An artist needs to hold your attention. What’s interesting here? Why would anyone stop and look at this? Lately, I’ve been asking myself these questions when I plan a painting.
I’m most inspired by paintings that catch your eye, take hold of your gaze and demand your unbridled attention. Whether through interesting composition or bold, daring brushstrokes, these painters create an illusion that’s so enticing, it sears itself into your mind’s eye.
The maestros (maestri for the sake of my Italian vocabulary) that best demonstrate this for me are Andrew Wyeth, John Singer Sargent, and Van Gogh. These artists all knew how to create dynamic impact - no matter the subject. They didn’t rely solely on themes to tell a story, their brushstrokes did the talking for them. Van Gogh made a field of crows worthy of artistic study. Sargent made Venetian watercolors as breathtaking as the medieval city itself. Wyeth transformed bleak American plains into jarring experiences laid out monochromatically.
When you see their work, you don’t stop and think - you stop and admire.
For me, the painting is the end game. The real world landscape or figures serve as inspiration, but I won’t try to capture them meticulously - that would spoil the illusion that I’m offering to you, my audience.
After all, an artist needs that illusion to hold your attention, to provide something captivating that will enrich your life every time you see it. This is what I aim to provide to my audience. I want my collectors to own something that will brighten their lives, something compelling and unique.
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