It’s been on my mind lately. What is it about painting and art that is so fulfilling? Why do I and countless others find such enjoyment in recording and interpreting what we see? What is our inspiration?
For many artists the answers to those questions vary and can be quite complex. Some are motivated by special memories that an object or a place holds. Some have a journalistic thread running throughout them compelling the artist to paint scenes that promote awareness about current issues, or important stories to be told.
Or it could be as it was for me last night simply seeing something that catches the eye. The way light may fall on a subject and how that object is shown and reacts to the light.
We were cleaning up after having some guests in our home, and as I put a bowlful of uneaten apples into a smaller bowl, it hit me. The only light in the room was coming from our stove hood. When it hit those deep red apples that I had just placed into a bright yellow bowl, my first thought was, “now there’s a painting”. A feeling of excitement came over me, as many times before, I envisioned this beautiful still life already painted on my canvas.
When this happens, it’s almost like a food craving. I’ve got to paint this, now. Unfortunately life doesn’t always allow one to satisfy such cravings. There’s the lineup of already in progress still lifes that should be completed before I start anything else. Plus there are the promises to others of paintings yet to come. Or any one of the many important and necessary duties a wife has that will take priority over such desires. Then there is the dreaded day job that most artists must endure.
But sometimes I think to myself. “Surely I can paint this in just a few hours. I’ll let the laundry wait one more day. I’ll find a tiny spot in the studio to set up this one quick painting. If I don’t paint it now before the apples are eaten (I noticed this morning that my dear husband took a few for his lunch), or before my excitement runs down, it will not get painted.”
So with that, I close my blog.
Excuse me, I have some apples to paint.