Painting is Team Work


Coffee and a bagel from Jake's is how I start my day. Some mornings I have them at Jake's and bug other patrons with my stare, trying to see if they will spark a possible painting. Other mornings I have my coffee in my studio at my computer checking out the art people post. Butter all over my key board, I type in comments and press the "like" button a few times, and when I really like something I hit the "share" button. 

Every so othen something will cause me to pause and really think. The other day it was a painting in which the artist did not consider how people might see his painting. His painting was obviously done from a good photo, what he missed were the hands in the photo and how they were in bad positions to translate into a great painting. People accept things in a photo because people believe everything in a photo to be true. Where a figure appears to have only three fingers on each hand in the photo, they know the missing fingers are hidden somehow and accept the photos as being perfect. An artist has to realize people look at a painting differently, so that great photo may require some serious thinking.

Too many artist are slaves to photos. I use photos, but I have learned to be the master of my photos. My last painting took twenty-some photos that I actually used, planning for this painting I took hundreds of photos. It began with an image in my head then a photo session with models. I let each model contribute to the painting with how they hold their hands, how their hair falls on the ground, how the dress clings to their hips how theirs eyes connect to each other. One model may be perfect while the other is off just slightly. I need my art on the walls in my galleries to continue telling the stories I want to tell, and to keep those walls, I push  paintings beyond what they can be to what they have to be.  I push my models to push back with challenges, joining in on the creative side.

Painting is team work for me. My mind has to be in the right place. My hands have to be in tune with my mind and the colors on my palette have to speak the language I am working in. Each subject, each still-life, figure, landscape - each have their own language. Painting takes over an artists body, mind and soul. There is an unbelievable peace for me when my paintings smile at me. I thank all my models when I finish, they may not be present but I believe they hear me when they see themselves in my work.