Being Creative and Original

Since the earliest cave drawings, the silent and visual language of art has been a vehicle contrived by man for two purposes; to express themselves in some more or less permanent medium, and to describe and communicate with others about what they have seen, or imagined.

It would be impossible to depict anything “just like it is,” for there’s far more than can be seen or even comprehended. We humans do have limited visual and mental capabilities and, because of realities’ vastness, profusion, diversity and complexity, we painters must make choices about what we depict and how we describe it.

We call what we do Fine Art because it is, literally a refining process. As we paint, our goal is to clarify, intensify, and interpret the meaning of reality, specifically, as we ourselves perceive it. In other words, Fine Art is a show and tell process with the telling, by far, being the most important element.

Consider this; anything ever created or produce by man began with a thought, an idea. Every application of paint to canvas or paper is preceded by a thought and followed by another. We artists must listen to our own inner voices, follow hunches and intuition and trust our judgments. Creativity begins where the artist departs from strict imitations of his subject and imposes a rhythm (or order) of his own creation, according to his own observations and sense of fitness. We must paint by feeling, not formula.

The power, beauty, and success of our work depends entirely on the decisions we’ve made or neglected to make, as we relate one line to another, one shape to another, one value or edge to another, or one delicious color to another. If we merely attempt to describe things “just as they are,” changing nothing, adding nothing, we unfortunately may obliterate the one thing that could possibly make it a work of art, our personal choices. We must show people more than what they already see. What they cannot see, when looking at your actual subject, are your unique perceptions. That’s what Fine Art is all about.

Albert Einstein said “Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Use your imagination at the easel, and express yourself – you are your greatest asset.

Don Foster

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