“The point of a painting is, after all, for it to hang there, to be more noticeable than the wall, and more resonant with human presence than a poster or a reproduction of a painting, but less important than the lives of those looking at it.
“I think it’s enough for a painting to arrest a sensitive viewer with its motionless grace, even if the pleasure that affords is rather modest.”
I’m for an art that takes its form from the lines of life.
“…The intoxicating medium is an integral part of the work, as are impulses and accidents. I play with depth, foreground, pattern and emotion.
“… Building layers that accumulate texture while gathering elements and images of juxtaposition that will forever swim beneath the surface. Some images dominate the space, while others recede like a whisper, quiet but insistent.”
“I know the objects are where I left them. But they change with each viewing and always reward you with more looking—and most importantly, more thinking. Each time you stand before them, they expose something new—often because you’ve changed in the face of their endurance.”
The weather, the season, the time of day, our mood: these differences we tend to notice when revisiting a location. Less evident are the longer term changes to ourselves and how this impacts what we see and feel, and paint.
“Delight, unlike pleasure, contains an element of surprise, an unexpected frisson. And delight, unlike pleasure, leaves no bitter aftertaste. You never saw the delight coming so you don’t miss it when it’s gone.
… Appreciating life’s small, fleeting pleasures demands a loose grip. Hold them too tightly and they break.”
“We keep coming back to learn more and more as we go along …We don’t load up facts and then spew out painting after painting because we had all the necessary information ready at hand. Try it first, decipher it next. We are explorers. …
“I teach my students that they must dive in while they learn basics. That way, they come back from the experience with specific questions, not just general thoughts like, “how do I get better?” or “what’s the right color?'”
“As an artist you can’t be afraid to change angles and poke and prod. This is why we work from a live subject. If you work from a photograph you only get one angle and you can’t touch your subject. But when we work from life we can really get in there and do some in depth investigation.
“…think about art not as an act of creation but as an act of deep observation.”
“From life” doesn’t mean “outdoors”, it means “not a photo”, something you can hold and turn, or walk around, to see the ‘other side’. So not a photo of a vase with flowers, but flowers you can touch and smell and that will droop and drop their petals if you take too long to paint them. Not that flowers past their prime can’t be a painting.
“Building relationships is like investing a small percentage of our happiness in this other person, and receiving an investment of some of their happiness in us in return. This allows us to diversify our happiness across many people in many different aspects of life. And this diversification makes our own emotional health more resilient when difficulties in life come.”
Substiute “creativity” and “art/painting” for “happiness” and “relationships”, and we get:
“Creating art is like investing a small percentage of our creativity in every painting, and receiving an investment of some of its creative energy in us in return. This allows us to diversify our creativity across many pieces in many different aspects of painting. And this diversification makes our own creative health more resilient when difficulties in painting come.“
“So often we convince ourselves that change is only meaningful if there is some large, visible outcome associated with it. … we often put pressure on ourselves to make some earth-shattering improvement that everyone will talk about.
Meanwhile, improving by just 1 percent isn’t notable (and sometimes it isn’t even noticeable). But it can be just as meaningful, especially in the long run.”