Don’t be confused about contemporary art dialogue. Yes, concepts are important. The concept behind your art, Aline, is painting itself. Don’t forget that. Your art is about painting. If some frou-frou contemporary artist asks you what your art is about, just say: it’s about painting, and all that painting does: it’s about being flat, it’s about creating depth, too, it’s about the illusion that paint does so well, and it’s also about representing the integrity and presence of the paint itself. The content of your paintings is not just the landscape or the figure, it’s also the paint. But, tell that person you paint the figure because you are a humanist, and you are out to preserve humanity in your art. Tell him your art is a process of preservation. Explain all the ways that painting is a human process, and that that is ultimately what you are doing with your art: representing and preserving humanity in your art, through the process and medium of painting.
—Cameron Bennett, April 21, 2014
Two weeks ago, my blog described the confusion and frustration I had experienced when a nonrepresentational artist challenged my mostly representational approach to painting. One of my favorite teachers galloped to the rescue with the above advice. In effect, he says, there’s no quandary; I am not “just practicing”–I am “just painting”! He explains that the whole spectrum of artistic styles, approaches and genres, representational and nonrepresentational, boils down to the handling of paint. And when I choose to paint a figure with my paint, I do so to “preserve humanity.” Wow. That makes me feel important! I’ve never been good at memorization, but that’s one phrase I am committing to memory.
Thus reinforced, I have decided that my figurative works shall be the subject of my month as Featured Artist at the East Colony Fine Art Gallery. They constitute the most of, hopefully my best, recent works. I have been checking them out and filling in backgrounds and fixing flaws. Risky business, that. But if I spoil a painting by fixing its flaws, it just goes on the discard pile. I will have more than enough to pick from. The two that I did last week are candidates:
I filled in background for these two:
I considered the painting below as a candidate, if I could get rid of the “snarky” expression I objected to when I first blogged about it (here).
But to do so, I had to open her eyes, I felt. That’s a tricky proposition since I don’t have the model to look at. It’s hard to get the whites of the eyes in shadow without it looking weird. So I’m not sure I will ever get the eyes right. Maybe you don’t like it anyway. I am going to include as many clothed figures as I can come up with, so as not to overwhelm a public more accustomed to landscapes and still lifes.
Last week, East Colony celebrated the advent of Spring in New England with its annual “Petals 2 Paint” show. 28 floral designers each chose a painting or artwork to serve as inspiration for a floral display. It was the best year ever. Here are a few of the most original, which includes my designer:
Aline Lotter is currently exhibiting:
at the Hatfield Gallery and the East Colony Fine Art Gallery in Manchester (both are in Langer Place, 55 S. Commercial St., Manchester, NH); at the Bartlett Inn and Bernerhof Inn in Bartlett; at the Red Jacket Inn in North Conway; at the law offices of Mesmer and Deleault at 41 Brook St in Manchester; at the Manchester office of Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter; in French Hall (the main building) of the New Hampshire Institute of Art in Manchester, NH; and at her studio by appointment (email: email@example.com).
You may also view paintings with prices and order prints at my Fine Art America page. If the painting you are interested in is not there, or if you prefer to bypass that experience, you may contact me using the private feedback form below. If you want to add a public comment to this blog, go to the bottom of this page where it says “Leave a Reply“, and enter your comment in that box. I love to get public comments, so don’t be shy!
Wow, that’s a wonderful statement! Totally satisfying and fulfilling, indeed! What a great support to your painting commitment.
No kidding. And I appreciate what your support too!
You are incredibly important and your work truly does “preserve humanity.” The gift of your work and this blog truly inspire me every time I see it. Thank you for sharing with us your thoughts and these fantastic works of art.
You overwhelm me! But you always have been my biggest fan, and I am so grateful.
I really like that statement Aline. How affirming! Your show will be glowing with humanity. I think some of my lecturers and mentors would have agreed. You are painting!
I’m so glad you endorse my decision. I am Going for the Glow!