Let me show you my best painting secret!
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Are you aware of your feelings when you view a painting? Perhaps most people who are compelled to look at a painting are experiencing an immediate response. The response to sensory stimulation through feelings triggered by the image. If asked there and then what their feelings are they may be at a loss for words. This is normal. Feelings and logical reasoning do not like to work at the same time. Ever tried painting and giving a learned discourse on art techniques at the same time? Not easy and I can vouch for that.
Following upon my last post about finding meaning in a painting (or art in general) I do believe that every artist must have his or her feelings engaged when creating. It is not a mechanical procedure even if it takes only ten minutes to actually do the painting. Time is not the essence - it is the emotion. That is the point. The viewer has to have her own feelings at work when looking at the painting too.
Why is this important for the artist? Without the artist being engaged emotionally the painting is half done. The half comprising techniques used may be flawless, but the overall work is always incomplete. The collector will know the difference perhaps only when she sees another painting and compares them. But the end result is always the same - disappointment.
If the artist's painting can stimulate the viewers feelings, whatever they may be, then the painting will have made a connection. A sale may follow or perhaps not. But ultimately it is the connection that artists are truly seeking. Sales do not feed the soul. As for collectors they too will appreciate that a connection exists with an artist whose work they admire. There is nothing to stop a collector from expressing this even though no purchase is made.
Sales are important for rent and things, but it is the connection that sustains us over the long haul.