I started this last week not realizing how much it would help me put into words this wordless thing I do, ART. The effort usually leaves me feeling like I’m trying to explain why I breathe! LOL! To help me get past that feeling, I’m going to use quotes, someone else’s words, as jumping-off points. Ready to dive in with me?
This week’s quote is from Paul Klee, a Swiss-German artist of the expressionist movement. I’ve seen it two ways:
- Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.
- Art does not reproduce what we see; it makes us see.
This made me want to jump up and down and scream YES! Once I calmed down, it brought questions to mind: What do I want you to see? What do I want to make visible? How do I aim to do that? Questions I’ve been asking myself and am going to try to explain below.
As I sit here in my studio, I have 3 paintings on my desk getting ready to be framed. They contain three very different subjects: a garden snail, a glass of red wine and a cat. As different as those subjects are, two things are present in each painting. Light and shadow.
Okay, maybe you’re reading this and thinking “Well, duh. Don’t they all.” You’d be right. However, there is more to it that I see. I want to make you see how that light plays on and shadow pools around the subjects in my paintings.
How do I aim to do that? In most cases, I bring you up close and personal. I zoom in close on that snail to show how the light shines through its body ever so slightly. It’s shell too is translucent to a small degree. Yet, it still casts quite a strong shadow as it travels over a leaf. (Oh! and leaves, especially the fall ones make me swoon. Oops! Went off-track. WherewuzI?) That sunlight hits everything the same but each surface reacts differently, quietly revealing its secrets in the process. I want to share those secrets with you.
Question for you reader: Does this make sense? Does knowing this help you connect with my art? Why or why not?