A friend came into my studio recently and thirty minutes into our conversation, I realized that while talking, I was gesturing with my paintbrush still in my hand. I looked at my right hand strangely and my friend asked me what was wrong-I was actually realizing what was right.
My painting tools have become a natural extension of myself. I enjoy experimenting with brushes, paints, and papers but the technical aspects of painting are secondary. Art worthy of being on the paper begins before the paint is on the palette. The decisions I make about why I paint, what interests me, and how I'm going to present my thoughts to the viewer are what truly determine the outcome.
I've often felt that the thoughts in the artist's head are the true art and the painting is the awkward manifestation. Only the artist knows if he's effectively demonstrating his internal feelings or vision. Being honest with myself about this is what keeps me growing and reaching for more.
I have always been a great believer in work. I can only release a painting and consider it finished if there is a new one on the drawing table to demand my attention. Consequently, one painting flows into another and I produce a lot of work, often working with the same subject matter for several years. Basically, I keep painting while I'm thinking-maybe because I love the physical act of painting or possibly because I'm afraid to not paint.
Either way, my answer will continue to be to keep the paintbrush in my hand. Answers come to me while I'm working and growth as a person and as a painter is what makes my life as an artist so rewarding.