Why I Paint
Some people meditate to relax. Walks in the woods, a professional massage, and listening to to music are among other ways to quiet our minds. I paint. When I’m holding a brush and swooping it across a canvas, I can think of nothing else. I sometimes begin in the morning and am surprised that day has turned into night so quickly.
Art enthusiasts can appreciate a beautiful or provocative painting and desire to own it. I am more likely to dissect the artist’s technique and imagine how I could incorporate it into my own style and subject matter. After visiting an art gallery, I am elated by ideas and compelled to return home to start painting.
I am fascinated by people’s responses to my work. What about the piece speaks to them? Motivations for buying my work are many and varied- for example, compliment décor, give a unique gift, indulge in child-like wonder, impress a client, or touch a deeply emotional chord. Selling my work is a joyful experience, especially when I know my painting has brought lasting pleasure.
Why I Write
Writing helps me formulate my thinking. I do a lot of thinking, maybe overthinking. Once I reduce a subject to writing, I achieve a sense of completion that enables me to let the subject go. Just like when I am painting, I have to walk away from the finished piece for a few days or weeks, then come back to review it again before I know I am truly finished. The process of getting to completion of a manuscript is a struggle--not because I must overcome inertia, but because writing requires thoughtful planning
After I organize my thoughts into an outline or logical sequence, the greater challenge of communication begins. How will I communicate what I want my audience to understand or feel when every reader brings idiosyncratic perceptions and biases to an author's work? I must be able to tap into the truth of the common human experience, a skill that is the hallmark of great writers whose insights we wish to never forget. I write because I seek that lofty goal. On occasion, I succeed and become somewhat giddy over having accomplished it.