The Why of Painting
For the love of the artistic process, that’s why I create art, be it painting, music, landscaping or any
other form of artistic expression.
To create a piece of art is to lay yourself bare to the evaluation, contemplation or judgement if you
like, of the world, it takes a certain amount of courage to be willing to put hours of work into
something that may only bring ridicule or criticism into your life.
I find myself in the most fortunate position where I can paint solely to satisfy my own creativity,
there are no prerequisites when choosing the subject matter to paint and almost without exception,
I like the finished pieces, this means I can choose subjects completely subjectively, these pieces
hang on my walls and I enjoy them every day. I do on occasions exhibit “my” works and even sell
them, though at prices that are worth the loss of my enjoyment of them.
Some thoughts about my journey in art,
The journey remains the same but the destination changes, as one horizon is reached, another is
perceived, just waiting to be discovered.
My preferred subjects are faces and the play of light upon them, especially fascinating is the colour
variation of skin tones and how direct light, or shadow, changes these hues,
My goal is to capture in paint emotion, but more to capture the more subtle nuances of emotion,
like the subtle difference between despair and melancholy or amusement and joy, and though I
know I have a long way to go, I do not view the road ahead with trepidation at how much there is to
learn, but rather with excitement at just how much I can still learn.
When it comes to the sharing of art, I do far prefer to do commissions, these are chosen by the
buyer and from the outset have a different feel to them, one becomes the conduit for the buyer, a
tool even, for the client to realise their own artistic desires. In this case there is a certain
detachment in the creative process, it is every bit as enjoyable as painting for myself, maybe even
more so as there is an almost intimate sharing of the creative process, it is a purer form as there is
a certain lack of ownership, it becomes all about the creativity.
Having said all that, there is without doubt an almost spiritual enjoyment, of a connection made to
someone who you don’t know, to someone you may never even have seen before, to see them
look at something you’ve created and if they are thrilled by it, to observe their reaction. It is then
you know the real value of art for it’s own sake, this, is the fuel that drives the process.
~ Gary Patrick Barker