Why I paint, the way I paint

Someone asked not too long ago why I paint "only like this". Also something to the effect of "why do they all look the same"? And my favorite, "Why don't you paint landscapes or things that more people would like?". Questions like this pop-up every once in a while and in the moment I give a short answer to avoid ending up on a favorite TV show of mine, "Snapped". So, I thought I'd get my thoughts together and 'splain myself so that next time this comes up...I'll count to ten...OK 100...and then direct them here. I know people ask these kind of questions just out of curiosity and there's no harm intended. So this is for anyone who's ever wondered the same thing about my art...and perhaps other artists work.

First, a little about the technique itself. It's just how I doodle. Anytime I find myself listening to something, like a lecture in high school, a phone conversation (back when I could stay on the phone for any length of time), some training seminar, etc. I tend to doodle if I can. My painting technique really is just doodling with paint.

Now, about abstract art. Abstract art is what I choose due to its freedom from any expectation and therefore leaving very little room for judgment or comparison to what it "should" look like. It simply ends up looking the way I felt it should look at the time I was creating it. There's no pressure to meet some standard or no stress added because it doesn't look like something else. Also, I find so much beauty in the world we live in and appreciate every little piece of creation I've been exposed to that to try and re-create it somehow seems completely pointless. To me it does. There is simply no way anything I could make, could come close to the beauty in a sunset, or the colors in a ranunculus, the detail in a butterfly wing, etc. I just get no pleasure in trying to imitate nature. I get my inspiration from nature of course, but I do not try to copy or represent it.

And the biggest reason I paint the way I paint...it's whats inside of me, in my soul, my heart, my head, I'm not sure...but inside of me and only me. I think every one of has something unique in them that if you're lucky to figure out what it is and how to express it...then you should let it out. Creating something truly unique and beautiful takes a certain kind of letting go of our ego and who we think we are and just letting ourselves be used as a tool to create something unique. Any great dancer, poet, writer, actor does just that...they are letting something out of them, to show you whats inside. And I'm not saying that because of that my work is necessarily beautiful or great...its simply who I am. And just like anyone else, some people will like me, some will not, some might hate me and others even love me. Same goes for my art.

So it's because of this that I do not paint to please anyone but myself. It's the only way I can stay true to who I am and how I feel. If by doing this some people like or even love my work, then I'll feel honored and lucky to have any kind of effect on anyone. If by being myself in life and in the way I express myself in my paintings, I make someone smile or feel anything positive, then I too will smile and feel positive. I am however my worst critique and judge and strive always to improve and perfect both my work and life. I know we aren't here to be perfect though, but at least learn and find ways to grow.

So with that I hope that you understand me and my work a little more. If you're a fan of my work and keep up with my progress, you'll in a way be joining not only my artistic journey but also my personal one.

Here's the latest progress on my triptych. I've decided to only show one of the panels going forward. I'll show all three panels at my next show. Hope to see you there!

Things that make me happy

I don't want to list the obvious things like love and friends and get all gushy. So instead I'd rather share with you the things that have nothing to do with anyone else. They are things that I enjoy with myself, private moments of joy, gratitude and sometimes speechless awe and amazement. In those moments its hard to put words to the feelings that come through me. Sometimes its quiet and calm, and sometimes I feel like I could burst with excitement and joy and thrill.

Recently it was a very loud bird. I was inside and I could hear what I thought was several birds, all shouting their respective calls. There was something quite urgent about the calls, like someone calling their children in to come in and eat dinner. It sounded like they were all pretty close by and as I'm always curious to actually see which bird is making which call (took me years to figure out a cardinal's call), I figured I'd go out in the back yard and hope to not scare them away. I could tell the sound was coming from the crape myrtle in the corner and I got closer and closer, trying to be quiet (all while looking down in the grass for the snake I saw the other day), to catch a glimpse of the birds before they flew away. Well I kept hearing the different calls and finally zoomed in a one little bird. I was directly under him, looking at him move his little beak as he changed tone, pitch and melody for each call. I must have heard him make at least 5 or 6 different sounds. All very different. And I'm pretty sure he saw me. He didn't fly away though, he just kept at it. I didn't want to push it so I only stayed close by for a couple of minutes, he seemed to be on a mission and I didn't want to interfere. So I went back inside and kept listening, seeing in my head what he looked like. I smiled all over my body, inside and out. I felt so lucky, privileged and just damn special to have seen him.

I don't know what it is about hearing a bird and finding the one making the sound that makes me feel so happy. I also don't know what it is about this particular house we live in that I also hear birds at night. I've yet to have it confirmed by someone that isn't just saying "I believe YOU are hearing birds baby". It doesn't happen all the time and it's almost always sometime between midnight at 1 in the morning, when it does happen. It doesn't happen for very long. Oh but when it does, talk about going to sleep with a smile!

I'll write in the next post about my encounter with a snake in the back yard. It was awesome! I have to figure out what the heck I did with the one picture I did manage to take.

Something else that's making me happy lately. The progress on my painting! It's coming along splendidly. I can't wait to show this new series this year!