I thought it would be intriguing to ask painters this simple yet complex question. This query comes with no ground rules—it’s up to each individual artist to find their own approach and direction.
This project will be an ongoing exploration … let’s see where it takes us.
What is Painting?
Featuring Angela Saxon
Painting for me is the immersion in image-making in an attempt to communicate something for which words won’t do. What I see and am compelled to capture and share in my own visual language. As in the way that a writer uses poetry to make words be more than just words.
The act of painting: brushes full of paint describing light, feeling their way around the arc of a shoreline, inadvertently dragging bright green through pale blue. Expressive marks that both describe and negate the subject matter. Abstracted shapes that are reminiscent of known forms but that have a purpose in the painting other than merely describing that known form.
I have always painted. I was certain of being an artist when I grew up. It was not to be denied. Yet painting has always been a battle. I work directly, confidently, diligently and take risks in my work regularly. But a true sense of confidence is always elusive. I’m never on solid ground for long.
On one side of this battle is certainty of purpose and clarity of vision. On the other side is doubt and insecurity. My paintings are made in the space between the two. Consequently the paintings continue to evolve. I work in series, typically, painting my way through an idea until finding resolution and then making my way forward to a new series as the outcome of this process.
Angela Saxon, Sleeping Bear Point II, acrylic, 16″ x 20″
I am engaged in visually exploring the natural world. I begin directly from the landscape: a response to direct observation is essential for me. Plein air paintings and drawings form the basis for studio paintings. In addition, I work from the figure and also create mixed media collages combining fragments of my drawings and paintings including work from my early childhood to the present.
I have been interested in making art for as long I can remember. On family trips there were always sketchbooks and paints packed along. I grew up on the southern shore of Lake Michigan in Gary, Indiana and spent much time in Chicago, wandering the halls of the Art Institute. I have lived in northern Michigan in Traverse City for the past 29 years, which has had a profound influence on me as a landscape painter. I have a BFA in painting from Indiana University.
The What Is Painting? Project – More Featured Artists