Five Minutes or a Life Time

“It took me a lifetime to create this painting, or may be just five minutes.”

It is my way of answering what most people want to know: How long did it take? I sometimes wonder if time is important for them to calculate the price asked, did I spend enough time to earn the money, or do I know what I’m doing?

When I create, my whole body is engaged. I smell, hear, see, touch, and taste the scene I’m creating. Having said that, what I don’t experience, is my immediate surroundings. Time, the doorbell, the rest of the family, keeping my overcoat, palette, hands and easel clean, are all irrelevant. This part, in essence, is the last stage of my creating process, where only my artist’s brain is in control. This part is the 2% activity I really love and live for.

Nine-eight percent (98%) of the time is spent to study, to read more, to learn from other artists and to plan. Sometimes the inspiration is like a waterfall, pouring through my artistic system, which can be very tiring. To catch that one perfect drop takes time, a lot of time and of course perspiration.

To create the perfect piece of art, you have to use your intellectual side of the brain. You have to consider what part of the scene in front of you caught your attention first. Not so easy when the scene is chocolate box beautiful. The next step is to make sure the scene will have a good composition and that the most important part is on the golden mean. After some notan paintings, color maps, the line study, the choice of the color palette is next, following by the execution of the painting process. Within this broad framework there is a lot of smaller considerations to take into account.

Even with all these activities behind the scenes, some mishaps will occur. The “Pears”, as a still life water color painting, is such an example. We were seated around the table, and so the pears had a different view for every student. It was expected to paint in a realistic style. Needless to say, I could not do it in one hour’s time. Back at home, I was so disappointed in myself that I submersed the painting in a bath of water and leave it there for almost 5 hours.

I let it dry overnight and the next morning I suddenly had the urge to expressed myself via the “boxes”. You can still see the pears, but it turned out to be an abstract piece of art. The “box idea” was my way of rebelling against the notion to put people/artists in boxes.

I asked a viewer why this particular painting was of so much interest, and the answer came: “..because of the emotion it portrays”. I told the story behind the painting to this viewer, and “Pears” was sold. I knew then, that communication with the viewer/ potential buyer through my art, is very important to me, as long I stay true to myself.