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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What do Artistic People create and why do they do it?

"Home at Last" 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas
As an artist, I’ve thought a lot about that question. What is it that makes me create and why do I do it? Perhaps my answers will also be yours:

An artist wants to share what touches him or her visually and emotionally, and may find it difficult to impart these feelings in any other way.

Artists have a driving passion to put down on paper or canvas the experiences in their hearts and souls that would either cause them to explode in joyful ecstasy or painful agony if not expressed. Artists and writers often share these same passions, but articulate them through different mediums.

We all have a need for intimacy, some people more than others. When someone views an artist’s work it is like inviting them to share an intimate moment of our personality and perspective on life.

"First Daffodil" 16 x 20 acrylic on canvas; model Kayla Dahm
An artist may create a mini-story, a glimpse into the human soul, a taste of the human condition, or they may take us on a wonderful adventure either through realism or exciting plains of color and movement.

The viewer may virtually walk the terrain of uncharted territory, explore the shape and form of facial structure, and fathom in a new way the miracle of life, the struggle of humanity, or the joy of rebirth.

By altering line, angle and space through color, light and shadow, an artist controls the mood and mind of the viewer and leads them on an intimate journey around the canvas and back again to the focal point or center of interest.

Viewers are rarely aware of the invisible companion who leads them from one point to another as the story unfolds. When the onlooker experiences pleasure, happiness, or darkness the artist has done his or her job.

“So this is what old age brings?” an observer may comment on seeing an unfulfilled wastrel lamenting over his fateful actions.

"Reggae Night" acrylic on canvas
“That’s exactly how I felt when I was dancing,” says another, as they sway in their mind and remember the cadence of drums, sand, and the smells and sounds of the Caribbean. As an artist, you brushed this scene onto canvas using your own fond memories where they lingered playfully in your mind waiting for you to give them the breath of life.

Fulfillment happens when the artwork is finished not when it’s viewed, commented on, or sold. As artists we rarely get to see or know the experience of the viewer, or whether they perceived our art in the same way as we created it. 

Once we have “put it all out there,” we have done our part. The rest is up to chance, fate, or destiny. For some of us, it is a blessing from God for which we are eternally grateful and joyful.

"Blending In" 11 x 14 acrylic on panel (The feathers replicate the petals, which is how I
saw this scene and painted it.)