The Laws of Nature

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I paint because ...

Very recently, a notable fine art museum curator decided to spend time with my new series, The Laws of Nature, which now includes fourteen paintings. Her questions were astute and delving: my developmental history as an artist, what I paint, how I paint, and ... especially, why I paint. At the end of her examination of me and my work, I was astounded by her praise and proclamations of "genius." I don't think of myself in that way, nor will I ever.

We artists typically view our work in a more practical way. We LIVE in, through, and by our artmaking. It's not our second nature, it's our first nature. We can't imagine life any other way.

Explaining myself compelled me to think about this a little more:

I paint because ...

I can't effectively express what I really want to say in words or music,
I see everything in pictures,
I must paint,
My life is incomplete if I don't paint,
I've always painted


You paint because ...

12 comments:

Robin Samiljan said...

I paint for many of the same reasons you paint... and it facilitates learning in a different way. And when I have learned a new technique, and I know it works, then I feel satisfied and complete. I can't explain at what point painting became so important to me, (it didn't always play a major role in my life) all I can think is it fulfills my voids now.

-Don said...

...there's a hole in me that must be filled, and painting is the only spackle that works.

-Don

-Don said...

Oh yeah, and kudos on the great visit with the curator. I cannot begin to express how proud I am for you. I'm inclined to agree with her assessment, "Genius!"

-Don

Dan Kent said...

Hearkening back to Art and Fear, the label "genius" is a reaction to your work based upon what she sees in your work and your conversation with her which includes your very thoughtful description of the series, and your history - the 99% perspiration that preceded it. So she can rightfully conclude "genius". Whether you believe it yourself, or whether it was there when you were born is irrelevant. You have reached the stage where that is a valid reaction. (And a mighty fine one, I might add.)

OK - why I paint>> It is the same as for Don - I have a hunger, an utterly consuming hunger, that I must paint. I don't know why. When I do not paint, I get anxious and I am less girded for the challenges of life. Painting for me is the green plant growing against all odds between the cracks of the sidewalk.

Susan Roux said...

Do share more about your museum curator! I'm so interested.

I don't stop to think why I paint. It's something I must do. I'd be put on the spot to answer that quickly. Yet on the other hand, I could talk all day long about what I'm trying to achieve and my journey getting here.

Why do I paint? It's my God given gift and I plan to explore it as far as I can. (Just how good a gift did He give me anyway???)

hw (hallie) farber said...

I guess it is my first nature--painting and sculpting is as natural as breathing.

Carolyn Abrams said...

I agree with everyone above....it is like the air that i breathe...a necessity. I've always felt the God given gift was the passion for painting and what i do with it is my gift back.

Congrats on such a great compliment...but no surprise to me!

Jeanette said...

Its wonderful to be recognized by a peer and for others to see what you see in your work.

I paint for a number of reasons too. Because there is an internal need - drive - to do so and because I love exploring something ordinary and letting others, as well as myself, see it in a new light.

Casey Klahn said...

I paint in self defense.

I consider your work genius specifically because it says new things to me - and I haven't seen it said exactly like this before anywhere. And, because you say it very, very clearly.

Mark Sheeky said...

Perhaps all committed artists paint for the same reason but we can't really say why in simple words.

I paint because I want to leave more behind than a corpse and some tax records.

Carolyn Abrams said...

Good one Mark. i think that one's my favorite!

IrinaSztukowski said...

This yellow makes the grey so purple Katherine. the composition is wonderful; the eye keeps spinning :)
Thank you,
Irina