Thursday, January 22, 2015

It's More than the Money

Lilies of the Field

Yes, when someone purchases a painting or print from me I am delighted to be able to pay the heating bill for my studio, or buy more canvas, but it's more than that. It means I have made a connection. A part of the buyer has seen something that translates into a message that we both understand.

Painting isn't simply about composing some pleasing shapes and colours onto a canvas, anymore than music is about arranging some pleasing sounds. It is about communication.

As the artist my communication begins with myself. What am I interested in? Why? How do I feel about it? What lies underneath the surface? How do I express it? Am I adding anything to this conversation? These and hundreds of other questions dancing in and out of consciousness as I start to paint. One question however always stands out. What is the essence of this thing I am trying to communicate?

Eventually as I work the inner chatter quiets. I get out of the way of myself and allow inspiration to take over. I paint in a state of aware meditation, and on a good day in a state of grace.

When I am sure that my physical hand is no longer needed I place the work into the public arena. It is in this place where I will see if my art will strike a chord with another. If I have been successful in communicating that elusive nonverbal moment when you heart leaps and you are left breathless. That feeling of passion. That understanding that you are on the edge of something deep and magnificent. If I have found a kindred spirit.

So, when someone buys a piece of art I have created, yes the money is nice, but the knowing that someone understands and feels it too is beyond all riches.

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