Monday, May 9, 2011

It's There to Be Pretty - Why I Paint

Since putting up my show (incidentally you should check it out if you're in Goleta!) I've been thinking a lot about the nature of art. This was furthered by having a few of my good friends ask me to talk with them about my paintings.

A lot of times you hear people talking about art in a very sophisticated and inaccessible way as though it has to have a complicated and profound meaning. This is particularly difficult for the average viewer to understand when the art piece in question is a solid white canvas or a pile of elephant dung – and I don't blame the viewer for thinking “what the hell is this?!” As someone who makes art, I often wonder what other artists were thinking. Sometimes, I - unfortunately - know exactly what they were thinking.

All art doesn't have to have meaning, but many people believe it does. Sometimes art's whole purpose is to be beautiful and that is all.  It is just there to be pretty. Some people might say this is a silly purpose to exist but, in fact, it is incredibly important.  Looking at something beautiful can change your emotional state and therefore influence your day.  If you look at something beautiful all the time, it can literally influence your entire life. 

As an artist, I can explain the influences that caused me to paint a certain thing, or how I brought a piece to completion, but often I paint something for a very simple reason. Many times it is because I wanted something that would make me happy when I looked at it, or something that would use up leftover paint, or I was attracted to a particular texture and wanted to play with it on canvas. Fundamentally the creative process gives me pleasure. It has always done so, since I was less than two years old. I have to admit, most of the things I paint, I paint to be beautiful. Some artists paint political or social statements, but if I try to paint something like that, it ends up being contrived. It's not what is on my heart to paint. My heart says make things beautiful that reflect my spirit. It's not complicated. It's only profound in its simplicity.

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