From: An Artist’s Notebook: Techniques & Materials, by Bernard Chet, 1978.
This is an old question, going back to the Greeks…the dynamic relationship between how vs what you have to convey…the exploration of this question drives the search and keeps us painting and creating in some sense and raises lots of other inquiries…
“There are two schools of thought about the relationship between knowledge of artistic techniques and the creative impulse. One argues that artists cannot be taken seriously unless they have mastered the finest points of technical competence. In this approach, the studio becomes a laboratory, with the artist surrounded by paint specimens, chemicals and machines. The other camp maintains that technical expertise actually inhibits creativeness. The artist is depicted as a totally free spirit – one who, wholly ignorant of materials, can create on impulse works of art out of whatever lies at hand. Somewhere between these two extremes lies a compromise….”
“The anti-craft attitude may be a response to the mystery that has been made of technical practice….On the contrary, there exists a close interrelation between the freshness of creation and new utilization of media. Knowledge of technique is not inhibiting, nor is it a guarantee of achievement. At best, mastery of craft supplies a working vocabulary–one that opens possibilities to be fulfilled by the individual vision of the artist.”