Creating a new painting can reveal my creative potential, as well as my short comings. Each time comes the excitement of the challenge and of the self-discovery. Contemplating my subject I ponder how to transmit to the viewer what about it moves me, after which I search how I can make it striking and unique.
My university studies in Fine Arts had dealt mainly in abstraction. Although I had drawn all my life, I lacked technique and felt ill equipped to render certain representational subjects. Thankfully, live model drawing had been an important component of my classes so that when I began to paint seriously I was able to benefit from that training. When I later returned to study the Fine arts, realism naturally dominated my subject choices, concentrating mainly on still life, people and portraits.
In time I began seeking to combine my love for abstraction and for free gestural movement with my more Cartesian style. This remains a personal objective.
Be it working with pastels (sticks of pure pigments of shimmering colours) or with acrylic paints (which can look like oil paint but dries quickly), I have always enjoyed spontaneity and liked the feeling of working briskly! (Sometimes the best results are achieved doing a quick study!) But, part of the process can be slow. I spend a great deal of time choosing the subject, working out the best composition with thumbnail sketches or pondering my next strokes. Through trial and error I have learned to take the time to be certain before pushing “merrily along”. To quote Bill Hosner: “Never work faster than you can think.”
Other moments are purely magical. While working I am sometimes overtaken by strong feelings of anticipation, at times experiencing, for brief moments a total loss self-awareness, engulfed in the creative process with only my inspiration to guide me.
Paintings also tend to have a life of their own and are filled with surprises and unexpected results. Nonetheless, regardless of how a painting evolves, learning is inherent to the creative process. It transforms me each time and in it I find joy.