I met Van Gogh on the road to Tarascon, and seized him by the arm, "Vincent", I've come back from the future - they've made you big – one of the greatest artists who ever lived !
He was concentrated, on his idea for a canvas, "The painter on the road to Tarascon”.
“I've had the breaks I need – met some impressionists and some other great painters in Paris, came to the South and got the dazzling colour idea, even the failed "Yellow house" community with my friend Gauguin – all served, don't feel sorry for me – I don't even care about all that - I just want - I've just got to paint."
When we were small – primary school – and loved drawing/art, as most kids do, we drew mainly war scenes – for us a great artist would be someone who could draw a perfect e.g. horse from memory - the idea of drawing from life was unknown to us – I guess renaissance painters and the “pompiers” impressed us most.
My grandchildren paint war scenes - tanks aircraft - and machines - too (boys) or princesses and horses (girls). Hmm, that's interesting – a gender difference in selection of subject matter (don't think there is one in technique?) - probably disappears after adolescence, I think. What did kids draw in previous eras? Do any childhood drawings of famous artists remain? Surely. This mindset seems to continue to adolescence (graphic representation of reality– so mastered it can be done from memory) – and adolesence is when a lot of people stop drawing (percentage of students enrolled in art studies + hobbyists = ?%)
View from a tower block, acrylic on panel 80 x 120 1992 - a lifetime ago!
When Rich's big brother's friend - who (wow!) was studying at art collge (we were about 11) unrolled the oft-used huge piece of heavy paper and showed us a charcoal drawing of a steam train - more realistic and with darker darks and shading we hadn't even dreamed of with our little HB pencils (and we thought we were so good!) - it blew us away. First in a long line to do so. It's people like that who have affected me more than the "greats" I gradually discovered.
When I went to university (to study science), I felt I wanted to draw and could maybe do some nice stuff in pencil or black wax crayon (!) - I did draw on and off and kept visiting the galleries, etc.
This is also when I bought those Michel de Gallard posters that had such an impact on me (Waterhouse's "Lady of Shallot" and other Pre-Raphaelite paintings were big at the time too (must say in pasing that this present revival à l'ARC of 19th century art - Bougereau and the pompiers - is deserved from a technical point of view - but the content can easily be maudlin - Zorn, Sorolla, Sargant are a beeter bet - I do like Bastien Lepage a lot).
The other thing was during a period at around age 21 when I was unemployed - the beautiful green of the moss/lichen on a beech tree trunk - I wanted to paint it and so I started painting again - hey, even did evening classes at the art college (they were soooo useless back then - do your own thing, folks!).
Why paint, then? 1) for pleasure - it is such a pleasure! 2) to discover what's "in me" - I just don't know what I'm going to come up with - in fact, when things get good, it seems to come from outside/beyond...
What motivates you to do art? Please leave a comment...