People have asked and suggested that I broaden my scope - that I'd have a greater appeal and audience if I branched out more. And I see the reasoning and do agree. Recently though, I was commissioned to painted a New England fall scene for a friend and while technically -or should I say visually- the painting was fine, I wasn't *feeling* it. It seems there are two disctinctly different types of painting -- painting for a particular purpose or person and then painting simply for the joy of it, because I'm compelled to do it.
Painting for me isn't just a pass-time or a hobby. It's far deeper. There is a quote by Eric Liddell in the film "Chariots of Fire" that really resonated with me: "I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure." I suppose I feel that way about painting. It is a God-given ability and when I paint, I do feel that I am glorifying Him and it is deeply satisfying.
It's also a language by which I can communicate my feelings. Not as clearly perhaps as a writer does in poetry and prose, but the messages are there - if one looks.
I've always laughed at people who pick apart paintings and try to tease out the symbolism and meaning the artist has supposedly imbued in his/her piece, but now that I've been painting for over 10 years, I'm beginning to look back on what I've done and I confess I do notice recurring themes and feelings are expressed.
Many times, I can tell how I was feeling when I painting a particular piece. It's hard to articulate, but sometimes it's the colors or look of the sky, the choice of animal and its pose, the season of the year or even perhaps the location itself.