Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Power of Simplicity

I opened my email this morning to find Robert Genn's newsletter which arrives there two times each week. Today, Robert was talking about how important it is to look for simplicity. He said he was thinking about how difficult it is to express to people wanting to learn about art how to see in order to find inspiration for their art. So I started thinking about how so much successful art really comes from detailed looking at simple shapes and environments. Consider one of the common things someone wants to do when they first begin to draw is draw a landscape...a broad sweeping vista they try to reproduce. Too much information too fast just gets things too confused creating some not so good art.

On Sunday when I was cleaning brushes and little paint pots, and when I looked into the sink I saw this. I ran for the camera:

I know, I know this is really simple and really silly. But I had to take the photo, because it was so simple and in some way, I could see something happening with this in the future. What I have to do is grab the moment and then I begin to break things apart rather than add to them. Can you see anything in this photo?

But this isn't the end....no, no, no... on Saturday, my husband tells me I have a package in the mail. A package, for me? I didn't order anything! But there it was a lovely gift from our dear friend, Babs and her little grandson! They had painted me a gift. It is called Kim's Garden and came complete with some lovely seeds for my flower garden. Isn't this just lovely?
Now Babs knows I adore children and especially her painting with this very special little boy. Now this all got me thinking. Consider children's painting and how simple they can be. Now granted Babs helped her little grandson know when to quit...he was really interested (I am guessing) in understanding what the paint was doing on the paper...and it was doing some great things. Thanks Babs!

So the next time I am considering a composition, I need to remember to see my inspiration through the eyes of a child...see it, break it apart and then consider the details.

So how do you approach your inspirations when trying to translate them to your art?

Tomorrow is TREAT DAY! I am having a conversation with Lynette Clay who writes Original Art by Lynette Clay. Believe me, you are in for another adventure! I have one thing to also say...please have some patience with me on Thursday. My father is having surgery and I will be spending the day at the hospital with him and my mother. It may take me some time to get the comments published, but I will and will respond to each of you. Just asking you to hang in there with me.

Until tomorrow for the Exciting Conversation...


Lynette said...

The photo you took of the little paint pots and swirling colors in the sink looks like a great idea for a painting Kim! I love your Babs painting done with her little helper,it is just so gorgeous!! I got some of those little seeds too and I'm so excited about planting them out on the fence. Maybe we could all 3 share photos of them this summer, that would be fun. Also Kim, Babs was telling me the seeds look like teeny oreo cookies and they really do, they're so cute! I did what you were talking about and 'captured the moment' when I took a photo of those seeds on a tiny teddybear teapot set LOL! I'll post that picture in my blog. Wow, thank you for doing the interview and I feel very excited and honored! Kim, I hope that your Dad will have a quick recovery and all go well!!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Lynette!

I thought that was really a cool photo, too. Isn't it interesting how we can see the most amazing things in simplicity?

Isn't that the dearest painting? I was really surprised since she had said she wished to send a belated b'day card...and what a card it was! She said the same to me about the seeds and I had thought we should post some photos, too. Let's do that...post some photos of our plants throughout the summer and fall...well, I think I will take more since she said they come up so fast.

I am so excited about the interview, too. It is really a good one and some surprises for readers, too!

Thanks Lynette! I will let you WOW everyone tomorrow!

Thank you for the recovery wishes for Dad. He will be just fine, I feel sure since it is for orthopedic repair.

sukipoet said...

Sending prayers and healing wishes for your Father. He is lucky to have you to be there with him, and your mom. Be well, suki

Katiejane said...

I see wells of creativity. You are so right about finding inspiration in the simplest things. I like the photo just as it is, but I'm sure you will gather something greater from it.

Best wishes for your dad.

fiona long said...

Oh I love that photo of the paint pots! You're right, it does have a wonderful simplicity to it. I also love that watercolour painting you received!

I think it's very important to learn to see a kind of simplicity in our Worlds in order to make beautiful art of it. My old art teacher in the village said that he saw everything abstractly except when he was driving! Thank goodness!

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Suki! I appreciate your good wishes. I am very lucky to still have both of them. I know that.

Andrea and Kim said...

Kate, when I took that photo it surprised me. I loved the way they looked in the sink, but the photo was so much better than the whole sink!

Thanks so much!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Fiona! I think I am just like your tutor! LOL I seem to see everything abstractly, too...and I think abstractly. Some people just have trouble understanding what I am trying to express.

Yes, isn't that painting so great. I love painting with children and learn something every single time.

Thanks for the kind words about the photo...kind of surprised me when it turned out that way...no cropping with that one! :)

Have a Great Day, Fiona!

~Babs said...

I have a really hard time keeping things simple. Minimal. Much of the time my work gets too 'busy' before I'm even aware of it.
I'm trying to do better. :-)

Glad you liked the painting,,I love to surprise!

I hope Lynnie posts her picture with the seeds soon,,,it is SO cute, and like her,,,,imaginative & creative!
Can't WAIT for her interview tomorrow! I will be up early with my first cup,,,,taking it all in,every word, every painting!

I feel somewhat like Johnny Appleseed, LOL. I hope everyone WILL take photos of their vines blossoming! Chewy also has some,,and Singleton,,,but I'm not sure she's received hers yet.
Jack And The Beanstalk For All!

Andrea and Kim said...

Do you really think so, Babs? A lot of your work seems to be really great at keeping things simple. Your screen paintings come to mind quickly.

Like...Honey, I ADORE the painting and it was such a shock!

You know it has been cold here the last few days. I haven't put my seeds in the ground, yet. My plan is to do that the beginning of next week, though. As soon as I see little sprouts I will show some photos...What do you say, girls....photos all around?

Hey, I know if I can get these to grow, I will be sharing the love, too! I wish we could send seeds to our international friends! Wouldn't this be a great plant for our friends who have balconies on their flats (apartments)?

Thanks Babs! You are so very generous!

~Babs said...

You know what Kim? This fall when you collect seeds from the dried pods,,,,you could send them overseas.Then they could be planted next year. I'm putting mine in a pot this year,,,,I'm sure they will do well.
I never plant before April 15th here,,,,just to be sure of no freeze, so tomorrow might be the day. It has been too cold to enjoy being out much though.
Good luck!

Andrea and Kim said...

Really? I didn't think we could send any agricultural product abroad. That is why I said that. Oh, I am glad to hear you are using a pot. I think I will also do that, as it makes the most sense for me this year.

Yes, I think I will be planting mine next week, as this week is really cold. Right now, it is below freezing here.

Thanks Babs! I am excited about this.

Unknown said...

I'll be thinking of you, your mom and your dad on Thursday!

Oh sure I can see "something" in this lovely arrangement under the sink! :) A nice subject for a painting, with those perfect rounds and subtle colours;

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Andrea!

Isn't it funny how we see things like this? I think it is the combination of everything...including the sink stains...that makes this visually appealing.

Your art shows that study of simplicity, Andrea! There is no doubt about it!

Have a Lovely Day!

Anonymous said...

Hey All!
Bean Hyacinths. I think I'll start mine in pots. We're still having cold nights.

Anonymous said...


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