A New Favorite

What do you like to hear when someone sees one of your paintings for the 1st time? “Thomas Kinkade move over”, “That looks

24x18 oil


just like a picture?” Okay, those are actually some of the things that are like nails on a blackboard. What I really like to hear is things that involve, “feel”, or “senses” of some sorts. When I go out to paint, this is what I’m trying to capture, not to bring back a pretty picture, but to bring back a feel or sense of what I shook my bones… so to speak.

But beyond that, there are those that follow your work and comment time after time with a thumbs up like on Facebook, or heart on Pinterest.

What I have found that is reassuring for myself is when someone tells me that they have a “new favorite”. Why I like to hear this, (well that is if they are telling the truth and not just placating me) is because each time I go out to paint, I do try to do my best but more often than not things don’t quite come out right. My ratio of good paintings to bad paintings is not what I had hoped for. But when you somehow miraculously come up with a winner, it’s there in my mind that I can’t top this, so why even try?

I paint because I love to create, and I love to create “paintings”. Paintings that express, paintings that intrigue, that are interesting, that evoke a feel or mood from the viewer. When I go to the art museums I am most captivated by those massive landscapes that are epic in nature, the majestic scenes that encompass near and far. Then at the same time, I could look for ever at some of the more intimate scenes that fill the painting with mystery and wonder. This is what I want to create in my work, and will continue to strive for it. It’s what I like, it’s what I want to see, and sometimes I get an inkling of that in my work and it excites me that I’m going down the right road.

When someone tells me they have a new favorite it tells me first that they had a favorite in the 1st place, that’s good, and then secondly and more important is the fact that I have improved on what I had previously done.

My goal is to create a masterpiece, I’ve seen them, not often but they are out there. It can be done, by me? I’m not sure. I don’t think I have what it takes at the moment, but with enough practice, maybe.

In a workshop with the AIS Master artist Kenn Backhaus he spoke of being a student of the arts, and now I understand why. I go out to paint from life, and when I do this I study the land, and decide what and what not to paint. I hope to always be a student of painting, learning constantly and working to improve with each piece. Taking those miles of hidden paintings and

Prairie Fire

Prairie Fire

learning why they did not work, and going from there.

It’s like history, and unlike my youngest daughter, I love it. “Those who don’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it”

Learn from the failures, and revel in the successes. But not for too long, you’ve got a new favorite to create. Thanks for listening.