|"York Revisited" 16 x 20 Oil on Canvas|
This was supposed to be the painting of the century and that's the problem.
I sat at my computer for an hour last night trying to decide what to say about York Falls, the subject of this week's painting. It's a lovely little falls, it's tucked between two ridges where sunlight has trouble finding it at certain times of the day, it's edges are clean and easy to maneuver thanks to the community of folks that give it constant attention. So there's a lot that can be said about the little falls, but nothing seemed to click.
It didn't click because the painting didn't click. It's an okay painting, but doesn't sing to me. And the reason is that my attention to the falls was mediocre. I got too interested in making it a superb painting, neglecting to delve into the falls and respond to the obscure little mysteries. A painting can't sing if it comes from the wrong intention within the artist.
But there's an important lesson here that I hope I can remember: when you try to make a good painting, when that becomes the purpose of the painting, it can't be more than mediocre simply because it is being done for the audience, not the artist. And who needs another good painting? There are thousands of them being made every day!
What we need is for those of us who are artists to keep our intentions on our responses to the subject. Otherwise, there cannot be an expression of our unique selves. It's only when we really search out those things that brought us to the subject that we find what is unique to ourselves and only then can we express our own truth.