Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Art Question: What Motivates You to Keep Painting?

A friend of mine recently said she currently doesn't feel the motivation to paint and asked why I do keep painting, what motivates me?

The following excerpt from Becoming Human Through Art: Aesthetic experience in the school by Edmund Burke Feldman explains some of what motivates me:

We should try to think of art, in the present context, as an instrument or tool for dealing with human situations that call for expression. In the course of growing up there are thousands of events and experiences, whose meaning we want to share. It is not a matter of exceptional generosity or lack of self-control that makes children want to divulge their experiences; being human, they have to share, they cannot help sharing, the meanings of their lives. It is the human need to communicate with other people that is the foundation of art...

Sharing and exchanging the contents of their lives is what helps children grow into mature social beings who can function normally in communities, make friends, work productively, and develop confidence in their powers of human understanding and expression...

From a human standpoint, it is not correct to say that the individual sets out to create music, art or literature; rather, he is moved or impelled to say something and art is the result...

At present, artists combine media of expression; they are reluctant to recognize boundaries between paintings and sculpture, between two- and three-dimensional expression, between music and theater and opera and cinema and architecture and sculpture and industrial design. Whether he knows it or not, today's artist seems to be seeking the tribal artist's freedom of access to all media and types of expression. Obviously, the need to make a statement, to share experience, to evoke a response, takes precedence over the 'rules' about categories of artistic expression.

I find that most things written about why children make art applies as well to adults, or at least me.

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