Spinning seems a familiar term but oddly, not in art…
Some 30 years ago I gave the name of ‘spinning’ to a technique I used as a way of creating new work without a preconceived idea. Simply put, clean your palette after a day’s painting onto a fresh canvas and turn it as you do. Let your mind flow free and paint without structured thought or reservation… let your subconscious guide your brush. Paint without restraint or caution!
The results are surprising and always became a serious piece of art… simply paint till an idea follows.
For years I did this without identifying the process, until I was asked to create a class for the Dunedin Art Center (my first teaching experience). Soon I was not only realizing my process but enlightening others the to magic of spinning. Spinning is based on composition and value, movement of color, and feeling of that movement.
Art is a personal experience that the artist alone can convey. Once you have created your spin then you look inside to find the magic or what we call the Marilyn Monroe, the Elvis (the main idea in the painting… the ‘big picture’). Once you have identified the big picture it becomes a process of moving the color and composition to empower the subject. Spinning can sometimes bring a subject into focus immediately, or it can take days or years.
The best results are usually worth waiting for; if you act too quick you will destroy the real magic of a piece. You must keep the subject in context to the spin – don’t overwork lest it become contrived… best to leave something to the imagination of the viewer. Learning to spin a painting most importantly helps break an artist out of the box of following a particular genre or preconceived style of painting… it helps the artist find their own true individual style – no two people can spin the same or find the same subjects.
Spinning is also a very successful teaching tool and offers an artist the opportunity to further develop their skills. Since everything found in a spin does not necessarily come immediately into focus – you will see the big picture form but perhaps details need to be brought into focus. For example, if your spin generates a perfectly formed face but the body is vague, you might find yourself studying and practicing ways to polish your talents in the area of anatomy. Or, a distant landscape may compel you to study trees and backgrounds, to try to capture the magic of light and master the majesty of the sky. This work is done on your terms. In your own unique style. Spinning is taught exclusively at the Dunedin Fine Art Center (DFAC) in Dunedin, Florida on Monday mornings and Tuesday afternoons.
I can’t talk about ‘spinning’ without mentioning the Spin D’Arte Group. The original group began about 8 years ago with a class offered by the Dunedin Fine Arts Center (to which I agreed to teach my unorthodox method of ‘spinning’ painting). Four amazingly brave and talented artists (Ann, Cynthia, Lil, and Maria – no one can ever take your place in my heart!) took on the challenge of an art class teaching a technique that was unheard of, by an artist who had never taught, but had a burning desire to share his discovery. It was magic ~ Soon, the group accumulated an impressive body of work, and began booking shows and exhibitions. The Spin D’Arte Group (which has grown to over 30 members) is a popular and well received art group in the Tampa area, with many exhibitions under our belt. Members include awards-winning artists in many categories who have gone on to truly rewarding careers in the art world. To become a member you must complete two 6-week courses at DFAC in Spinning and create a body of work for the shows.