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Megan Hinton

Paintings, Drawings, and Prints

Studio, 2011, oil/paper, 8 x 9"

After writing a course description for an upcoming summer workshop called “From Drawing to Painting”, I began thinking about my own process from medium to medium. Recently I painted 21 oil paintings on paper, each measuring 8 x 9″. I painted them in a grid format on the wall of my studio. I was working on all the individual images simultaneously by jumping back from one to another. The images ranged from figurative, still life, and landscape imagery which has been apart of my repertoire for some years now. Some photographs that I shot were used as guides or reference for laying out the imagery, others I did from line drawings. One of the attractive things about this process was the informality involved with this type of oil painting. I was working on inexpensive paper instead of expensive stretcher bars with linen.  I also had no expectation that these would be seen by the public in exhibition format. They were simply  for my own experimentation and guides for larger scale work. Consequently I began to feel that they were more like drawings than paintings. This is because of the informality involved, the size of the pieces, and the fact that I was treating them as studies. Another idea comes up though, just as it did in my course description today, about the difference between painting and drawing. Or is there a difference? Of course historically in art drawings were used as studies to work out ideas for finished paintings. In today’s contemporary art world though drawing is also a finished art piece. The ideas and methods of drawings carry over into painting, in terms of the use of line, shape, value, texture, etc. One might argue that the difference between painting and drawing is the use of color or the use of paint rather than a drawing implement like a pencil or ink stick. I believe they are one in the same. Sometimes my paintings are much more involved because there’s a bit more to prepping a canvas, laying out color, and the physicality of pushing around oil paint. There is more to that process than a simple ink contour drawing on a white piece of paper. In the end though it is the same engagement, where intuition and a sense of playfulness, shutting out self-conscious thoughts, and to “just be” in the process is the same whether  you are using a paint brush or drawing crayon . My little 21 paintings on paper remind me of a process state I’d like to reach when working on a large-scale oil painting, without a feeling of preciousness, but rather an informality that ultimately leads to truthful and emotive expression.

Reader, 2011, oil/paper, 8 x 9"

Landscape, 2011, oil/paper, 8 x 9"

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