A painting that attempts realism in its representation is by definition an illusion and always an interpretation of reality. Our perception is selective and the reality of our experience is that it can only reveal part of the truth. The whole truth is just too vast to apprehend. There’s just too much to see.
Furthermore, I believe we do not, and cannot look at the world dispassionately. We project a good deal of ourselves into our perceptions. The brain is hard wired to motivate our perceptions according to our habits, to our fears and our desires.
When we are immersed in our work, or lost in thought, or engaged in sport or play or madly in love, when fully emotionally engaged we are blind to the cold world of objective, scientific truth. We distort the scale and proportion of our perceptions. In other words our mood and emotions colour our experience.
So, for a lot of the time we tend to see the world from our own point of view. You see it from your point of view and I from mine. I paint it from my own point of view, from my perspective. Just like everyone else, I see through my feeling of the moment. And, just like everyone else, the icons of my cultural heritage have shaped the pallet of my perceptions.
My paint is colored with my emotional character, with my memories and with my aspirations. The artist is doomed to egocentricity. For some artists it means a life of tragic isolation whilst for others they become egomaniacs, and like so many artist celebrities nowadays, they are more obsessed with themselves than with their art.
Of course, there have always been artists who want to change the world by revolution or shock us into seeing the world from their perspective. Nowadays other forms of contemporary media can be far more effective than paintings. The advances in Social Media and instant imaging have revolutionized our visual experiences. We are intoxicated by the iconic repertoire of the visual imagery of our time.
We have stopped looking at the real, physical world around us and have become fixated with the virtual screen world in the palm of our hand.
Perhaps we are just terrified of being out of touch. I don’t know. I’m not against technology, per se. Each medium has its place and purpose. Creativity cannot and should not be banished, barred or suppressed. I do not denounce either the technology or the opportunities technology creates. But I hope and believe that there should be room in society for people like me, people who are passionate about creating paintings, especially in the traditional medium of oils.
As an inherently empathic optimist I am neither tragically isolated nor an egomaniac. I really enjoy painting and to be able to create paintings that other people enjoy gives me enormous satisfaction. Each painting is an investment of energy, emotion and time. They are made to please, perhaps to inspire, or to aid contemplation but whatever effect they may have, I hope, that by looking at these paintings you will at least forget the ridiculous absurd stresses of contemporary life and allow yourself some quiet reflection.