Gurney Journey: What is a 'Non-Motif?'

What is a non-motif?

That is what I simply call a scene from our everyday environment that is common but seldom interpreted by artists. I wrote an short article about non-motifs in the February / March concern (#149) of Global Artist Journal.

Not like a picturesque motif, a non-motif is unconventional, surprising, but also commonplace and recognizable. If you try out googling the time period “plein-air painting” you probably will not uncover a one motor vehicle or quickly-food stuff cafe or utility pole, inspite of the actuality that those items are all around us. Why not? Is it since they are intrinsically hideous or simply because we haven’t still uncovered the natural beauty in them? 

Paintings can serve to awaken us to the secret of the planet we actually inhabit, these types of as parking heaps, supermarket interiors, fuel stations or again alleys. They have a bizarre luminous electric power in excess of my imagination. When I start to paint them, I truly feel as even though I have set foot on an unexplored continent. 

Suggestions for Succeeding with Non-Motifs
1. Get started out with an notion of the light-weight, shade or compositional outcomes you want to reach, and plug the sorts into that thought. For example, you could possibly want to do a tight cropping on a colourful sign or you may possibly want a heat, backlit scene with edge lighting.

2. Use a viewfinder, a mirror or a digicam to give you a fresh new eye on the scene. It’s often tricky to identify great topics, even when you are searching straight at them.

3. Do a thumbnail sketch in pencil or paint to visualize what alternatives you might need to have to make.

4. Consider to essential into an psychological reaction that you have about a place, a little something you really like or loathe about it, a juxtaposition that looks weird or someplace that you appreciated hanging out as a baby.

5. Remain community. Paint the subject matter at unique moments of day, and if you can, different seasons of the 12 months.

6. If you are traveling, paint an ordinary street, not the Instagram spot.

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