We get better at painting by painting

Blossoms Reflecting, Kent Wallis

The following commentary is from well-known artist Kent R. Wallis......

The pseudo-intellectual community will have us analyzing art for analysis sake; viewing art for viewing sake; buying art for buying sake. They will tell us white is black, good is bad, ugly is beautiful. All this will be done in an effort to convince the ordinary person that he or she cannot understand nor appreciate art. They endeavor to
build a class system separating the 'ordinary' from themselves. Hence snobbery has told us what's good and what's bad in art. Juries are built to accept or reject art based upon these notions. And notions they are, absurd to any real thinking individual. The artists that bite into this foundationless philosophy wander off into avante guard ramblings without ever stopping to pay the price to learn to paint. They truly want us to believe ugly is beautiful. That's not for me. I am working hard to learn to paint. I don't need a pseudo-intellectual snob to tell me if it is good. I'll know and the public will know.

Painting for me comes from the heart not the head. Emotion communicates. Intellectualism befuddles us with rules, dogmas and ramblings. No matter what the subject matter, I paint what I am. I cannot hide it. I cannot change it. Show me an honest "out of the heart" painting and I'll tell you about the painter. Show me a painting with intellectual symbols and "social messages" and I'll show you a confused and frustrated painter. When someone views my painting I want them to see emotionally with me. I want it to be light, energetic, and (dare I say it) beautiful. I'll leave the dark seamy side of life to those who are dark and seamy. They can paint what they are. Inspiration is born of the heart, not the head. True art elevates rather than degrades.

Every artist has strengths and weaknesses. Some are great draftsmen. Others are great composers. I'm a colororist. I can hardly wade through the other things because I want to get the thick, juicy color working. I don't want a square inch of mud.

I'm not good at intellectually looking at color. I don't study complements and analogous color theories. I just put down on canvas the colors that look good to me trying hard to not create mud on the palette through mixing or on the canvas by overworking. I know when the painting is finished. It's when I like it and it's beautiful. If there is a muddy spot, I clean it. I have discovered that when one practices, his ability to see mud improves. Some don't see the difference between color and mud. They have not practiced enough. We get better at painting by painting.

~~  Kent R. Wallis  ~~  


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