I stumbled across a pair of excellent videos from artist, Alice Mumford...
In the videos she asks the question: Are you a dabber or a slabber? I won't be as eloquent as she is in the videos, but the quick and dirty version is:
- A dabber builds up a painting over time in small bits and pieces with consistent attention.
- A slabber creates artwork with large shapes, often in a short and intense period of time.
And, of course, many of us are both dabbers and slabbers.
Alice shares a host of examples from well known artists and I immediately recognized that I am a dabber. I love the work of many slabbers and wish that I could create like that, but in my heart, I'm a dabber.
And if you want to have an impressive art book library like Alice, here are some books on the artists she mentions in the videos - there were a few artists who were new-to-me and I immediately went to look them up:
- Stanley Spencer
- David Hockney - photographs
- David Hockney - paintings
- Paul Cézanne
- Édouard Vuillard
- Pierre Bonnard
- Bonnard to Vuillard, The Intimate Poetry of Everyday Life
- Pieter de Hooch
- Piet Mondrian
- Ben Nicholson
- Richard Diebenkorn
- Helen Frankenthaler
- Roger Hilton
- Sandra Blow
- Peter Lanyon
- Henri Matisse
You can also check your local public library for most of these books. Because art books tend to be expensive, I often check them out from the library first. If I love it, I'll buy it. If not, it was free to peruse!
Finally, this is the book that she reads from at the end of the second video:
It's actually an essay about Tolstoy. From the book description: "...a fundamental distinction that exists in mankind, between those who are fascinated by the infinite variety of things (foxes) and those who relate everything to a central all-embracing system (hedgehogs). When applied to Tolstoy, the image illuminates a paradox of his philosophy of history, and shows why he was frequently misunderstood by his contemporaries and critics. Tolstoy was by nature a fox, but he believed in being a hedgehog."
So, how about you? Are you a dabber or a slabber?