Published in Nanaimo Magazine & Voyager Magazine - November 2015
"A work of art is above all an adventure of the mind." Eugene Ionesco, a famous playwright once said. Paintings have a beginning, middle and end, just like plays! An exciting idea, a white canvas, and the sky is the limit! Everything is off to a great start. But it doesn't take long for the 'work' in artwork to show up! That's the middle. That's the part that can literally drag you down, cause you to lose interest, or make you question why you are even painting at all! It doesn't matter how much planning has been done, or knowledge, skills and techniques are brought to bear, there will always be challenges in a painting that need to be resolved. I think of the middle as the problem solving stage, or the fun stage! While it is a gift to be able to conjure up a painting out of thin air, even if you happen to be looking right at thin air in the case of painting outdoors, but inspiration will only take you so far. Eugene Ionesco also said: "It is not the answer that enlightens, but the question." So the most important thing is asking the right questions. For example: is my composition working? are my values accurate? am I creating the mood I'm looking for? These and many more stimulating questions can make the difference between giving up and producing a beautiful painting in the end. Sometimes I'm stumped and my questions are of questionable quality. To achieve a fresh view and a little objectivity, I often put a painting aside and wait for it go give me the questions. It always does. I agree with Vincent Van Gogh: "Paintings have a life of their own that derives from the painter's soul." Here's to happy painting endings!