I recently read an article on a current exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The title is “Matisse:In Search of True Painting”
The writer of the article makes the exhibit sound fabulous. In particular, the show is described as being quite informative on, not only the artist, but on behaviors that should be practiced by all artists. I've never thought of an exhibit as instructional before. But I think it is a wonderfully smart way to experience what your viewing; not just emotionally but scholastically as well. If you have access to the Met before March17th, maybe you should go. Here's a link to the article.
The six things the article claims you will learn are; when to use black, that the background is part of the composition, that one should always do multiple studies, knowing when simplicity wins over details, why to document your process, and that there is no shame in imitating your contemporaries.
In reading what the article had to offer, I came to a conclusion that my own artistic practices have a lot in common with those of Matisse. Please mind; I am not trying to (overly) liken myself to a master painter. I am just having a bit of (fancy) fun with information that has been brought to light.
I found a few things we had in common, but most importantly (for me) Matisse documented his painting process visually. In the 30's he hired a photographer to take photos of the various stages of his work. This showed his painting was more strategic than spontaneous. Looking back at photos also helped him plan future moves. I will use this fact; that we both love to document our process to segue into my own photographic representation of one of my recently finished paintings. Enjoy.
This is the initial photograph.