Saturday, February 11, 2012

Work in Progress

Today, I visited my friend Kelly's blog where she was showing an underpainting she had done for a portrait she is working on. That inspired me to do the same for my current work in progress. I loved it in the sketch phase (you can see that in this post) and am thrilled how she is emerging here
I've had a realization being in my etching class with all those students who want to make art their career. They are taking classes to improve their craft and find out what is "good art" that will make them a living. I paint for such very different reasons.
To me, there is nothing better than painting a face and have it come to life. I suspect it's much like a novelist fleshing out a fictional character. They don't really exist, but somehow they become real and convey something to the observer. That's why I paint these women - for that moment of connection. And somehow that seems incredibly important. Painting anything else does not give me the same feeling. Painting for what I think others might like doesn't do anything for me at all.
Last year I tried to paint other things and while that was ok, I totally lost my joy in making art. Not during the classes I was taking - I enjoyed my drawing classes immensely and I'm loving etching at the moment, but my own art. It has made me realize that I'm not painting to express or realize myself. Sometimes it feels as though these women are somewhere in my consciousness just waiting to be expressed.

And for these women here there's nobody else who can bring them into being except me. I love that about being an artist (or a human being for that  matter) - nobody can express what is yours to express. We each have something to say in a way that's entirely unique to each of us.

So this year, I'm giving in and painting what brings me the most joy. Women portraits. Not men. Not children. Not animals. Not landscapes. Maybe the occasional flower. And I'm painting in a way that brings me the most satisfaction, meaning with lots of layers and textures.

Painting from the heart - there really is no other way, is there?!


  1. Oh yes, PLEASE paint from your heart! I LOVE this painting, it is so beautiful!

  2. Silke you must know how much this post spoke to me! And I LOVE this girl so far!! I see such amazing growth in your portraits from a year ago when I first found you!

    I know what you mean about painting from the heart. The most recent piece I posted I feel such a connection to and it was the first time I really listened to the girl emerging. I am hoping to get back to trying portraits because I feel so connected with drawing my faces that if I can just let go the perfection stuff I know it would be rewarding for me.



  3. I am so glad to hear you are painting from your heart and your thoughts on connection, I am glad you are wallowing in the sweetness of what you love! xox Corrine

  4. Painting from the heart is the best way to paint - great joy too.

  5. Express away, Silke. I love your women portraits ~ you have your own unique style and why paint if you don't find joy in it? I look forward to seeing all the wonderful women you paint this year.
    ♥ audrey

  6. Wow, Silke. I really like how this painting is coming along. She is beautiful. And what a wonderful post you've done here! I totally agree with what you have written. You need to find joy in what you are creating. It shows through your "women" - glad you are going back to it!

  7. it's interesting to get to know what we are like as we try more experiences, life is quite the journey.

  8. This is a really wonderful painting! I just really like her face.

  9. I think this is the true path - painting or creating that which is inside you and wants to be expressed - not what 'somebody else' wants to see. Keep going, Silke - you are doing such exceptional work.

  10. Liebe Silke,

    ich freue mich, dass ich bei dir kommentieren kann.

    Liebe Sonntagsgrüße

  11. I agree totally. Doing work to the demands of others or that the general ethos demands is nothing like doing what YOU want to do. It's your way of expressing yourself and getting enjoyment out of your art. And pkenty of noted artists had their key themes that they repeated time and again and yet which were always different.