|"Tallulah's Early Spring" 16" x 20" $400 Purchase|
So where is our focus when we're painting?
I am convinced that it is the peripheral thoughts that give the painting its spirit. Whatever pulled us to the subject in the first place will guide us throughout the painting if we don't allow our minds to wonder away.
What led me to do this painting was the feeling of renewal I experienced standing on the edge of the upper Tallulah River in the spring, at just the time when the foliage was getting ready to burst forth. Light on the water was dazzling and the water's sound was unusually musical. The fact that it spoke to me was all I needed.
Modern colleges and universities focus on the conceptual, concerned more about their students belonging to the modern age of expression where it is more important to reflect a culture than it is to listen to one's inner voice. What worries me about that is how many students swallow that philosophy rather than question its validity, thus shutting out their own uniqueness. One's inner voice should never be muted, but rather should be provided with skills, techniques and knowledge to enable it to speak clearly.
I yearn for the day when a thousand university art students can stand on the edge of a riverbank and paint what it speaks to them.