The Artist at Work

The Artist at Work
The Artist at Work

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Why Paint?

"Theirs is not to reason why, Theirs but to do and die." - from "Charge of the Light Brigade" by Alfred Lord Tennyson

The questions, "How did you learn to paint?" and "Who are your influences?" are inextricably linked for Marcus.

I am self taught with a deep appreciation for the amazing artists who have given their lives to create timeless master paintings. I am a voyeur, who cherishes a peek at the provocative lives of other artists. Through the lens of their passion, much can be learned.

My influences are many, and with numerous styles.
Holbien Robert Bateman
Vermeer Julie Speed
Rembrandt Walton Ford
Van Gogh The Wyeth Family
Edward Hopper

The litany of names could indeed be a "light brigade" of artists. Men and women who could do no other but create through color, and values, paint, brush, canvas, all of them compelled and driven to express a vision bigger than the individual.

The question is not so much "why paint?" as it is, "how can I refuse?" The calling is irresistible and irrefutable. Tennyson's Light Brigade shows how one can be helpless and heroic at the same time. Artists are also like that. The artist makes a masterpiece from his flawed, often heartbreaking, unique experience. He transforms what he sees into rare form through his love and his skills. From Vermeer to Andrew Wyeth to Julie Speed, the lives of artists bear this out. Marcus writes:

An endless smile forms as I consider the depth of inspiration that echoes in my brain and seeps through my senses. . . Inspiration surrounds me! I gather from the daily bombardment of stimulation - the birds we feed, the sounds and sights of the familiar, changes in landscape resulting from the growth in the mountains of western N.C., and also the natural change of seasons. It's impossible not to see priceless beauty as well as the destructive pressures of a modern society.

Perhaps the painter's burning question is not why?, but how? How to convey everything honestly, how to charge the image with the urgency and vigor of life, how to fully honor the love of the world that so quickly vanishes?

1 comment: