“Keep it simple stupid” (“KISS”) is a phrase coined in the 1960’s (I think) to illustrate the principle that most systems work best if they are kept simple rather than made complicated. It was a concept I embraced quite often in my business life, especially when I worked in the High Tech industry. I managed a large team responsible for implementing (and then educating employees on) a wide range of computer-related services (new software or databases, hardware updates, internal websites, etc.). In order to reduce the confusion these technical communications inevitably created, we tried very hard to distill our messages down to the basics. Like the man (Jack Webb playing Sgt. Friday in the old Dragnet TV series) said, “Just the facts, ma’am; just the facts”.
As I’ve alluded to previous posts, with all that has happened in my personal life the last couple of years (and specifically in the past several months), I’ve often found that my creative mojo has deserted me. Even going into my little studio and just splashing paint on a canvas hasn’t interested me and, when, the rare impulse has struck … well to put it politely, nothing much has come of it. Even my Lifebook 2015 weekly classes didn’t generate enough interest to get me back into the swing. When a Facebook post offering a sale on online classes by Mindy Lacefield came across my Newsfeed, though, I decided to take a look. I’d already seen some of Mindy’s YouTube Videos, and thought her classes could be interesting. I purchased the “Primitive Portraits 1 + 2 Bundle” because the idea of creating something basic really appealed to me. Actually the idea of creating a face without having to be overly concerned about the accuracy of the details is what appealed to me.
I binge-watched both courses and found myself totally captivated by Mindy’s art and her teaching style. Over the course of a few days, I’d created four “primitive” girls.The image on the left is on 9×12 Fabriano hot press watercolor paper using only graphite pencil, a yellow spray ini and some Titanium White acrylic (over tissue and book paper collage); the top two images on the right on are on 4×6 canvas panels and the lower image is on a 9.×12 canvas panel – all three were done with acrylic paints.
You’d think by that point I’d had enough of online classes right? Hah! In something on Mindy’s site, there was a mention of Danielle Donaldson’s art. Also a sort of minimal but completely different and beautiful watercolor style! Swoon. So I bought both Creative Girl: The Land of Light and Shadows and Storybooks and Studious Girls, available through Jeanne Oliver’s site. The girl on the left uses graphite pencil and watercolors and the “Houses on Stilts” image on the right is the same, with layers of clear gesso and some Titanium White Fluid acrylic paint. Oh – and I bought Danielle’s book CreativeGirl: Mixed Media Techniques for an Artful Life!
Not sure if the creative mojo is back for good, but in my case, doing less certainly did result in more. It relieved the pressure of needing to make something perfect.
So it appears that the KISS principle can also apply to art-making – not just to business! Have you ever tried a more “simplistic” approach to your art?