Still Point Art Gallery invites submissions from emerging and established artists for its upcoming online exhibition: THE Painting Exhibition.
The art of painting involves a tool, a substance, and a surface. These are the materials of painting. The painter uses a tool to apply the substance to the surface in order to create a painting. The most commonly used tool is the brush, but sponges, knives, or fingers may also be used. Painters use a wide variety of substances - oil-based paint, acrylic, gouache, encaustic, egg tempera, dry pastels, and more. Typical surfaces are canvas, wood, or linen - also glass, metal, or cement. While the materials of painting may appear to be largely functional, the contribution made by these materials to the work of the painter is far more than functional.
Painting is not just an activity, it is a way of life; a painter lives in and through painting. As the materials of painting are not just part of the process by which the work happens, but part of the end-product as well through their transcending this distinction between means and ends, they are the very way this aspect of the painter's being both manifests and realises itself. They are the vehicle through which the painter's life as a painter happens, unfolds itself, realises itself. This manifests itself back through the materials. The realisation of the materials through the painting is the realisation of the painter through them. His potentiality is their potentiality, and their potentiality his. Thus, his being drawn towards certain materials is his being drawn towards a certain potentiality of his own. --Nigel Wentworth, The Phenomenology of Painting
While this exhibition is limited to painting, it offers boundless opportunities to explore the various media within painting. It is hoped that the array of paintings that will be exhibited will allow the viewer to examine the medium of painting as well as to look at and enjoy the work of painters who have relied upon this medium to unfold the mysteries of their lives.
Reading Wentworth made me think long and hard about the materials or the medium of one's art. Consider that the choosing of materials and medium may not necessarily be a random event. Consider that we may become oil painters, watercolorists, photographers, digital artists...for some reason...a reason we may not think about or realize. Artists express themselves through their art, and artists find themselves using the materials that are a good fit for them - materials that are pleasurable, comfortable, sometimes challenging, and sometimes intellectually and emotionally stimulating...materials that work best for THEIR self-expression. Working with one's materials, paying attention and learning from one's materials in time lead the artist to growth and awareness and self-realization. So, think about your materials. I'm giving some thought to mine.
The deadline for submissions for THE Painting Exhibition is February 22, 2010. The exhibition opens March 10 and continues through May 4, 2010. The prospectus and entry form may be found here.
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Christine Brooks Cote
Still Point Art Gallery
January 21, 2010