Yesterday I came across a website that featured high color intensity, highly expressionistic figures. The work was very alive with movement and emotion. Even though I love that style, (Fauvism is one of my favorite art movements) my own work is rarely that painterly or brightly colored. So that always makes me wonder why I'm always drawn to small detail and more realistic detail.
For me focusing on a small detail that eventually becomes a whole is the way I get to know a subject, not just how it looks but also how it makes me feel. Every time I have been to the Grand Canyon I have been amazed by the variety of color, but it isn't until I start painting that I really "get it". Each small detail and brushstroke eventually creates a whole picture that I have been fortunate to experience at a deeper level. That seems rather miraculous since I'm doing nothing more than just staining a sheet of paper with colored water.
The banana tree painting depicts the trees in my parents' backyard. I tried to make every line, negative space, and hue tell a story about how it felt to play among the trees so many years ago and watch the leaves flutter in the breeze. The big challenge is how to do that without being sappy or sentimental. Focusing on the color and structure helps. I hope when I really connect with and experience an image, that the viewer can too. My favorite paintings from other artists make me connect to their vision and create my own along the way.