Disney, Henri and 4 other artists

“The Far Edge of Town”
Watercolor, 15 x 22 inches

Walt Disney in an old documentary about painting makes some very strong comments about “how to paint.”  He quotes from Robert Henri’s book then shows what four other artists do to create a painting.

In the end, someone said, all artists are self taught.   That is to say that every artist must spend the time struggling at their own easel, without coaching or teachers, to find the way to paint to suit them. That means that painting is, essentially, a sink or swim school of learning.  You cannot be taught what you like . . . .nor can you be taught taste . . . what inspires you has to do with how you have lived, your genetic code, your parents and what ever artistic influences have struck you in your life and many more events and introductions experienced in your life.   In short, only you can decide what is right for you!   Every great artist makes art that is unique  . . . .that is to say no other artist paints like another.

Yes, but how do I get there?   Paint!   That is an active verb.   You can’t really get it from workshops, or watching others, or reading or even school.   Sure, there are parts that can be learned in any of these venues, but most of that stuff has to do with mediums, brushes, surfaces and different techniques.  From there, the student must plow the ground themselves.   Certainly, there are hints here and there, but the fact remains that personal easel time is the very best teacher out there.

Some of us call that time spent “Brush Mileage.”   Or, wasting acres of paper or canvas.

As a general comment, in these times that we live, most of us grew up in schools where we learned to “please the teacher.”   And to do that, we had to do things a specific way to come out with the ‘right answer.’   After watching this 16 minute video, you will see that there is NO right answer.   That is why I think that beginners should not be asking for critique from anyone other than wise highly qualified painters who could cause the student to learn quickly about personal insight in the painting process.

Enjoy this video:  Click here.

3 thoughts on “Disney, Henri and 4 other artists”

  1. Hi Mike, It's been a while since I've gotten back into thinking about painting, and of course always enjoy your blog. I forgotten how much I missed it. Anyway, this Disney video was terrific. I don't recall ever seeing this before! Good teaching tool and a reminder to be an individual!

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