should you have to justify your painting?…

Leave a comment

19/11/2010 by Sarah Ritchie

Let’s say you picked up a can of paint, tipped it over your canvas, and said “Voila!”. Done! To some viewers it is simply an amateurish blob of paint. To you, the artist, it might be a considered representation of the creation of the world. Or not.

When I talk about design and layout  – with my graphic design students – I try to impress on them that there should be thought and reason behind every single element (it’s form, size and position) that they include on each page. I tell them that they should be ready to justify every component if questioned by a peer or client.

Inevitably, if elements are included without sufficient thought or reason the composition can look imbalanced, difficult to read, or just plain ugly.

Is this principle the same for fine art? Surely a well-composed painting is more aesthetically-pleasing than one that is haphazard? Surely a painting with forethought, intent and purpose is more powerful than a random offering? Surely something that means something to you will mean something to others? Besides, wouldn’t you like to be able to explain the meaning behind your artwork if asked, rather than confess to a “happy mistake” or “I was just experimenting“?

At this stage in my creative journey I think it is important a viewer be allowed to interpret a painting in their own fashion. To facilitate a pleasant, informative and meaningful viewing experience should not an artist, then, think carefully on that which they are presenting for open interpretation…before they paint it? Just a thought…hopefully a meaningful one!


Your thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Sarah Ritchie
Canvassing My Friends Logo
Sarah Ritchie on Pinterest
while you were sleeping

Most read posts


Finalist, Estuary Art Awards 2011
Exhibitor, The Original Art Sale 2011


© Sarah Ritchie 2014

Please do not use copies of my original artwork for profit, however you are welcome to share my artwork images as much as you like!

%d bloggers like this: