Stacey mentioned, "I like to think of it ( painting )as less "reporting" and more "poetry"."
In light of that, I wanted to share a few quotes and a book that many of you have probably read, but for those who haven't, I recommend it as a 'must read'.
The book is "Art & fear", 'Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of ARTMAKING', by David Bayles and Ted Orland. They call it an Artists Survival Guide, and it asks questions like these....
-What is your art really about?
-Where is it going?
-What stands in the way of getting it there?
This is part of what they write in the intro-
"It is about committing your future to your own hands, placing Free Will above predestination, choice above chance. It is about finding your own work"
Here's a sampling of some of their words to the wise...er-artists! ;-)
"In large measure becoming an artist constists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work personal, and in following your own voice, which makes your work distinctive."
"Making art provides uncomfortably accurate feedback about the gap that inevitaly exists between what you intended to do, and what you did. In fact, if artmaking did not tell you (the maker) so enormously much about yourself, then making art that matters to you would be impossible."
"...The best you can do is make art you care about-and lot's of it!"
"...the first few brushstrokes to the blank canvas satisfy the requirements of many possible paintings, while the last few fit only that painting-they could go nowhere else."
"A finished piece is, in effect, a test of correspondence between imagination and execution."
From Ben Shahn, "The painter who stands before an empty canvas must think in terms of paint." :)
"Fears about yourself prevent you from doing your 'best' work, while fears about your reception by others prevent you from doing your 'own' work."
"By definition, 'whatever' you have is exactly what you need to produce your best work. There is probably no clearer waste of psychic energy than worrying about how much talent you have-and probably no worry more common. This is true even among artists of considerable accomplishment."
*Have you ordered the book yet??????*
"What you need to know about the next piece is contained in the last piece."
On finding your work-
"If, indeed, for any given time only a certain sort of work resonates with life, then that is the work you need to be doing in that moment. If you try to do some other work, you will miss your moment." (That is pretty heavy if you think about it. Not sure how to know that, but it makes sense.)
"SIMPLY PUT, ART THAT DEALS WITH IDEAS IS MORE INTERESTING THAN ART THAT DEALS WITH TECHNIQUE."
Okay... enough of my tease. There are a few books that we as artists need to have on the shelf. 'The Art Spirit' by R. Henri, 'Hawthorne on Painting', to name a couple of books for thought, and these two. That's my 2cents.
This is a great $10.00 book of only about 120 pages. There is a companion book written by Ted Orland "The View From The Studio Door: How Artists Find Their Way In An Uncertain World", which I just got and have not read yet.