First there is an idea. Then marks, colour, tone, shape, image … Slowly something pushes it’s way out through the canvas—making itself known... but this idea was mine: out of my head and heart. Who and what is this intruder...?

There we stand, the two of us. Opposing each other with a cool respect ... The painting and the painter ... Each refusing to make compromise ... Hours, days, weeks go by. The odd forage, skirmish, and roll around struggle—we wrestle, we fall back; we stare at each other taunting, daring, whispering: sometimes insults and sometimes endearing provoative words. Then one day at last the painter gives up the fight bending in to the proud marks refusing to leave the canvas. The painting in turn submits to the taming, a truce is reached; the fight has turned into a love affair, a compromise. The painting says something… the painter also has had something to say, some... it is finished... over to the viewers to make of it what they will

There are three elements to a painting or rather three personalities of significance. The painting it self; the painter, and the viewer; each is of paramount importance. Each has his say in an ongoing way. Perhaps the painter would like to think of himself (herself) as being the prime mover of the three, and in the genesis of the creative process this is probably true: without the painter and the idea and the inital marks there would be nothing. But in no time the painting itself has its own identity its own say on how things will be and what will be said ...

When the dance between these two is perfected and finished the third element comes in to play with a powerful entrance, with strong opinions and with a far more enduring influence. What the viewer sees, what the viewer interprerates, is what will become the paintings message. And it will have little or no regard for the prime mover! This is a strange and odd thing and is a fascinating reflection of the way many things are in life.

Pacing around the room, head empty, heart away in some distant country, inspiration on holliday; moody and blue, the dreaded atmosphere of boredem seatling around me… how long will this go on? l wait. l berate myself for ever thinking that l could paint or be a painter—where did that ridiculous idea come from? l must be a fraud—yes, that’s what l am: a fraud ... Sigh upon sigh. Ah me!

Then she arrives, throwing the door open and making such an entrance … inspiration, the drama queen. Inspriration the enigmatic one, the wilfull, untamable lover ... but, oh, how you love her when she comes in the whole room lights up! You feel like colour has come back into your life! She brings such joy ... but how long will she stay what can you do to keep her with you ? Work as long and hard as possible and hope you don’t offend her too soon. She’s off like the wind when she doesn’t get enough attention. Then it is all blue, self-doubting and plain old hard work again …




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