Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
I’ve gotten back to painting since returning from Ireland last August. As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been working small with 8×10 canvas boards using my photographs of the Irish landscape and quaint villages as me references. I only have time to paint for 1-2 hours at a time because of my hectic work and travel schedule lately, however those few hours with a brush in hand are very therapeutic (and relaxing) for me. I used to only paint non-representational paintings, but now I find it more challenging to try and replicate the photograph and add my personal expressionistic style to the image. There is something almost spiritual about the art of painting… at least for me. Painting takes me to another place where time almost stands still.
It forces me to be absolutely “in the moment”. It’s the only time of the day when I’m not dwelling on work and/or personal issues. It’s just me staring a a little canvas – dipping my brushes into paint from my paper plate palette and feebly attempting to translate the photograph into a unique expressive composition.
Painting is a very different creative experience than photography. There are a few similarities like having to put myself into a focused creative “zone” when engaged with the medium, but other than that painting forces me to constantly scrutinize every mark I put on the canvas – every brushstroke – every color choice. I intuitively know if that brush stroke is correct and adds to the expressive quality of the picture.
Painting can be incredibly rewarding especially when you’re successful at problem solving the translation of your photographs (and memory of the moment you took them) into lines, shapes, textures and colors.
Both painting and photography demand good problem solving skills, a discerning eye and an emotional connection to the picture you are taking or making.
I’m very aware my paintings are not all that great, however the conceptual and technical PROCESS is what brings me the joy and personal satisfaction. Isn’t that what art is really all about, in addition to giving the viewer a glimpse into the heart, mind and soul of the artist and how he/she filters the world through his/her personal sensibility.
“The commitment to create art is very similar to the commitment one makes to pursuing God. They both rely on an act of faith and discipline.” Pjk