the journey of an artist

the journey of an artist

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Art Life … Why do you create so many paintings?


oil on panel, 8x8
$290



Recently, a customer asked me why I create so many paintings. That stopped me in my tracks, because I have never really given it any thought. When I asked my husband, he said, "You love to paint," which is the appropriate short answer.

The long answer is that I am passionate about making things. Oil paint is my favorite medium, and has been for over 50 years. I paint almost every day. When I am not actually painting, I am thinking about what to paint next. Everything is a possible subject… the dishes in my kitchen, the antique toys I collect, the flowers in my garden, my art supplies. 

When I am not at the easel, I am a fanatical knitter, carrying my latest project with me where ever I go. I collect books about historical designs and wait impatiently for the newest issue of Vogue Knitting magazine to arrive.  And, a beautiful yarn can be just delicious! The luscious feeling of soft merino wool in my hands. The subtle shine of a silk blend. The possibilities of what can be done with simple string are endless.

I also plant impossible gardens. I say "impossible" because they can never be as wonderful in reality as they are in my head. I do not have a green thumb, but do have a multicolored imagination. So, I put in the soil many kinds of fantastic plants, and pray they survive. Some do. Those that don't get replaced. Eventually, it looks like I might know what I am doing. LOL.

Painting, knitting, and gardening have much in common. With each, you take some raw elements, such as oily colored dirt in painting and twisted string in knitting, and produce something completely different. Each activity is also a very hands-on, sensual experience. Oil paint is goopy and smooth. It can be scrubbed thinly into a canvas or spread thickly like cake frosting. Yarn can have so many lovely features. Some yarns are gentle and felt together into a soft, squishy sweater that makes you pray for a cold day so you can wear it. Others have bold sparkle and shimmer, making a most interesting cloth you could never find at the mall. And gardening? What is more fun than playing in the dirt on a sunny day?

Wishing you a happy day creating.

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