What is there about painting, or playing an instrument, dancing, walking the beach, cooking a meal, designing a building, landscaping a yard, writing a play, or any of the myriad things we do to create?
The Online Dictionary defines create as: 1. to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes. 2. to evolve from one's own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.
I like the second one: "to evolve from one's own thought or imagination..." Every day of our lives we create. We create more than anything through our thoughts and desires, dreams, concerns, aspirations, fears, hopes, and the many other intangibles that give our lives meaning. But at some point we must turn those intangibles into tangibles, something we, or others, can point to and say "well done."
Michaelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci are perhaps the fathers of modern art, of giving their subjects energy and form and ultimately "life." They changed art of their time from fully religious themes to societal themes. David is the classic embodiment of the warrior ready to do battle. Da Vinci's Mona Lisa expresses both the warmth and strength in womanhood. Together they represent the best in all of us.
Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" is my favorite portrait. Had Vermeer painted a different background, or omitted the pearl earring, the painting would have been good, but perhaps not memorable.
It is the willingness to take risks, to explore, to create something entirely new that motivates many of us who paint. We seek a vision of the world that expresses our beliefs. We see art as the vehicle to help us make lhat transformation from observer to creator.