painting with love…

2

15/05/2011 by Sarah Ritchie

Simon and I went to The Original Art Sale 2011 (13-15 May, TelstraClear Event Centre, Manukau, Auckland) to see my three paintings and to view the other artwork. I walked around the exhibition hall feeling inspired by all the talent that was on display, however I became both encouraged and discouraged at the same time….mostly discouraged. It was inevitable that I would compare my work to that I saw around me.

We had a discussion, on the way home, about the reasons why I was painting…the driving motivations and what I hoped to achieve.

As mentioned earlier this week in “would you rather sell or give?…“, my enjoyment comes from painting to give, rather than painting to sell. I get great internal reward from painting to bless others, which is why I am enjoying the Canvassing My Friends process so much. The niggling factor is that I know some of the work that I do is far from the standard I would like it to be. I want to be able to “autograph my work with excellence”, and if I am going to give a gift of art, that it be a gift that looks fabulous as well as carrying a poignant message for the recipient.

Thus far I have approached each canvas with the overriding desire for the painting to “look good” before presenting it to the world. I have been all “woe is me” for not possessing the right training, knowledge, experience or ability, and so have let that cloud the enjoyment and results of the CMF process to some degree.

Si has helped to challenge my thinking. He said that I should approach each painting with love, and paint with love. Let me explain…

The basis of CMF is to take one of my Facebook Friends and use their life/personality/interests as inspiration for one painting. For each of the 16 completed paintings I have done just that, though I would have to admit that I have approached some of the canvasses with more “love” than others. It has been on those such occasions when the end result has been the most successful. I am not talking about being “technically” successful, but that the completed work touched the inspiree in a way that was unprecidented.

Si suggested that if I paint with love for that other person, then they will see the love in the painting. He used this example: if someone held up a classic masterpiece next to a 4 year old’s painting that they made for their mother…which one would show more love? Even though the skill level of the 4 year old was nowhere near the technical ability of the master artist, which one would mean more to the recipient?

My challenge is to flip my current approach 180 degrees and to create all my paintings with love, insight and with the desire to bless others, and then all the rest (skill, experience and technical prowess) will come as a result. Thanks for your wisdom Si.

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2 thoughts on “painting with love…

  1. marthajoymitchell@hotmail.com says:

    I also had some paintings up at the exhibition at TelstraClear Event Centre and I also came away feeling discouraged. I agree with you that art should be about love and passion… your change of thinking is inspiring.

  2. Sarah Ritchie says:

    Thanks Martha. I am beginning to understand that I should periodically question what I am doing and why (for all forms of time-consuming activities). We can often get sucked into doing things that are not (at least long-term) beneficial, or sometimes our reasons/circumstances have changed. Like a personal audit really!

    Interesting to know that you felt similar about the exhibition. As we were walking around the hall I said to Si that I felt not many of these paintings would sell…not because they were not of good quality, but just I questioned the number of people that could afford to pay the prices. I guess the organisers will never divulge how many sales they had, but it must be high enough to hire out the hall for three weeks, cover all their costs and make a profit!

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