The Simple Secret

I’m continuing to explore my understanding of composition by learning about how painters think about the issue. I recently bought ‘The Simple Secret to Better Painting‘ by Greg Albert that I thought would give me the answer to all my problems. Although I’ve only had a chance to quickly go through the book and it has already been a help. There’s not a lot of new information here for anyone who’s studied composition much at all but Albert’s “One Rule of Composition’ is a nice twist that can really help cut through, what I find to be a complex, rule laden subject.

One of the things that I feel I need to do is slow down and really look before I leap into action. The section an alphabet of landscape composition was useful for me and I will certainly take the time to look for letters and shapes the next time I’m out in the field. Equally helpful was the chapter that dealt with setting up still lifes. This is something that I am interested in, particularly in the summer months, and having some basic instruction in their set up will help my thinking about my ‘Found on the Beach’ series. All in all worth a read.

Follow Your Passion

I’ve been reading a variety of art instructional texts in an effort to find things that will help build my photography chops.  I’ve mentioned Betty Edwards’s ‘Draw on the Right Side of the Brain’ methodology previously.  I’ve also been exploring a couple of books about watercolor painting too.  A new one for me arrived this week, David Bellamy’s ‘Watercolor Landscape Course‘.  David is apparently quite a famous watercolorist and educator, although not the David Bellamy I’m familiar with.

The introduction has a number of useful comments for the prospective student.  The section ‘Getting Involved In The Subject’ particularly resonated with me.  Here’s an excerpt:

The best paintings, I feel, result from the artist having an affinity with the subject.  Painting is nothing if not accompanied by the poetry of feeling.  You need to find those subjects that excite you most, for only when you find an involvement with the subject can you do your finest work.

This as equally applies to photography and I couldn’t agree more!