Soul Painting Notes
Painting from the soul is vital I believe. I am convinced that in order to paint well we absolutely have to have a love for our subject. It must reach deep down into our soul. I know that seems obvious to some but really, it needs to be considered seriously. It’s true that most pros can paint anything if they need to, but I’m talking about paintings that are a real window to an artist’s soul,their muse, their commitment to painting. I mean the subjects that make me want to jump out of bed in the morning to paint. The places that I dream about and cannot wait to come back to.
I have a few places that speak to me deeply. They are imprinted in my heart and have become part of my soul. Some I have lost, through leaving the paint out world, others through ending residencies. New ones are discovered, like my own Deer Woods Trail, built in 2015, and the Vero Beach area, thanks to my collector.
These examples are what I mean about knowing the place you paint and having the heart for it. This doesn’t happen over night, or even within a year. A beloved place reveals itself to us slowly and coyly, holding back secrets for us to uncover one at a time.
I believe it is only this relationship that opens us to the skills we need, the emotion we feel to paint our best work. I have always advised patrons to buy paintings of their favorite places from the artists who paint there regularly. I could paint California and SW paintings but they would be soulless, because they mean nothing to me emotionally. When I paint around the South, I have a lifetime of connections to the culture, food, land and people here. They mean everything to me. I believe that bond allows my soul to be mirrored in the paintings I do because this landscape is precious to me and those I love.
Returning to these precious places restores my love of land and painting. Florida is my home. The farm and conservation lands I am privy to mean so much. I support the land trusts in north Florida because they are saving these precious lands for me to enjoy and to record on canvas. This is my true mission as a painter.
More musings for artists and collectors to come…
1 bag of chopped, pre-washed collard greens
1 small onion diced
1 thick slice of ham, diced
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of dill
1 can chicken broth
Put it all in a pot and simmer until greens are tender. Add pepper sauce if desired.