Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Mystery of Painting

What is it about the process of painting a picture that is so mysterious and almost holy? This creative process of seeing composing and then splashing coloured together to create something that makes us stop and look in wonderment. A wordless prayer for our common humanity.

Take a moment and look at these two pictures of Anders Zorn Valsen, Notice how the ink study of shades, shadows and light is translated into a symphony of colour and tone in the painting. 

PlateIII Zorn_Anders_Valsen

There is something about art and the creative process that brings us closer to our humanity, then again there is the unbearable reality that even Hitler painted in his youth. What happened to the young man who did these works? How could he have become a monster? How do people like that change and shed their soul along the way?

In a world that somehow cannot stop piling on one tragedy after another, will art ever triumph? Or will it have to co-exit with horror, the yin to the yang? Can we see beauty if we haven’t seen horror?

Sorry this post has turned dark I know, but with so much suffering around the world, it is not normal to ignore it all the time. Some times you have to just take a deep breath and stare into the eye of horror to remember how lucky we are to live without it.


  1. Une publication remplie d'intérêt...
    Très jolie peinture.
    Gros bisous

  2. I love the flavor of your words here. I read once that art is making "order out of chaos," even if it is only just for a painting or sentence in time. Ultimately, I think those who have suffered can appreciate beauty more deeply than those who haven't, because they have tasted the deficit of hardship, while those who are more pure at heart, like children, can identify with the wholeness of art itself more. All in all, I believe art is a necessary medium to momentarily make the world whole again. It repairs what is broken in a perfectly imperfect way. It makes order out of chaos.

    Great post. Thank you.

  3. Hi Hillary,

    Thank you for your comment. Interesting that you should mention children and their art. Most (but sadly not all) children have not experienced horrors or sorrow and yet their art is full of life and "pure" as you say.

  4. Anonymous1:19 am

    I have only recently found your blog, each post is passionate and thought provoking. There is a part of the brain that, when in trauma, becomes overly active, and the part of the brain that could heal the person by doing creative things, becomes very difficult to access and utilise. Sad truth. Art should be encouraged, all art, especially drama, I think, very big subject. Love your posts.


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