“The painting is what remains after we’ve completed the act of creation, to stare back at us, like shells washed up on a beach. Sometimes we collect beautiful shells, but we experience waves.”Stephen Berry, I’m Looking For an Experience
That the act of painting, the doing thereof, the brush into paint and onto paper, needs to be rewarding in itself, disconnected from the need for a satisfying end result,hard as this is, is something I struggle to explain. This quote filled that gap for me as I instantly related to how I interact with waves on a beach compared to pebbles (shells, sea glass).
I might take photos of waves, but they’re eternally ephemeral. I don’t have thoughts other than to watch and enjoy (okay, and to stay out of reach of them). Pebbles I can pick up and hold, turn over in my hand, feel the weight and texture, walk with for a while until I encounter another that I want to touch.
We experience painting every time, but don’t collect a painting every time.