Friday, November 13, 2009

The Drive to Paint

My drive to paint stems from my personality, issues related to my childhood and an artistic legacy passed on from my ancestors. These factors partially form the foundation of my artistic bent, but have not been enough in themselves to make me a visual artist. Nor have they been enough to make me return to painting time and time again,. The need to continue painting is more immediate, and is more about responding to life in the present. On the deepest level, I paint as a way of continuing to live day to day. It is a way of communicating with life itself, and talking back to life as life talks to me.

The decision to be an artist was a conscious one for me. In the beginning, my view of what being an artist meant was as rough-hewn as the images I drew. Over time, my vision developed to include both the idealistic and the realistic aspects of art as a profession.

The idealistic pertained more to the process itself. On paper, I could enjoy being as free as possible. My definition of freedom during the art process is less about style and more about being yourself (I strive for order and design in my paintings). Regardless of current trends in art, I could do whatever I pleased - with possible consequences once the work left the studio. But still, enjoying the actual process continues to impart a freedom unlike anything I've known.

The realistic aspect relates to the business of art, including preparation to present one's work, whether to a client or through an exhibition or some other venue. It also relates to such issues as pricing, travel, legal, insurance and personal expenditures, just to name a few.

Regardless of these two factors, I will continue to paint because, over time, it becomes a part of you, attached to your soul. I am one of those artists who paints because I enjoy it, but who also knows the occasional struggles of painting. I love the process of preparing to paint by gathering supplies, and preparing to generate imagery from the thoughts germinating in my head. I love the act of loading a brush, placing it on paper and entering another world. My world. As I see it.

Yes, the making of art is often a way of coping with life's disappointments by purging one's feelings, which is also true of writing and other artistic pursuits. But it is also a place to come, where who you are is reflected back to you. And that is, invariably, a worthwhile pursuit.

Title of Painting: "From a Dream #3"/ Acrylic on 300 lb. watercolor paper