« Finding a Safe Place | Main | Finding a Constructive Approach »

October 11, 2013



Lori - Congratulations! Did you know that Georgia O'Keefe is also considered an Experimental artist? And I think that Agnes Martin would probably qualify as a Conceptual artist. Thinking back to the old Art History Days I seem to recall these women being included in "Modern" art which was always classified as more "Conceptual" which equaled "Intellectual". In the book I think that "Conceptual" really means that the artist works it out ahead of time through whatever means - even projecting a drawing or photograph on the canvas before painting it, and Experimental means working it out as it is painted.


Terri - you are correct, and the author does point that out, that there are variations. The insight I valued was that I could understand my own approach better, and say to myself "I am working conceptually..." or "as I work toward finishing, I realize I am moving more Experimentally..." so I don't get frustrated if I can't get something visually "just right."

But specifically, those artists who are Conceptual create their greatest artistic innovations when they are young,before mid-30's. And those who are Experimental create their greatest work during the last ten years of their artistic careers. Throughout Art History, Art was taught as a Conceptual process until the Impressionists and the Expressionists. It is a really interesting book.

Lori Landis

Thanks Sue for bringing this book to my attention. I have to work from my Spirit. I know in my heart when something is not right in my painting. I've been working on my meadowlark painting and even showed it evolving on my blog but when I think I'm done I've had to walk away and now I can approach the painting again with a new perspective. So today it is going to be on stage in my studio. Thanks.

Terri Lloyd

I think the two differences are like black and white, too absolute. I personally don't approach my practice and process in either manner absolutely, and would argue that there are many of us old dogs who work between both models. I'd also argue that perhaps this ability to move between the two is actually a state of mastery.


Hi Bill, I have always loved Picasso's work - intellectually fascinating. As for the Book above, the author points out that there is a continuum where an artist might work predominantly in one mode or the other,and there were some artists who were only moderately one way or the other - Monet was moderately Conceptual until he began to paint and then he was totally Experimental. Picasso is most often considered to have reached his peak regarding his influence and brilliance with Les Damoiselles, which he completed in his 20's and did fit the preparatory work definition. His early work is priced higher and valued more than his later work, according to the author's theory and research. Picasso - IMHO - is a hard example to use because he was so gifted and versatile.

What I took away from this theory was that I could identify the way that I work and not feel as if I was failing by not relying on thumbnails, by reworking and approaching my work more intuitively rather than following the atelier approach gaining popularity with Realism.


I haven't read the book and don't really have an opinion about the theory but I will say that I once saw a movie of Picasso working on a painting and what really made an impression on me was the fearless way he made, destroyed and remade the picture, over and over. He did not appear to have a clear goal in mind and there were many times, during the process that I personally would have stopped and been quite happy with the piece but he forged on painting over and remaking the picture. Maybe he was showing off for the camera but this doesn't seem to match up with the author's categorization of him.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
My Photo

Become a Fan

Artspan.com website free trial

Receive Ancient Artist by Email