sargent's mural decorations, we re-examine his output as a whole we may feel justified in hazarding an analysis of his elusive personality.

Everything we know of his working procedures indicates that Sargent's creative thinking took place in his subconscious mind to an extent very unusual in a painter who has proved himself capable of acquiring a high degree of professional skill. Subconscious mental activity does play an important role in all artistic creation, of course. It is, however, characteristic of the art of painting that, once an idea has been conceived and its general orientation has been established, translating that idea into effective pictorial terms requires very clear thinking and the judicious application of much acquired knowledge. In Sargent's case an unusually large part of these later operations seems to have been worked out in the earlier subconscious processes. To a bystander, and quite possibly to Sargent himself, his pictures may have appeared to take shape spontaneously in very nearly their final form. The gropings and the experimental studies whereby artists ordinarily arrive at their final results are relatively rare in Sargent's work. When he made a failure it was a poor picture from the start and it remained so. The tricks of patching and altering or of reconstructing an unsuccessful composition, which most painters consider an indispensable element of their craft, were apparently scarcely known to him. He seemed incapable of telling anyone how he had arrived at a given result. He presumably was only vaguely aware of it himself. The necessary brain work had been largely subconscious, or so rapid that the artist appeared to have been guided by instinct rather than by reasoning. A painter able to work in this fashion often seems to have no very clear idea of what he is trying to do because it has never been necessary for him to formulate his aims to himself.

When this kind of mental activity is basically responsible for the quality of a work of art, the artist can do comparatively little to control it. He can toil assiduously, of course, as Sargent certainly did. But his work will only reflect the full measure of his capacity when the faculties dormant in his subconscious are aroused to their maximum activity. At other times his painting will tend to be a routine version of what he produced in his "inspired" moments. An artist of this type probably has very little idea of how his mind functions. He simply goes on painting as best he can until some external stimulus awakens the forces of his psychic being to intense creative activity. Only at such times is he likely to produce his finest work.

If we feel justified in assuming that John Sargent's psychic mechanism conformed to some pattern of this kind we naturally will wish to ascertain what sort of stimulus served to set it in motion. 

In this connection a comment made to me by his niece comes to my mind. It seemed to her that her uncle was attracted to his chosen subject matter by virtue of the very difficulties which it presented to him as a painter. And here we perhaps have the key to the riddle. 

Apparently something in Sargent's inner nature responded in an unusual degree to the challenge of an exceptionally difficult technical problem. The challenge aroused no mere impulse to demonstrate his skill, as it might have in a lesser nature. In Sargent's case it seems on occasion rather to have engendered a series of reactions involving all the resources of his extraordinarily gifted personality, focusing their activity on the problem in hand and releasing emotional drives usually quiescent. Is it not reasonable to suppose that the subconscious of this reserved, inexpressive man, whose emotional life seems never to have found an outlet in any personal relationship, was dominated by an exceptionally powerful compensatory urge to assert his superiority? A peculiarity of his nature made it extremely difficult for him to express himself in speech or action and whenever possible he evaded occasions for so doing. In this he was aided by circumstances, for he received as his birthright many things which most men obtain only with effort: education, financial independence, and access to the most desirable society. His cosmopolitan existence released him from the duties of citizenship, and he never assumed the responsibilities of family life. His inability to deal with practical matters was proverbial. Serious illness and love passed him by. He even lacked the capacity for vicarious experience which ordinarily marks the creative artist.

Had he not painted. John Sargent would have passed for an amiable, cultivated though colorless man of the world. But he happened to be endowed with a prodigious talent for painting, coupled with an exceptional receptivity to art. literature, and music. All his other-wise unexpended energies were concentrated on the exercise of this dual gift.

No painter can have practiced his own art more constantly than did Sargent, and he found his relaxation chiefly in music, in reading, and in looking at works of art. His extraordinary talent, developed by ceaseless industry and tempered by continuous contact with the best that the human mind has produced, kept his work on a high artistic level at most times.

But Sargent attained his maximum potential, as it would seem, only when his subconscious will to power was aroused by an opportunity to assert his superiority through his art. The challenge of a fresh and exceptionally difficult artistic problem apparently induced a catalysis whereby all the latent forces of his immensely gifted personality and the accumulated store of his impressions merged into a single creative effort.

Let us glance briefly at the record.

  • The admirable portrait of Carolus-Duran (1877). executed by a young man of twenty-one under the critical eye of his master whose presence obviously put the boy on his mettle, is almost as fine in workmanship as anything he was later to paint. 
Portrait of Carolus-Duran

  • Two years afterwards came the spectacular El Jaleo (1881), a tour de force if ever a picture was, which, in spite of certain defects of drawing apparent in the secondary figures, might perhaps be taken as the most complete expression of his characteristic qualities that Sargent ever achieved.
El Jaleo
  • In the following year (1882) he painted the lovely Lady With A Rose and finished the Boit Children, a composition in which the difficulties always attending on the painting of children were compounded by problems of rendering light and atmosphere on a vast scale. Faced with this inordinately difficult subject which inevitably evoked comparisons with Velasquez' Las Meninas. Sargent created a masterpiece.
The Daughters of Edward D. Boit

  • It was followed by the portrait of Madame Gautreau (1884). The difficulties presented by this portrait were no less real, though they are less obvious. The subject was a conspicuous "beauty" of the time, very much in the public eye. and an uncooperative sitter. Hers was a singular type of beauty, emphasized by makeup, which even a slight exaggeration or understatement of form could turn into ugliness. As was his way, Sargent made things harder by electing to paint the lady in an attitude suggesting arrested motion. Once again he was triumphantly successful. 
Madame X
The four last-named pictures belong in the great line of impressionist painting, each one in its particular way on a level which Sargent never quite reached again. When he finished Madame Gautreau, he was twenty-eight years old.

Almost immediately an entirely new set of pictorial problems gave a fresh impetus to his creative activity. At this epoch painters were increasingly preoccupied by the problems of plein-air painting, the chief of which consisted in making accurate color notations of the transient effects created by ever-changing light and weather out of doors. Once more we find Sargent attacking a new problem in its most complex form, heaping Ossa upon Pelion to increase the obstacles he proposed to surmount. He chose the most illusive lighting conceivable, the brief moment of twilight between sundown and dusk. He created an additional complication by introducing the artificial light of candles seen through Japanese paper-lanterns. Again he took children for his models, dressing them in white frocks which assumed hues of exceptional delicacy in the gloaming. He surrounded these young models with flowers whose shapes and colors were scarcely less elusive than those of the children themselves. The result was Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose (1886), a picture unique in the vast output of nineteenth-century plein-air painting. Sargent never again attempted anything of this kind.

Painting Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose
Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose

The particular qualities which make these pictures great do not recur in Sargent's subsequent work in a comparable degree. The portraits painted during the next twelve years included some of his most brilliant achievements. Remarkable as they are in characterization and in handling, and occasionally as pictures, even the best of them somehow fall short of being classed with the world's greatest portraits. Whereas the best canvases of the eighties elicited comparisons with Velasquez and Hals, the portraits of the nineties were more often praised for being superior to Boldini's and Laszlo's or as perhaps rivaling those of Sir Thomas Lawrence.

The Duke of Portland
and his collies

We still find Sargent seeking difficulties as if they provided a dram for his genius. He sets the Duke of Portland to playing with his collies, paints Mrs. George Batten in the act of singing a song, groups Mrs. Carl Meyer and Mrs. Edgar L. Davis in complicated attitudes with their restless children. The results are amazing and exciting but in some ways less satisfying than many portraits by far less gifted men. After the turn of the century Sargent's portraits rarely reach the level established earlier by his own best work.

Between 1890 and 1904 mural decoration provided Sargent with another artistic adventure capable of drawing out all his latent capabilities. He responded to this fresh challenge in the two great lunettes at the Public Library, in the frieze of the prophets, and in the Astarte. The new problems brought into play previously untapped resources of his imagination and of his literary background, enabling Sargent to create masterpieces fully as remarkable in their way as his finest achievements in the field of impressionist painting. From then on it is disappointing to follow the progressive decline of his later mural work which reaches its lowest point in one of the Widener Library panels.

Boston Library Murals

About 1906 Sargent began exhibiting watercolors. and during the following decade his most brilliant work was done in that refractory medium. It is, in point of fact, the most difficult and unmanageable of all mediums for an artist bent on precise color-notation. Sargent rapidly made it his own, becoming almost immediately the most accomplished watercolorist which the world has yet seen. We find him successfully rendering subjects that would baffle the skill of almost any other painter even in the less difficult medium of oil: linen hung out to dry in flickering sunlight, white marble buildings silhouetted against white clouds, ladies resting on windswept hilltops, oxen and donkeys and alligators. Many observers have thought that the watercolors painted in the first decade of the century were his best, but he continued to turn them out until the end of his life with little apparent decline, perhaps because by their very nature they made few demands on his inner being. In this art everything depended on sheer dexterity and brilliance on "making the most of an emergency," as he himself defined painting a watercolor. With the phrase he consciously gave the best characterization of his entire approach to art.

He loved to make the most of an emergency and the greater the emergency,
the more he was usually able to make of it.

My interpretation may answer another question frequently raised in connection with John Sargent. Why did this brilliant, many faceted artist continue for so long to accept portrait orders? By the early nineties he had accumulated a considerable fortune and enjoyed international celebrity. The professional portrait painter's task is notoriously exhausting, frustrating, and thankless. Sargent himself complained of it to his friends. 1 had it from a man who in his youth had consulted Sargent as to whether he should take up painting, that the most sought after painter in the world adjured him to avoid portraiture. "It ruined me," said John Sargent. Why then did he go on for another decade accepting orders from all and sundry? Because, perhaps, each unknown, unsolicited sitter presented the fresh challenge which his nature required, an unexpected, unpredictable artistic problem demanding a solution.

This brief review of Sargent's career would seem to lend considerable support to the hypothesis I have outlined above. More than a hypothesis such an analysis could not pretend to be. Any attempt to describe the creative processes of a great artist is useful only insofar as it may help to understand and appreciate the artist's work. The art of John Sargent has puzzled both his admirers and those to whom it makes no appeal. Even the most appreciative have realized that it was strangely lacking in some fundamental quality of feeling. But this deficiency, which may perhaps be attributed, as I have suggested, to the emotional poverty of Sargent's initial creative impulse, should certainly not cause us to undervalue the intellectual power and technical brilliance of the resulting art or to doubt the sincerity of the artist.

Gustave Flaubert maintained that an artist, to achieve lasting fame, needs must either chisel a Parthenon or amass a pyramid. John Sargent stands with the pyramid builders. Perhaps no painter of comparable artistic stature has ever, unaided by assistants, been as prolific. The magnitude and variety of his output staggers the mind. The two outstanding characteristics of his art are vitality and a certain element of surprise. While the pervading sense of life captured at full swing still animates the best murals, canvases, water colors, and drawings, familiarity has perhaps dulled our appreciation of what were once startlingly novel presentations of familiar subjects which amazed and some-times shocked his public. To take the full measure of Sargent's originality one must restudy the art of his own time whose wilder manifestations look more and more like the eccentricities of minor artists hampered by their inadequate technical command. Sargent both knew his trade and kept to the main line of the western tradition, but his originality is manifested in everything he did. His work was uneven in quality, no doubt. His splendid contribution may be likened to that of a torrent which gushes headlong down the mountainside bearing, together with minerals of lesser value, nuggets of the purest gold." ~ R.H. Ives Gammell in Classical America

* Sir William Rothenstein, who was on friendly terms with the leading English and French artists of the period, wrote: "We all acknowledged his (Sargent's) immense accomplishment as a painter to be far beyond anything of which we were capable. But the disparity between his gifts and our own we were inclined to discount by thinking that we had qualities which somehow placed us among the essential artists while he, in spite of his great gifts, remained outside the charmed circle. I was used to hearing both Whistle and Degas speak disparagingly of Sargent's work. Even Helleu, Boldini and Gandar regarded him more as a brilliant executant than as an artist of high rank."

The Boston Library, Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Harvard University murals:

Excellent website of Sargent's work:

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pithy phrases saturated with meaning are extremely helpful to the apprenticed artist.

A Quote by R. H. Ives Gammell hanging in Ingbretson Studios

 I can easily view the above framed quote by R. H. Ives Gammell, each time I take a break from my artwork and walk into the break room at Ingbretson Studios. Written in the artist’s own handwriting, it is a treasured catchword saved and hung there by my teacher Paul Ingbretson. A catchword is a memorable or effective word or phrase that is repeated so often that it becomes a slogan, as in a political campaign or in advertising a product. In the training of the Boston School Style of art, such catch phrases are an essential ingredient to the critiques on our work by Paul, helping to anchor the instructions in art he patiently delivers to each of his appreciative students.  These mottos are also tossed around between the students as friendly encouragements and reminders as we occasionally venture back into the verbal world amidst our two dimensional visual art battles.  They instantly refocus our thinking as we physically wield the brush.  Maybe painting aprons printed with a list of the most commonly quoted studio adages could be worn by our studio artists. We could also hang small printed strips of paper easily seen along our hallways with favorite artist mantras. I have made myself a stack of quotes on card stock to carry with me to memorize. It is helpful to keep them simply and easily accessed for those moments during our studio time when we surface to the verbal intellectual areas of our consciousness, before we dive back to the visually dominant areas of the gray cells and proceed to paint.
In a recent conversation I had in said break room with artist Mary M., Mary explained that the unique nature of the training at our studio requires years of devoted participation between master artist and student. This is because although the artist can hear verbally how to produce great art, physically acting on this information and consistently producing beautiful Boston School Style art is a long process. It is as if an artist can only advance by small steps.  Repetitive patterns of drawing/painting, then correction and instruction by the master artist, over and over for years—at least 3 to 5 years is necessary.   In a similar conversation in same lounge room, artist David B. and I discussed the similarity of our ongoing formal art training to dancing lessons, sport training or tennis lessons (David teaches tennis, I dabbled in gymnastics and dancing as a teen). We agreed these disciplines, like our art lessons, involve instruction that alternates between acquired knowledge with verbal reminders, and physical output in order to produce desired ends. We all agreed concise pithy phases with an economy of words saturated with meaning are extremely helpful to the apprentice whose product depends on physical performance. Slogans concisely reminding students of elaborate lessons are of course used in other disciplines, such as,
Talk with your racquet, play with your heart
Hustle, hit and never quit
It’s what you do before the season start that makes a champion.
Practice winning every day
Practice, Practice, Practice…
Experience first, then intellectualize……
Here is a sample of some of the quotes we love to hear as we train in the Boston School Style of Painting:
A painter must seek exactitude in his visible shapes and his color relations, not actual shapes and local color. --Gammell
Look for the farthest stragglers; the area least like: make it as right as possible.
All the great painters of the past had found the vocabulary of their art in the appearance of surface forms. –Gammell
Simplest way is the best way. 
Don't be meager with the paint.
Use a good deal of paint to get things down fast. Spread it professionally - generously - but carefully around the drawing.
Study the values, always the values, and again, the values. –Carolus-Duran
Paint shapes as you see them; not as they exist.
Students aiming at rapid progress in the science which teaches us to imitate and represent nature’s world, should devote themselves chiefly to drawing. -Da Vinci
The simplest way is the best way.
Acquire accuracy before quickness. –Da Vinci
Drawing is the interpretation of form. –Degas
Drawing is the probity of art. –Ingres
Ingres outlaws finicky indications and demands broad statements of dominant form. –Duval
There is courage indeed in launching a frontal attack upon the main structure and the main lines of nature and cowardice in approaching by facts and details. Art is really a battle. –Degas
Like good coaching advice that is never forgotten, these maxims can echo in the mind and help guide the artist to great productions!
Written by Sandra Galda Jan. 31, 2012