Paintings I love #1

As I said recently, I’m really enjoying and being inspired by paintings, so I’ve decided to start sharing my favourite ones here.

I know it’s far from ideal to view paintings online (as opposed to in the flesh), but if it weren’t for the artists sharing them online, we might never get to see them at all.

Here are some recent favourites:

Snow Clouds Approaching, Burbage Moor’—Kristan Baggaley
Oakland at Night’—William Cricket
Think Pink’—Kathleen Hartman
Snow on the Marsh’—Lesley Williams
Light’—Kameko Madere
Blue’—Devendra Dhakad
Sunrise’—Deborah Tilby
shadowboxing’—William Kocher
Chinatown en Plein Air In The Rain May 2012’—Ng Woon Lam, via Flicker

A few of these I discovered via Artisan Creative (thanks!), but where I can, I’ve linked to an official version of them, ideally on the artist’s site.

Let me know in the comments if you like a particular one, and why.

Brushes with inspiration


I’m finding paintings (and other visual art) really inspiring at the moment. Three weeks ago, I went and saw Loving Vincent, which is created entirely from paintings. It was beautiful, unique, and moving.

I discovered I love luminism when I saw the Thomas Moran painting here.

I’ve recently discovered Leonid Afremov, a modern impressionist, whose paintings you couldn’t miss because of the riot of colour.

And I’m quietly drawn to Makoto Fujimura’s paintings, although I’d much prefer to see them in the flesh.

A few other painters/artists I’m following via the Reader:


Image ‘Spring Blossoms, Montclair, New Jersey’ by George Inness.

The element of surprise

I watched the John Cougar Mellencamp film Plain Spoken recently, and among the many interesting things he said in it was this:

True art is always a surprise. It’s not constructed. If it doesn’t surprise the person that’s writing it, it’s not going to surprise the person that’s listening. Art always has to be a surprise.

I don’t think he was at all undermining craft, because he emphasises craft throughout the film, but saying there must be something, at some point in the process of creating, that jumps out and surprises you. Otherwise the song, or poem, or whatever it is is predictable and lifeless. This echoes what Robert Frost said:

No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader. No surprise in the writer, no surprise in the reader.

It also highlights something I need to work on: letting go of control (which usually has to do with fear) and letting a poem (or God, or both) lead me more.