What is the Maximalist Painting Style?

What is maximalism? A maximalist artist is one who rejects the minimalist art movement and style of painting. A minimalist oil painter believes that "less is more"; whereas, a maximalist painter believes "more is more". I am probably the only maximalist painter in the world, but who knows, it's a pretty big world out there. Maximalism speaks to the philosophy of painting in a particular style. I personally like the look of realism but I'm not necessarily stuck on it. I always stop short of photorealism; that is, making my paintings look like photographs.

Please don't get me wrong, I don't dislike someone else's work based on any particular style they make their art with. I just prefer my style of painting over other styles. You must be you when you paint. In my case, I've taken maximalism to the extreme of extremes. My art isn't just made to look like a realistic painting. It's built upon complex ideas like a house being built on a solid foundation. I paint using different subject matters. Yes, you read that correctly...many subject matters with similar meanings to tell a compelling and very complex visual story. It may seem easy to squeeze together a bunch of subject matters together into a realistic oil painting but it's definitely anything but easy.

I'd say time consuming would be a more appropriate answer. I wonder if other people in this world have the patience and stamina to make these paintings? To do it successfully? The paintings themselves are like complex puzzles or to be even more accurate; they are the very fingerprints of the artist. They are designed to make a viewer think deeply, and they are painted within every aspect with clear purpose. A successful maximalist painting will make a viewer say, "I never noticed that before". It's this reaction from art viewers that the artist seeks.

The subject matters used are your choice, but I personally use the following subject matters: mathematics, science, art, music, history, philosophy, Christian, Jewish, and Kione Greek ancient writings and language, physics, quantum physics and many others all combined together to create an original one of a kind piece of artwork. The artwork must reflect the artist's worldviews & beliefs and they must be very personal to the artist. It's that uncomfortable vulnerability that makes GREAT art. My paintings reflect myself, my worldviews, my thoughts, my religious beliefs, and they are my fingerprints of their very creation.

How I convert real musical notes into color. You must understand that a painting is a visual representation and musical notes (once converted into color) are simply just that...representations of real music notes. Because it is representative in nature, there's no need to keep the musical note shapes. I'm not a musician, so I go through each note and identify it. I assign it's correct and true letter name. For instance, if it's a low "f" note, I use an arrow to indicate if it's below the note line when using middle "C". If it's a high "f" note, I use an arrow to indicate it's above the note line.

Next, I determine which notes are the lowest and assign them a number; lowest note is a one and depending upon the number of total notes in the song, the highest note would be the highest number. In this particular song, "I'll Fly Away", there are ten notes just for the treble clef. My lightest color is actually the highest note and it's assigned number is ten... because it's the 10th and final note from the total amount of notes in the song. Clear as mud? Does this make any sense? I'm an artist, not a writer, so please bare with me. I like to place a music key on the top edge of the painting to show all the notes and their assigned colors. The note key is arranged from darkest to lightest, and I do not put this key in the order of the song. In this painting, the spiraling leaves are the musical notes and they are in the order of my chosen song for this painting.

So, to reiterate what I've stated, each note is assigned a number from darkest color to lightest color. A dark color is a low note; a light color is a high note, and all the tones in between all represent a real musical note and these are all painted in the ORDER of the song. You do not need to maintain a notes shape, and this makes it possible for me to keep my painting within my chosen color harmonies. I do believe that I am the first ever artist to do this, but like I stated earlier, it's a big world out there.

I do this for both the treble clef and bass clef notes. In this particular painting, I have yet to paint the bass clef notes. Even though this is a visual representation of real musical notes; you can convert these colors back into their original note forms and play them with an instrument. I am currently painting from piano notes because their keys are very much the same as color tones and values. The musical keys on a piano can match the tonal values of any chosen color. Some people can smell the color red for instance; whereas, I can see the tone of musical notes in any color I choose.

I sure hope you enjoyed this complex form of painting known as maximalism. I am extremely new to blogging, so if this has interest to you, please let me know in the comments section and I'll continue in the next blog the various other subjects within this oil painting. Thank you for taking the time to read this and hopefully this will inspire you to make art where "more is more". Art on people!

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