Friday, February 6, 2009

Another Word For Feeling

Evening Pines #2
9 x 8 oil on linen
Available at Deborah Paris Fine Art

I frequently tramped eight or ten miles to keep
an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch,
or an old acquaintance among the pines. ~Henry David Thoreau

This week has been a bit chaotic- house guests, a painting deadline for a show and other personal business to attend to. But, I didn't want too much time to pass before acknowledging all the interesting comments to my last post. I think many artists can identify with that feeling that a shift in the work is underway. Another point that was mentioned several times is the role of emotion in painting. I used to think that painting was mostly an intellectual exercise, in pursuit of an aesthetic concept. Now, I understand that it could not have held my interest and captivated my imagination so powerfully, if that was all it meant to me. George Inness, the great late 19th century American landscape painter, believed that the power of painting is in its appeal to the emotions. Edgar Payne, an early 20th century landscape master said "knowledge precedes execution." I think they were both right. Just as the poet selects a perfect word, phrase or form to reveal meaning, everything we can learn or understand about our craft, our materials, and our subject is brought to bear to convey our passion for the things we choose to paint and for painting itself. As artists, we need both our reason and our heart-I know I do.

"Painting is but another word for feeling." John Constable


Casey Klahn said...


Deborah Paris said...

Thank you Casey. I have to admit, this one is a favorite of mine.

Jacquelyn Modesitt Schindehette said...

It is amazing how we can paint for a period of time and then change seemingly overnight. Growth happens that way...technique is refined, skill is honed, insight sharpened. When the late premier landscape artist A.E. "Bean" Backus was asked if he had improved over the span of his 80+ year career he said "not necessarily, just different".

TSL said...

So beautifully expressed, as is your painting.