painting of peaches

Problems in Painting’s Proportions

I Love Painting!

If writing reveals what I know (Francis Bacon) and reading, that I am not alone (C.S. Lewis), then painting teaches me words aren’t the only ways to communicate.

One of the best things about paintings is their silence — which prompts reflection and random reverie. ~Mark Stevens (An American actor)

Painting is an antidote to sad thoughts and a tonic for low days – forcing me to see what I overlook – or take for granted. In my autumn’s garden – a euphemism for a few steps short of dotage – I see too much that isn’t beautiful, that is confusing, scary, and just plain stupid.

An Example

Grandma Moses took up painting late in life and I think I understand why. Painting is a perfect reason for staring at beauty, for thinking about beauty – for trying to create beauty, while never being chastised for dawdling.

Most often, I paint from photographs — people or places and things seen by others. Their sights that caught my imagination. One would think simply copying the light, the shapes, colors, shadow and angles in the photo would be easy – but, no.

Problems arise:

  • How to I get the proportions right – going from small to large? A challenge for one whose default is to blow things all out of proportion!
  • How do I get the colors in the tubes to reflect the colors I see in the photo? Learning about color and all its components is almost as big a subject as Shakespeare!

But these are easy problems to resolve, compared to those in news reports, or those with which many friends and family grapple. I can paint over some of my calamities on canvas.   I can’t do that in life.

If my painting could lighten anybody’s load, I would be thrilled. It can’t – but it can help me make better use of the wonderful gift of time that is still mine to enjoy!

A painting is what you make of it, besides which, ‘Moon, Weeping’ has a better ring to it than ‘Paintbrush, Dripping.’ ~ Robert Brault

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