Since I had never studied the art of encaustic painting all I could do was follow my intuition. True, I had plenty of experience painting. A solid notion of the importance of values, hard and soft edges, and the relationship of color and composition all gave me a decent head start. But paint that liquified and dried at will was alien to my experience. As I painted a tree I didn’t think this is how Edgar Payne would paint this tree because I had never seen a tree painted in encaustic by Edgar Payne. Nor did I think Maynard Dixon would paint sagebrush like this. Because of this silent inner world that suddenly engulfed me I became keenly aware of all the voices that whisper, sometimes shout, as I practice what I previously thought to be a highly individual form of painting.
This experience showed me how I shackle my creative endeavors by allowing such voices to create a harsh and dogmatic inner world. This was particularly enlightening since I previously viewed myself as essentially immune to the intrusion of such inhibiting voices.
I suppose it is natural that a myriad of illusory voices direct our painting. Especially since we often foster an imaginary world where our favorite artists play the roles of mentors in abstencia. No doubt these self-constructed tutors help us with our artistic development. But we must be able to turn off such internal voices when they inhibit us from developing a truly individual art.
Brad Teare © 2011