Learnings and Yearnings

One of the questions I ask myself with every new painting is, “What is this going to say?” or” What story do I want to visually tell the viewer?”  Sometimes it takes careful study to find the truth of a scene, sometimes many sketches, sometimes just sitting and observing. Always lots of thinking about it.

The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.
— Aristotle

From the start it’s a wrestling match to stay on track, because creating is not just copying. It’s the artist’s job to direct the viewer to see the bigger story, through use of light, contrast, shape, texture, color and line.

The struggle is to stay mindful of what is really important, and leave the rest suggested or abstract - or undone. Adding something “wrong” (ie, unnecessary) at any stage will risk missing the story, and for me it still takes amazing concentration and discipline to stop and correct it.

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
— Henry Ward Beecher

Each thing added either adds to the spirit of the painting or distracts.

This life-long learning process is a journey made of gathering skills and disciplines and finding a new way of seeing. The prospect could be daunting but for the good company of artists who have created before, or are creating now. Their inspiration makes the journey pure joy.

Happy are the painters, for they shall not be lonely. Light and colour, peace and hope, will keep them company to the end of the day.
— Winston Churchill
Michael Ann BellerjeauComment