Visual Art must first represent the innermost feelings of the artist, to be honest. When the artist paints with integrity, the intrinsic value of painting is of paramount importance. It is an intimate commitment to freedom and self actualization that promotes the intensity of creation. In this vein, we are all artists, and the unique gift of humanity may be expressed with a sublime power of intentionality, and individuality. Only after this transcendent emotion is captivated, does iconography and technique come into play. When the artist feels free, he may then decide to ponder how to create a statement of purpose, and convey an idea. This process may take a long time, thus patience with oneself is critical The ability to put paint on a canvas with brush or knife is a fundamental capacity that develops as one learns to permit freedom for experimentation; in that the artist should try to find his unique identity, which can only come from letting go of inhibitions and self judgement. The completed painting, most especially when one is learning, is secondary to the feelings of the artist during the process of applying the medium.
Truely, it takes years, more often than not, just to learn how to apply paint to a canvas, and feel the power of knowledge. During this formative stage , the feelings conveyed by the images are far more important than techincal mastery . There are many trained in technique who portray subjects with technical proficiency, but lack emotive power. This is so because their conditioning stifles the degree to which they are in touch with passion, and self honesty. Van Gogh is highly regarded as a master, because every brush stroke reveals who he was, how he felt about life, and the universe that partakes of every breath, every thought, and every dream of what could be and should be. Yes, painting reflects your relationship with all there is, how you feel about yourself, others, and all things. Once the artist can feel this, then he may, more successfully, reflect on how to approach a new canvas with a particular idea, message, world view, or dream state in mind.
Your canvas is your world! It belongs to you, before the willingness to share anything. The artist must paint first for himself, to discover his own world, before he decides to share any message, feeling or thought with others. From this comes the natural wellspring of creation, with freshness and beauty that is uniquely special to the individual.
Now, everything see must conform to the truth of universal order, balance and harmony. Simply put, the various fundamental images that comprise the totality of iconography, should be plastic. All things in the universe are always in motion. So too must your images be moving, yet the scene is captured in time. In a fleeting second of purview, one captures the motion of things, all moving relatively with one another; creating a plastic form of geometricity, the center of which is located at the golden point;- off the center of the canvas plane, it is that point of tension that engenders the passionate harmony of balance and form. You can feel where it is without measurement, yet it has been derived mathematically. The artist accustoms himself to seeing the margined picture plane everywhere, balancing in his mind all that he sees; conforming to the sense of balance in his soul. Yet, as the scene always changes, the golden point is automatically adjusted by the placement of objects, in bounded view, that create the plastic form. The tension can be created by one dot, off center at the golden point, on a blank canvas.
Feel the tension while capturing the balance of geometric plasticity in your mind and heart. When you look at a scene, all things/objects are equalized in terms of size, intensity and color, whether living or non-living; because, all things have their place in space and in time. Your main focus is always placed off-center, and balanced by the gravitational force of other objects that contribute to the totality of the plastic form, and balance about the golden point. All pictures must have this tension to emote. It is as though the scene is captured instantaneously, just before everything will move, as it does in reality If a mother and child are painted in a field with sunshine, the viewer must feel the wind, the warmth of the sun, the emotions of the people, while imagining the next motion of the subjects. In Van Gogh's "Starry Night" the stars move through the heavens, just as they do in reality. Van Gogh makes you feel the whirling of atoms and stars, to move us closer to himself; to live with his passion even for the while, and forgetting all else.
Most of all, painting is something everyone can enjoy doing, and for that period of time one can lose himself in a world of sensuous pleasure, forgetting the troubles of the day, and find a level of peace, afforded by no other action I can think of.