Do not overwork your art, painting, etc

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helen
Abstract expressionist artist Helen Frankenthaler, pictured above in 1956, adopted Jackson Pollock’s technique of painting canvases laid flat on the floor. She sought to “marry” the paint with the canvas, she said.

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I was going to say a few words on –  be careful not to over work a piece of art, a painting or whatever –  you must know when to STOP!  That is the first thing that struck me about a lot of work – ‘too much!’ The artist did not know to stop.

S/he added lines, marks, more colors so as to make the painting interesting, complex, trying to make it work…

Then I came across this quote from Helen Frankenthaler. She sums up exactly what goes through my own mind when I see a lot of art –

The first Jackson Pollock show Frankenthaler saw was at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1950. She had this to say about seeing Pollock’s paintings Autumn Rhythm, Number 30, 1950 (1950), Number One,1950 (Lavender Mist) (1950):

“It was all there. I wanted to live in this land. I had to live there, and master the language.”

Some of her thoughts on painting:

“A really good picture looks as if it’s happened at once. It’s an immediate image. For my own work, when a picture looks labored and overworked, and you can read in it—well, she did this and then she did that, and then she did that—there is something in it that has not got to do with beautiful art to me.
.And I usually throw these out, though I think very often it takes ten of those over-labored efforts to produce one really beautiful wrist motion that is synchronized with your head and heart, and you have it, and therefore it looks as if it were born in a minute.” In Barbara Rose, Frankenthaler (New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1975, p. 85)
One of her most important influences was Clement Greenberg (1909–1994), an influential art and literary critic with whom she had a personal friendship and who included her in the Post-Painterly Abstraction exhibition that he curated in 1964.[10][22] Through Greenberg she was introduced to the New York art scene. Under his guidance she spent the summer of 1950 studying with Hans Hofmann (1880–1966), catalyst of the Abstract Expressionist movement.

The first Jackson Pollock show Frankenthaler saw was at the Betty Parsons Gallery in 1950. She had this to say about seeing Pollock’s paintings Autumn Rhythm, Number 30, 1950 (1950), Number One,1950 (Lavender Mist) (1950):

“It was all there. I wanted to live in this land. I had to live there, and master the language.”

Some of her thoughts on painting:

Eden, from 1956, is an interior landscape, meaning it depicts the images of the artist’s imagination. Eden tells the story of an abstract, interior world, idealized in ways that a landscape never could be. The work is almost entirely gestural, save for the incorporation of the number “100” two times in the center of the image. When asked about the process of creating this work, Frankenthaler stated that she began by painting the numbers, and that a sort of symbolic, idealized garden grew out of that.[23]n 1953, Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis saw her Mountains and Sea which, Louis said later, was a “bridge between Pollock and what was possible.”[29] On the other hand, some critics called her work “merely beautiful.”[28] Grace Glueck’s obituary in The New York Times summed up Frankenthaler’s career:

Critics have not unanimously praised Ms. Frankenthaler’s art. Some have seen it as thin in substance, uncontrolled in method, too sweet in color and too “poetic.” But it has been far more apt to garner admirers like the critic Barbara Rose, who wrote in 1972 of Ms. Frankenthaler’s gift for “the freedom, spontaneity, openness and complexity of an image, not exclusively of the studio or the mind, but explicitly and intimately tied to nature and human emotions.”[4]

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