“Painting is the most magical of mediums,” said Chuck Close. “The transcendence is truly amazing to me every time I go to a museum and I see how somebody figured another way to rub colored dirt on a flat surface and make space where there is no space or make you think of a life experience.”

Watercolor washes by Alison Nicholls

Watercolor washes by Alison Nicholls

It really is a strange thing, to want to paint your own version of reality and, by doing so, spark emotion in those who view it. Why not just show people the real thing? Why do we find it interesting to look at an artist’s version of reality instead?

A painting shows us what the artist wanted us to see, but it also shows us something about the artist who created it. There are layers of meaning in each work. Maybe you see them, and maybe you don’t. Maybe you don’t care to see them. Maybe they are blatantly obvious, maybe deeply hidden. But they are there. And sometimes they awaken emotion in us.

I often wonder if paintings can create emotion precisely because they are motionless, Does this lack of movement give us time to think more deeply? Like watching a movie in slow motion – where each frame and expression seems to have more meaning, because we see them pass by so slowly?

Who knows?
But I have to agree with Chuck, painting is the most magical of mediums…


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