It is all an Illusion

photo43What is an oil painting?  It's simply layers of paint of different colors, lines, and shapes on canvas.  Maybe some other mediums mixed in.  But basically that’s it.  For the most part the canvas is a rectangular shape.  This is the conventional format that we agree upon and anything else would only serve as a distraction. Often there are some charcoal lines underneath the paint, a drawing.  Then layers of colors, lines, and shapes on canvas.  The artist’s skill is maneuvering and forming these colors, lines, and shapes in such a way that they project an illusion to the viewer. The illusion that can move you from where you are in that moment to another place that you imagine while looking at the painting.  It can draw you in.  If I'm doing it right you are "savoring the colors of a moment." Obvious? Maybe.  But how conscious are we of the illusion? For centuries we took the illusion for granted and then the abstract art movement blew the illusion to pieces. They began to simply celebrate the essence of the expression, the shapes, the colors, and lines for their own sake. The uninitiated argument is that this is somehow demonstrating less artistic still or even creative ability.  Not so.  It’s just not demonstrating the illusion. What you see above is my first layer of lines, charcoal lines.  Blocks of colors in different shapes will follow; they are the colors that I see underneath colors.  How do I see this?  I just use experience that I’ve learned to trust over time.  The illusion resides in my head and I build it layer by layer. People will ask me "Do you enjoy painting vineyards?"  They are not my subject, color is my subject.  Color that's inspired by natural ambient light and the illusion that it forms in my head.
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