Verisimilitude and Other Bad Habits

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I began my career in the visual arts in art school in Atlanta earning a degree in Interior Design.  I turned out to be very good at understanding the basics in construction drawings.   I understood the concepts of plans, elevations, and I could detail very, very well.  I simply understood in my head how things go together.  And I had the ability apparently of how to communicate that in drawings for the builders – construction documents, if you will.  I began with pencil on vellum, moved up to ink on mylar, and finally had to learn AutoCAD.  I was resistant to CAD because of the machine aspect.  I was very proud of my drawings – they really were beautiful.  And I think a well-done sheet of drawings is truly a beautiful thing.  

But moving from there right into painting was a bit of a stretch.  As close as I could come to painting was a few paltry renderings in design classes.  It is all perspective and almost always using hard edges and straight lines.  It is just a whole different approach. 

And I was programmed to accuracy.  It had to look like what it was.  Adventurous and creative renderings were not exactly ideal in the rendering field.  A play of shadows and maybe some prettily rendered flowers, those were okay.  But venturing to far beyond verisimilitude was not acceptable. 

So this was where I was when I begun to paint.  Think about it.  I really have to work it in my head to be able to give myself permission to move a tree and add a shadow that isn’t necessarily there.