Putting that little touch of oneself into a work of art is what raises the bar. Whether it be a portrait, landscape or a still-life, that touch can put a good painting over the top. It’s what makes for great art and great artist. Beautiful women are a favorite subject of many artists and beautiful scenes top the list of many landscape painters. The Grand Canyon is one of the most painted places in the world. Some painting competitions have separate awards just for paintings of the Grand Canyon.
Great artists do not rely on their subjects alone to carry their paintings, they find ways to add interest and drama to their work – an edginess. Dark forbidding skies can increase the drama of an ordinary scene, deep blue skies with puffy white clouds can add the feel of wind or the heat of a summer afternoon to an ordinary painting. Backlighting adds drama to a simple portrait. Lighting from below can add interest to a girl’s face. We all see these beautiful places and gorgeous girls. An artist adds that little bit of the unusual – that little something of himself to his subjects. An artist will study a scene for days before finding the right time of day to do a painting of it. How often do people see their favorite places at twilight after a rain? Artists can capture such moments and sights. A face dripping with water in a rain storm, or the wonder on one during the forth of July fireworks. These treats of the unusual come along so seldom people hold them inside and bring them out when in need of comfort. I like to bring out my visual treasures onto my canvases, reliving these moments everyday in my studio.
Two nights ago it was the full moon over St Mick’s Church. The silhouette of the Church Steeple and the pale white moon floating in an indigo sky. I thought of my friend Ronnie who alerts me to such sights and ideas of how to incorporate all this into a figure painting began to come into my head. Pulling over I took in this inspiring scene for 30 minutes. Will any of the ideas I played with make it to a canvas? I do not know, but working on such ideas strengthen my imagination.