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WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT PAINTING FROM COWBOY ETHICS

— By Carolyn Ritter


“WHEN THERE’S NOTHIN MORE TO SAY - DON’T BE SAYIN IT.”


Keep it simple- Keep it true. Make it simple and profound. (KISS)

See simple- paint simple. Talk less - say more. Omit what’s not relevant or important to you ( and the composition) so that what you do say is profound. Remember, the secret to being a bore is to tell everything! “Cowboys had a gift for speaking in concise, often colorful phrases and word pictures that distilled thoughts down to their essence.”


KNOW WHERE YOU STAND. Distill your thoughts about your subject down to its essence. Then consider how you relate to it. Let your painting come straight from your own life experience. It will give your work originality and directness. You and your mind are the real subjects of what you paint. You will need to do some soul searching. You must first know why you paint, who YOU are, and what you love. You will do your best work when you paint what you know and love. To create from the soul you need to be divinely in love with an idea or an image. Again, know yourself and what you love!


“DON’T RIDE THE FENCE.”

Make a statement that is simple, clear, direct, and forceful.

In painting it’s o.k. once in a while to break the rules. If you do, make it profound so viewers know it was intentional.


“KNOW WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE”. Know when you are licked and start over.


[Carolyn Ritter is a painter and member of Alpha Arts Guild]



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Alpha Arts Guild

P.O. Box 394

Alpharetta, Georgia 

30009-0394

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Todd Sentell, President

404/219-4838

thealphaartsguild@gmail.com

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