Oil on wood panel
6 x 8
I think if you were to ask any artist which painting of theirs they liked the most they would, to a person, say “none of them”… At least the ones I’ve talked to have, (You may have to ply them with libations.) It’s a hard fact that as artists we get way too close to our own work to really enjoy the piece as much as an outsider would. It’s just too familiar to really be that intriguing. Also, every artist will also tell you, if you get them in the right circumstance or, again, with enough booze in them, that we really don’t know how we do what we do. Sure we know in the greater sense, “apply paint to canvas with brush” kind of knowledge, but it’s the other finer points of creating art, the stuff that’s happening waaaay down below the surface that we just can’t put into words. As a result there’s always “happy accidents” that occur. It’s these little gems that intrigue me about my own work.
For the most part I look at the entirety of a painting always aware that no matter how “good” I am I could always be better and yet without fail there’s always a spot, sometimes two, in every painting that just sings. It’s an odd experience to try and explain, so just trust me, it’s true. For example in this particular painting my favorite spot is the area just behind the brim of the fish’s hat over on the left hand side. The way the clouds come together there and play off the light illuminating the tops of the cypress trees just happened so nicely that I wish I could achieve that level of perfection over the entirety of every painting I ever do. Unfortunately that’s not the way it works and so I struggle boldly on.
So the next time you’re at a gallery opening or happen to be chatting up an artist in line at the coffee shop or at waiting to see a Metallica cover band at the bar up the street, don’t ask them which is their favorite piece of art, you already know that answer. Ask them instead, of any given painting, which is their favorite part… You may need beer.