Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Creating the Soul of a Vision!

I well remember a Van Gogh exhibit that I attended back in college, and in particular, his painting entitled, "Pair of  Shoes"(1886.)  Van Gogh's work often expressed sentiments that he felt about his subjects, and in this depiction of a workman's well-worn, seasoned boots conveyed a moving portrait of their owner. Transcending a simple arrangement of inanimate objects, this painting communicated much more--a sense of family, belonging, humility, character, and perseverance—human qualities.

"Pair of Old Shoes" Vincent van Gogh
I recalled “Old Shoes” again today when a talented artist friend (Kate) asked me to critique some of her newest work. It happened to be a series featuring shoes—all types, from work to casual to dancing, and each painting spoke volumes about the people who wore them.

Kate wondered whether she had become a little obsessive about her theme, and that got me to thinking about the role of theme in art. As a writer, I aim to weave it into a piece in such a way that the characters or subjects, the setting, storyline, events, direct the readers to interpret a theme for themselves.  Similarly, art presents the same challenge; accomplished through composition, lighting, color, brushwork, etc., and it’s always gratifying when, without the benefit of words, a particular painting successfully conveys my intent visually.

I have always been inspired to paint still life and make it anything but still. In the same way that a poet crafts his work with precision, incorporating metaphors that make you think, associate and subsequently be moved in some way, and like Van Gogh and my artist friend, I especially enjoy giving simple objects human qualities; creating something of beauty that people will respond to emotionally, visually, intellectually.

1 comment:

martinealison said...

Une très jolie publication... Des mots authentiques pour accompagner une très belle oeuvre.

Gros bisous, j'essaierai de revenir vous faire un petit coucou avant mon départ, autrement je vous dis à la mi-septembre.