Wow! What a Question! Why do I Paint?
“Life obliges me to do something, so I paint.” Rene Magritte
Because I have to! – Because of the excitement if I succeed! – I think its the same thrill that drives an athlete, the feeling that they can always do a little better. That’s the same for me. Of course, I didn’t do myself any favours. I only began this personal journey about fifteen years ago, looking at works of the masters, who had drawn and painted every day of their lives, year after year, so I can never hope to reach their standards but I still try to improve, little by little and as long as I spend lots of time trying, I know that small improvements are possible.
If I’m not painting, it’s because my mind is on something else, I’m probably procrastinating. Why do we do that? Is it the fear of failing? The true masters of any art or craft skill, are usually those who have endured the most failures, but after each failure, they have got up again, to try again and again, doggedly determined to succeed in the end.
I think this is what keeps me painting, while I’m at the easel, time just disappears, I’m lost in another world just intensely concentrating on the task in hand, thinking about how my predecessors, or today’s top professionals, would approach the task. At that moment, along comes an onlooker to say “It’s so relaxing isn’t it” ! Agh!
If only they knew the truth.
What Inspires me?
“Everything has beauty, but not everyone can see.” –Confucius
Certainly I am inspired by the impressionists and the world class English watercolourist’s since JMW Turner, but artists are also inspired by ‘ordinary’ things they see in everyday life, that others don’t seem to notice. Old industrial and derelect buildings, or boats etc, which others see as eyesores, waiting to be demolished or removed. Barren landscapes, windswept vistas, crashing seas, gentle valleys, mountain paths, I never know what will inspire me next, it may be a fleeting change in the weather, a dash of sunlight on the water that lasts only a minute, and is gone.
It’s very often to do with light, and the way it falls on objects, and changes their colours or their solidity and shape.
My studio here in Broadstairs, is right at the eastern tip of Kent, which used to be an island many years ago. Because of this we are surrounded by acres of sea with only a small land mass, where the sun’s light reflects back off the sea, like Canaletto’s Venice, or Ben Nicholson’s St Ives, all these places are blessed with a ‘special’ light, beloved of artists.
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