Painting is an element of self-expression that forms a path for revealing the interior of one’s mind, body, and spirit. Bernard Berenson, an American art critic and writer stated, “Not what man knows but what man feels, concerns art. All else is science.” (Mim, M.Y. “The Difference Between Great and Adequate Writing-Part Three of Three.” Inkwell Newsmatch. 23 Apr. 2006. People analyze a painting as a formation of one subject, but as you look closely, you begin to notice how the small details and numerous stories unite the entire composition. It illustrates the importance and power of artistic ability. The overall concept of a painting enables the viewer to perceive a composition as more than a work of art. It is a colossus, radiating the intense charm of vibrant, analogous colors and figures that seem to open the door to another world without limits. Painting clears the mind of irrelevant information that distracts an artist from expanding use of material and art technique. Picasso once said, “Art washes from the soul, the dust of everyday life.” (Bobby-Evans, Marion. “Inspirational Quotes for Artists.” A Collection of Quotes to Renew Your Inspiration and Motivation. <http://painting.about.com/od/artandartistquotes/a/quotes_inspire.htm>). Painting deteriorates negativity and silently enables new ideas to flow freely, nonstop, like a rain shower beating upon the window. It is freedom of expression and a talent that develops over time, affecting how artists interpret the world around them.
Artists convey their expressions through painting to create inner peace within themselves and their surroundings. This results in harmony, which interacts throughout art in general, creating a rhythm of movement. It forms a circle around each culture and tradition of painting and how they express art differently through beliefs and religion. Every culture of art connects together despite the differences of style. Artists paint compositions using color, texture, emphasis, and a variety of brush strokes to express their moods and thoughts, to create a narrative. The substance of painting reveals the intellectual and creative side of an artist. The gift of painting has existed on earth for many centuries, distinguishing unique figures among every living and non-living creature.
For instance, the Stone Age, which took place more than 31,000 years ago. Cave people frequently painted symbolic figures on cave walls, using pigments from minerals around them and capturing the activities of life, spirit, nature and humanity. They used a cornucopia of dull colors like browns, reds, yellows and blacks to depict images such as animals and weapons. They bonded the pigment particles by using spit, animal fat and earwax. Brushes were created from chewed sticks. Now, cave people are respected for their creative ways of expression, reinforcing the human instincts that tell us how to communicate our thoughts visually. Most artists began displaying their talents in different ways like a ship crossing a clear blue ocean. more advanced art dates back to the Middle Ages, where artists’ main focus was the interpretation of religion and dominant figures. Expressionist painting originated from Florence, Tuscany, during the Renaissance period from the 14th-17th century. Artists during that time often incorporated linear perspective and figures with dramatic expressions and lighting into their artworks. They made painting a part of their lives and culture. Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” captured a sense of mystery and dramatic lighting. Yet, Mona Lisa’s gentle smile overpowers her dark mysterious eyes, creating a calm mood and sense of peace. However, in Jan Steen’s painting, “The sacrifice of Iphigenia”, it portrays the feeling of drama capturing struggles of everyday life. He incorporates figures with torn clothing, and facial expressions of exhaustion and pain. These are some of the qualities that I value…
For me, a masterpiece is an incantation, feeding the souls of its viewers. Like forsythia slowly blooming in early spring, painting is a gradual process. Close your eyes and visualize yourself as a painter. Searching for a subject matter, you choose a quiet place under an enormous oak tree’s protective shade, using the sense of sight to pick out a viewpoint. You place your index finger and thumb of both hands together, forming an “L” with another that is inversed to create a frame. Adjust the wooden easel, slowly twisting the knobs until they’re as tight as a black leather glove suffocating your hand. Gently sit the white stretched canvas on a wooden easel, as if placing a sleeping infant into a bassinet. Dip your thick brush into a cup of water. Then use your thumb and index finger to gently drain the excess water from the brush. Decide on a mood you want to convey. Do you feel content? Depressed?
Upon establishing the mood, proceed to use a small piece of graphite to quickly map out the subject, analyzing the accuracy. Using a triangular palette knife, mix the oil paint colors on your tan, wooden palette. Studying your palette, you regulate the colors, making sure to have accumulated a variety of monochromatic shades, separating darks from lights. Dip your large black brush into the light blue paint, observing as you quickly move it across the canvas horizontally. Think of the light blue pigment as innocence: soft and delicate. As you observe the clouds maneuvering across the clear blue sky, it feels as if a lovely matchmaker appeared from heaven and configured an alliance between your soul and realm of art. Choose a soft white, using your small brush and dabbing the paint capturing the significant details of the patchoulis (flowers) and columbines. Analyze how the colors on the canvas intercede, having the tendency to form one balanced and united composition. Study the quality of the thick oil paint, how every individual pigment intensifies the work of art. Think about the relationships of colors. Individually, having meaning and truth behind each complimentary color. You can mix every pigment with another, but it always results in one color in the end, each playing a different role. Through this process I express my freedom, artistic talent, and my interpretation of the world.
Painting styles have changed dramatically over the decades. However, many artists continue to express themselves differently in their artwork. Artists today use techniques developed by previous painters and reproduce new ideas of their own. The diffusion of artistic talent enables people today to feel comfortable with revealing themselves to the public. Let the critics boast about what they like and do not like. Just be your own person, let your personality shine within your masterpiece that may one day create a legacy.