Saturday, September 7, 2013

Honor the Creative Spirit

 "Honor" by Jim Carpenter, Acrylic on Paper, 9 1/2" x 6 1/2"

Painting #4 in my day 7 of Leslie Saeta's 30 in 30 Challenge.

When I looked at the finish my first thought was "this is about honor." So I titled it "Honor" and see it as a logical sequence in a line of titles: Seek, Pause, Endure, and now Honor.  I always make an effort not to box a painting in with a title because I want the viewers to be free to create their own story from what they see.  In that sense visual art is collaborative.

As I look at the painting now I see that I pulled the composition out of my theatre bag.  I really didn't think about it at all when I was in the midst of the creative process.  But, I spent decades directing plays and exploring story-telling by moving people from one place to another in a big empty space, and so I shouldn't be surprised to see that experience informing me now.  They say, "Paint what you know" and I say, "If you paint intuitively, you have no choice but to paint what you know.  You cannot do otherwise.  In fact, you may discover what you know by simply painting from the heart."

I've said previously that I believe in "not knowing" and perhaps that is why I view my paintings as vehicles for informing me about the stories that really matter to me and would remain untold were I not to paint.

I sometimes will look at a painting long after I'm done and I say, "Oh, so that's what matters to me!"

Do you find yourself creating meaning when you look at the figures in this painting?  What is going on in the scene?  I'd love to hear your stories.


  1. Oh Jim, your paintings has something really "deep"!

    1. Lucy I wonder where it all comes from - and I enjoy the wondering! And I hope that the paintings hold some meaning for others.

  2. Really like your take on painting "intuitively". I also paint intuitively, but have never looked at it that way.
    Thanks for the insight.

    1. You paint form the heart and that is what makes your work authentic and unique - it is uniquely yours.