Inspiring artwork is different for each individual. Sometimes it is very hard to define, but certain artists have achieved the term “Greatness” mostly after they have died. During their lifetime, nothing went right and some even committed suicide. Bart Lindstrom defines “Great Painting” as:
“Great paintings have a mystical quality that I call “compelling.” When I walk into a museum, I often pause at the door and ask myself which painting is the most compelling. Ultimately, one image will stand out from the rest.” It seems to me that starting with a good thought and eliminating all extraneous elements takes a painting far down the road the goal of being compelling.”
Often I will begin with an idea of what I want to achieve but sometimes the paint takes me in a different direction as I discussed in my last blog. When this happens, I find that the creative process itself overrides the initial idea and a much better or more “compelling” work comes into existence. In reading about artists that have become great, I find this idea is prevalent. However, often I find that this generation of artists almost insist on doing thumbnails, intricate sketches, and detailed drawings before they begin to paint. They don’t seem to have grasp that some accidents and disturbances in the paint are actually good things and may take an artist to a new level of understanding. I saw one artist work three days at defining the paint, only to scape the whole canvas off and start over. I couldn’t believe it! Had he stepped back, he would have seen the magic and with a couple of small corrections, the paint was actually singing for him.
Inspiring artwork is hard to define but sometimes the creative process is what makes a painting sing. I find this to be true for most of my work.