An artwork begins as a spark within the artist. This might be ignited in many
For myself, it is a connection to nature and one that often contains the imprint of man in some way, that lights that spark for me. However it it not just any landscape, that I’m drawn to paint. There is something that connects to me on a level beyond language, a recognition of beauty, a connection to something that is indefinable in words. I then endeavour to bring this feeling, or knowledge of other, into the painting. That is the first stage, a connection between self and the subject. The more deeply you are connected to the subject the more scope there is for rendering some aspect of that in a painting. This can happen instantaneously, or it may
grow over a period of time. The one thing I do know about it is, it will not be rushed and also can pop up unexpectedly as well.
Once I have my inspiration, it is back to the drawing board again. It can take several sketches to work through an idea and the painting that finally emerges may be far removed from the initial spark. This is a never ending process for an artist. It’s how I develop an idea and then determine whether its worth exploring in paint.
I must point out at this stage, that not all artists work like this. When someone
first begins to paint there is a period of time, which can encompass many years,
where the budding artist copies - from photos, other paintings, the world around
them. During this period they are honing their skills. Therefore the process is a lot faster at this point. Just get out your brushes, paint, and picture, and away you go. The hardest part is choosing the picture.
Or you have the pure abstract artists. Of course they also have different approaches. Some of them begin by throwing paint either literally, or figuratively at the canvas and work with what then emerges, refining and developing the image along the way. They work largely intuitively.
So this is the first stage of what goes on behind the scenes. What happens after this?
NEXT WEEK: What Don't You See That Goes Into an Artwork, Part II?
Pix Credit: Inspiration - Morgue file
Pix Credit: Light as Air - Drawing and Painting - Kadira Jennings