In mathematics the fudge factor is “a quantity introduced into a calculation in order to “fudge” the results: that is, either to make them match better what happens in the real world, or to add an error margin.” Of course, in art everything an artist does is a fudge factor. It’s all fudge. Is a regular fudge factory.
(Hope I’m not making anyone hungry.)
No matter how carefully an artist draws (and artists should always draw carefully), one can never draw the world the way it is. If you drew the world as it is, your drawing would need to be one-to-one. And that sheet of paper is just too big.
So what you leave out and what you put in matters enormously. And half of the genius of art lies in getting stuff wrong. We live in the land of metaphor and analogy.
I like paint. I just do. I love the smell of oil paint when I walk into the room. I love looking at colors before they even become anything. Colors evoke such rich thoughts and feelings. And the textures of paint are so fabulous. Everything about paint is wonderful. Wow. It’s just so neat, so superduperfabulouswonderful.
“The beginning is the most important part of the work,” said Plato. I think. I’d be more confident of his having said it, or written it, if I knew where he is supposed to have said it. And instead I found these words at one of those Plato Quotes sites.
It does seem like something Plato would have said, sounds very Plato-ish. If he didn’t say it, he certainly should have. Well I confidently attribute it to him because it suits my purpose, and better to have him saying it than me. He’s so famous and wise.
The beginning of art has the potential of being hugely important! When a picture starts out in a bold, deliberative way, with the large elements presented in full, the artist builds an underlying structure as a strong foundation for everything that comes afterward. Everything that the artist sees and presents later can be tethered to that underlying plan with invisible glue.
If you can imagine a bottle of Elmer’s Thoughts, those forms you pour out to which everything else sticks — rather like “Plato’s ideas,” then you’ll know what I’m talking about.
I have wandered the hills and valleys, splashed in the lakes, swum with the fishes, and sung with the birds. I drudged through leaf litter in the dark forest and lifted my head to see the sky and watched it fill everything until all you could see was sky.
I had a traveling companion, an adventuresome Mockingbird who stands sentinel over one of my trees some mornings.
It was entirely mental travel. No baggage fees, no boarding passes, comfortable seating and plenty of free coffee and healthy snacks. The only passport anyone ever asked for was imagination. And we had enough of that to give the boarder guards a run for their money!