After Tenzing I’m taking time to take stock and pause to consider where I’m going as an artist and what makes me want to be an artist.
It’s a bit daunting, this being an artist trip.
I don’t believe it is by accident that within the last few days I’ve come across a number of excellent and active artists spouting forth, ever so eloquently about the why’s and wherefore’s of them being / doing / creating art.
What is your art style? a person asked me on my personal wall. Here is my answer: I often consider this quote by Paul Klee: “He has found his style, when he cannot do otherwise.”
As far as inspiration I am inspired by the colorists, such as Van Gogh, Gauguin etc. The psychological effects of color along with the motif, was taken to greater heights with Matisse and that school later on. I study this a lot (complimentary colors etc). Along with the Matisse school came the German expressionists, that had been greatly inspired by Munch.The idea here was to paint your life and not just what you see – or scenes of nature such as the impressionists. The expressionists wanted to paint not only the pretty, and strong us of color was natural (Kandinsky, Kirchener, Macke, Marc etc).
I usually paint landscapes or people that many would say are pretty, but always wish to transmit emotion. Lately my motifs have blended more and more with nature and people – Now I am interested in the emotions and dialogue between people (said and unsaid), and how we each individually interpret these.
The organic shapes of the figure are forever changing as a body moves through space catching and reflecting light as it transforms through the shadows of its environment. Even at rest, the figure inspires variations of form and color as it moves slowly with each inhalation of breath.
I am driven by my attempt to capture the energy of movement in pencil and paint. Watercolor allows me to explore unknown territory from which I extract the suggestion of one or more figures interacting with the surrounding space. Oil paints challenge my ability to stay focused on a moment of action prolonged over a long period of execution. Pencil and ink are simply a delight, dancing across the paper as swiftly as the figure before me moves to the rhythm of the music that fills the air.
Though my work is diverse, ranging from detailed landscapes to totally abstract fields of color and juxtapositions of lines and shapes, I return to the figure to regain my sense of balance and to renew my spirit.
These two artists have given me much to think about.
I know like Irma Stern I strive for “life-affirming and uplifting” artistic expression. I also feel there is a tendency for us to live our lives as if we know what life is. This robs us of experiencing life as a mystery, as magical. If I can, through my art, uncover or offer a glimpse of the magic in the so-called mundane, causing the viewer to miss their stride, to falter and be arrested by the ineffable – I would have achieved my goal as an artist.
From that point of view, a fairy painting can be more than just another fairy painting and a cat portrait more than just another cat portrait.