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January 12, 2005

Significance and intent

A piece should have significance and intent, or the why and what for factor, WWFF – if you’re into the whole abbreviation thing.

Significance is a personal thing, the why of it – why I am doing the piece. The significance can be hard to find, my painting is driven by a passion to put down an image, and when people say: “why did you paint that?” I can’t tell them, I can’t come out with a long winded explanation, I don’t do art-bollocks. I could. I could talk about the surface non-surface interface creating a dialogue between the image and the deconstructed picture plane.

But I don’t, I’m old fashioned and adopt the Beckett approach to creativity. When asked why he wrote Waiting For Godot, Samuel replied that he didn’t know, when asked what it means he said again he didn’t know, everything he knows about the play he wrote in the play.

The painting is the painting, Everything I feel about the painting is in the painting, if it wasn’t the painting wouldn’t be complete. The significance of the picture therefore is the picture’s existence. [Pick the bones out of that Jean-Paul.]

Intent is possibly more external. What do I paint for? I feel I should paint to earn money, a hang-up from the Protestant Work Ethic, but as my pictures have yet to find their market [if you know of anyone who wants an eight foot wide by four foot high nude on their wall, let me know] I can’t say my painting earns me a living. In many ways this is a Good Thing as it gives me creative freedom. [That the children have no shoes is another issue.]

I paint to express myself. I paint to communicate feelings and emotions and throw a brief light onto a dark corner of our lives, illuminating some facet of our intriguing existence. And I seem to be driven to it. It excites me. When painting, with a naked model, north light, big brushes and a free flowing palette, I feel fulfilled and happy.

Posted by john at January 12, 2005 12:21 PM

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