What Is Tightening and Loosening?

Tightening your work is to make your imagery taut and concise, precise and compact, refined and essential.

Loosening your work is to allow your imagery to be open, free of confinement, unbound, unpackaged, and inexact.

Realization and concomitant insight occur out of daily interaction with it.
It translates spontaneously through the direct experience of paint and water and your ability to look deeply at what you are doing.

Master water first and then paint.

Water benefits the ten thousand things and does not oppose them. –– Laozi

Water is the mirror of nature. –– St. Francis

Water dissolves forms and provides for the appearance of new forms.

Painting is a set of interactive relationships between the elements within the painting and between the painter and the painted. What lies buried in the painting and inside of you depends upon learning how to “read” these complex relationships. This takes time and unprincipled knowing.

Identify in your work opposites of color, form, compositional arrangements, space, etc.

It is the carefree manipulation of coincidentia oppositorum that gives life to the work.

Do not be timid with brush, paint, or water (medium). “A tonic of wildness” (Thoreau) is needed to push your painting forward into new, unknown areas.

Representational painters loosen the grip of inflexibility!

Abstract painters tighten your hold on crafting your images!

In both types of painting students need to unlearn what one has acquired!!

Representational painters: place your works in a larger context. Give your work not only breadth but breath. Do not “copy” what you see outwardly but give it “spirit.”

Abstract painters: redefine your perspectives. Think in terms of the whole, not simply its parts.

Both need acuity of vision.

The act of painting is less with the brush and paint and more with an understanding of the pulse and rhythm of the painting/painter. (or, better paintingpainter.)

Thoroughly understand this:

The great square has no corners and the great implement completes nothing. –– Laozi

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