|Renee Kahn Channels Picasso's Cubist Period, |
oil on canvas 40"x32"
This is sort of a roundabout way of getting to my subject, how some artists freely share their techniques, while others hide “behind curtains,” refusing to give away the tricks of their trade. The truth is, no one, unless he is a professional forger, can imitate another artist; I can’t even copy my own work. A work of art has a soul, and while you can use someone else’s materials and methods, the soul isn’t there and any reasonably expert student of art can spot the difference. Just because you know how to etch doesn’t mean you can be a Rembrandt. Since I started my professional life as an art teacher, I am prone to telling all I know. I have no technical secrets to hide, and, in fact, I don’t even think they’re worth imitating. But other artists feel differently; I’ve met some who are extremely open about sharing, giving you a blow by blow description of their working methods, while others guard their secrets possessively, even to the point of giving out false information.
|Renee Kahn Channels DeChirico. |
Cardboard box collage 22"x14"x3"
The next speaker at the art symposium, Jane Freilicher, was totally the opposite. An abstract expressionist landscape painter (an oxymoron, I know), who lived and worked among the Pollock/De Kooning crowd on the eastern end of Long Island, she freely shared the tricks of her trade. When asked, she told the audience that she used Windsor Newton’s medium, Liquin, a mix of varnish and linseed oil, to make her paint luminous and flowing. She couldn’t have been more eager to give out her work methods. Trust me, even knowing how she did it, I was never going to paint landscapes like hers, however, I now use Liquin all the time. It’s great stuff.
|"Picasso's Mona Lisa" by Renee Kahn.|
by way of a contemporary Minoan Goddess
(note MP3 player).
Oil on canvas, 42"x34"
Several years before he died, Picasso allowed a movie to be made of him working on transparent panels that could be photographed from behind. Although I now know a lot more about how he created the masterpieces of his later years, I’m never going to be another Picasso, He knew he had nothing to fear.