I look at paintings a lot. It's what I do–my work and my personal interests overlap. So yes, me and painting? We're on very familiar terms. And sometimes that can breed a bit of contempt as the saying goes. Sometimes I can be disillusioned and maybe even harsh. So it's moving, motivating, and incredibly heartening to me when I still see paintings that make me feel the way I did when I first discovered fine art oil painting. When every work was a revelation and a hallelujah!
The work of artists like Scott Noel, Brian Rego, and several others make that cut. These artists define themselves as perceptual painters and believe that the act of observing is not an end, but a beginning for a painter; from there the artist can start to develop an emotional, formal, or imaginative statement of exploration.
|Portrait of Laura Borneman by Scott Noel, oil on linen, 20 x 20.|
These oil painting artists not only believe in painting what is in front of you but they are also committed to the idea that being in the space with the object of your painter's gaze, is the literal spark for a painter's powder keg. The energy shared between painter and object is the catalyst for the work. Without that, you may get an oil painting, but it may leave you unmoved.
|The Hay Loft by Brian Rego, 28 × 38, oil on canvas.|
Right now this idea really rings true for me. Perhaps because I hear so many artists talking about their art that it sometimes seems like that's all it is–talk. So Noel, Rego, and the rest stand for the other side–the most important side–of putting oil on canvas and being locked in the moment with what you, as an oil painter, are doing. And really, where would you rather be?
If you're looking to start connecting with your work in this way, consider the Radiant Oils and Holbein Oil Paint Set, a kit that includes an art resource guide on oil painting techniques and a 12-tube set of oils to explore all the medium has to offer. Enjoy!