I love Winston Churchill’s story about his life; he was a man who resigned his position as First Lord of the Admiralty and he nearly lost his political future due to a disastrous naval defeat during World War I. Churchill resorted to painting and he described the process, “Trying to paint a picture is, I suppose, like trying to fight a battle… The principles are the same.”
I love puzzles, math, and I love Churchill’s attitude about art. For me painting is about problem solving and, similar to Churchill, painting is fighting a battle. Do you remember your high school geometry class? You have a set of givens to solve your proof. For an artist your givens are: your canvas, your memory, your tools, and especially your idea. How do you prove your idea or better yet, get the idea to resonate with your audience. With every brushstroke you are fighting or problem solving tons of things: warmer versus color colors, intense colors versus muted colors, light versus shadows, hard edges versus soft edges, and I could go on and on. No one way is correct way to paint; hopefully though, the end result is that you have a piece of artwork that resonates with your audience. Hence, you have proved your theory and won the battle – voila!