Artists often hear people say, when viewing their work, “Even I could do that!” I smile when I hear it, because I used to have similar thoughts. Only mine were more along the lines of, “I wish I could do that.” Twenty years ago I was a graphic designer and amateur photographer, creating newsletters and websites, arranging other people’s words and images on the page; using my own photos to fill in where necessary. I had always admired visual artists from a distance, assuming I was not and never would be part of their creative realm, but wishing it were so.
One day I read about a local artists’ workshop, decided to attend it, and put a brush and paint to paper for the first time. Twenty years later, I still paint with this group of talented artists, who became my mentors, friends, and peers.
For me, painting expresses the world in ways photography cannot. Whether creating a landscape, figure, still life or abstract, an artist combines skill with tangibles – light, value, color, subject matter – as well as the intangibles of her own experience, point of view, memory and emotion, rendering a unique interpretation of each image, layering her own subtle purpose with each stroke. Why do I paint? To interpret a memory in a re-imagined way.
In my artistic journey I have been most satisfied to learn that an artist is, simply, one who creates. And I have learned to respond in a positive way to those who remark, “Even I could do that” by saying, “Yes, of course you could.”