I going to Greece tomorrow for 10 days. Yes, I feel blessed and everyone tells me this is once in a lifetime trip. Maybe so, but as an artist, I hope this is more the norm! Traveling inspires me in my painting and painting in Greece is no exception. Even though I struggle to be a better plein air painter, it helps me in my studio painting. One of my mentors, Kim English, told me when I first started painting that plein air painting "helps him bring his habits from plein air into the studio." He is right as it seems the immediacy of plein air painting offers a fresher approach and helps me to paint an honest expression of what I initially see. I try to stay true to that honest expression in my studio.
Speaking of honestly painted, thus the name of my blog, I wanted to be able to have a conversation with other artists about the creative process. Avoiding the temptation of painting to sell versus painting for the pure joy of painting is the precipice for which many artists hang. And in this economy, painting to sell is a huge temptation and for me, it is also what robs me of my joy of painting. Don't get me wrong, as a professional artist you want your paintings to sell. Who doesn't?! But, there is a precipitous balance between providing paintings to your gallery that you know and they know will sell, and painting for exploration to tap into areas that stretch you artistically. Exploration may take you into styles that do not fit what your collectors know of your work and much less you take 5 steps backwards to take one step forward. If I am the only artist that struggles with that, please let me know!
So Greece is my experiment to start this honest expression of painting what I see because what does inspire me. I will be painting everyday and I am going to put up my paintings whether they are good or bad (that is a very hard thing for me to do!) so you can see the progression of the trip and a few thoughts. I will try not to bore you with lots of details, only the highlights and quick moments. After all, that is what I paint. Moments.