thoughts on painting

I've always thought that I prefer the title of 'painter' rather than 'artist'. Perhaps this is because any artistry that is involved exists purely in the eye of the beholder! 

On the same theme,
I was once asked many years ago why I painted.  I remember being a little 'thrown' by this, especially as the person asking the question was examining a painting of mine rather too closely at the time!  I can't remember my exact reply, but I think it was along these lines...'painting is one of the few things that makes any sense to me'.  I feel this holds true for me today. 

The desire to attempt to reveal and celebrate the world in paint, in terms of light and shade, seems a wholly sensible and worthwhile lifetime's pursuit...even if this often ends in failure and helps to fuel my studio woodburner!

I have always thought that the word 'painting' is equivalent to the word 'feeling', with each
brushstroke expressing more than a simple phrase or sentence, at least when in the hands of an expressive and accomplished painter.  Some of the wonderful passages of paint in an expansive landscape by Sir John Arnesby Brown, come to mind.     

The expression contained in the brushstroke tells a story and possesses an energy. A brushstroke could become the effortless expression of the last glint of a setting sun on a cold winter's day, or the suggestion of a distant figure leaning into the breeze on a wide stretch of Norfolk beach

above: work in progress 
below: paints & brushes


I still feel there's a certain magic or
alchemy involved in painting, especially as seen in the works of a great painter such as Sir John Arnesby Brown.  

It is the realization of all these things when observing the work of some
of our wonderful British landscape painters and others that continues to inspire me.

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