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  • Mark Greenberg

Learning from Masters Long Gone

Hello! Copying old pictures has been the main way I have learned to paint. Learning this way, one has a problem; A finished work, often very old, stares dumbly at you. It's beauty, if there is such, happens only in your mind. With your interest aroused you give it a few moments, looking, wondering about it's subject. Then about it's creation. Who who made it? And how it was made? With what materials? The next phase is a feeling, a visceral instinct to recreate the thing in order to learn the secret to it's charm. I imagine the steps the artist must have taken to arrive at this picture. My earliest attempts were not too terrible. I knew how to draw reasonably well and had researched traditional oil painting techniques from old books. Branching out into my own compositions, I used what I had learned from these instructors long gone. That picture on the wall , silent and immobile, nonetheless communicates so much.

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