Friday, December 12, 2014
"Find the Art"
“Find the Art” Even when we’re not at out easels, painters are - in a sense - always “painting”. I’m hopeless to ride with in a car or walk with anywhere at all; “Look at that! Now there’s a painting!” seems to be my constant refrain. As I remind myself - and tell my classes constantly – an interesting or beautiful scene may or may not have the makings of a good painting. In truth, a beautiful painting can just as often be found in the most commonplace or unusual of places as in the most exotic of cities. But whatever we choose to paint, I believe it’s an artist’s real job to do more than simply illustrate the precise details of what a place or thing literally looks like. We should rather do our best to discover and interpret that thing’s true nature: discover a bit of it’s essence, and tell something of it’s story. Only then can we hope to express something uniquely personal in how it inspired us in the first place. Good paintings often ask more questions than they answer. So when our paintings begin to ask these questions – inviting both painter and viewer to become involved in those stories - we begin to get closer to finding the Art that exists all around us. As with most paintings, this one began with the two dimensions of the flat sheet - height and width. With shifting shapes of various values, my painting, “Pons Fabricius–Rome” (2011) begins to suggest the third dimension of depth and perspective. But it is with the choice of this ancient structure (the bridge : one of my favorite subjects) at an oblique, dynamic angle, that I begin to tell just a bit of the story of this ancient city, as well as a little of the forth dimension – the spanning of space and the passage of time.