Saturday, July 11, 2009
Pablo Picasso has been famously quoted as saying something like, "To paint a dove, one must first wring its neck." I always thought it must have something to do with his cubist style, but in a broader sense, we all do that when we paint. Even the most realistic, sensitive works are about taking something's essence and turning it into something else - a painting. And, in the end, the painting has to survive or fail on its own merits. Two dimensions and a limited palette (they're *all* limited) is all you get, regardless of how dynamic & fascinating the subject matter that stands in front of your easel.
The payoff is that you have an experience (probably a learning experience), a souvenir and something you can share (even down through the generations). And, of course, the ultimate payoff is your increased awareness and facility. The qualities that you see in front of you eventually become part of you.