Archive for March 28th, 2012

It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child.
–Pablo Picasso
This short sentence from Picasso is  one of my favorite quotes.  It both makes me smile whenever I hear it and brings to mind my own struggles with recognizing my own creative voice, something that used to be a real internal battle in the early formative years.  There was always a pull between the craft side, as might be represented by Raphael in Picasso’s quote, and the side where one paints naturally and intuitively, as the child might.
 I knew I would never paint like a Raphael.   I never cared to tie myself to any one tradition of painting and wanted the liberty of free expression, the ability to freely display emotion, even in the most mundane scene.  Wanted my own voice, preferring the colloquial over the classical. Kind of like wanting to sing like Woody Guthrie versus singing like Pavarotti.  For as beautiful as Pavarotti’s voice might be I found a quality in Guthrie’s voice and songs that spoke more directly to me.  Native simplicity I suppose it might be called.  Over the years, my voice has evolved and there are pieces where there is often a bit of this native simplicity in the work that really pleases me, makes me feel as though I am somewhat painting in the way a child might.  Or at least in a way that might speak as well to children as it did to adults.
The piece shown here is such an example.  A 10″ by 30″ canvas, it is an extension of the work I have done recently, work that I have called internal landscapes.  Called Native Rise, it is painted very intuitively and speaks plainly.  It has an attractive harmony in its elements that lets it speak easily and be asorbed quickly – if you like this sort of voice.  For me, I see this piece as being very symbolic of my true voice,  how I see and express the world as I internalize it.  It is painted easily and in my own voice.   And like my own voice, it is far from perfect but tries to speak plainly.  And truthfully as to how I see my world.
At least, that’s the way I see it   It’s funny how much more difficult it is to describe  with words my own native painting voice, something that comes so easily on the canvas.  Perhaps one shouldn’t try…

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: