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 remembered what it was that I loved about painting the koi — the abstractness. Everybody paints these things differently. Other koi painters love detail. But I had looked to the koi as a subject in my first koi painting because I wanted something that was abstract yet represented something. I like to paint stuff. And koi are great stuff!
And the faces. I find the abstractness in the small parts of the painting. Maybe when they are finished, I’ll have represented them whiskers and all… who knows? But this playing around with planes of color — and all the delicious difference of a color that is a nuance warmer or yellower or something-or-other-er than its surroundings — all that play of paint just delights me like a kid with a crayon box.
This, friends, is why I became a painter!
There aren’t enough hours in the day! I am beginning to paint the fishes up close. And the paintedness of the picture is my daily delight. The image is settled, yet everything is up for grabs! For the way of painting this “everything” is wide open. And this is the part of painting that I love. The gesture, the stroke, the decision, the changing my mind, and the joyful making of marks!