Looking at paintings…

DSC05230unsharpscaleAs a painter, I’ve long felt that looking at paintings may be as important as the process of actually creating paintings.

Strangely, I was reminded of this when going through some old movies and came across “Bean – The Ultimate Disaster Movie”. I’m not ordinarily a fan of Mr. Bean per se, but this movie is a fun spoof on the art world. Mr Bean, a lowly gallery attendant, is mistaken for a leading art scholar. When asked what he does, he replies, quite accurately:  “I sit in the corner and look at the paintings”.

This is at once funny and also a bit of excellent advice.

Looking at images is at the core of visual arts. Being intrigued, delighted, disturbed, influenced – directly or indirectly, contributes to a deeper level of seeing and feeling. Relating to patterns, colours and textures drives our creative processes. This is what we remember and as the specifics fade, a new relationship remains.

In our paintings, we then sense which direction to take, which marks to protect, which to work with and which to obliterate. One way, and a very good way, to find your path is to look at lots of images.

Sit and look at the paintings….