One of the most interesting acts, which I did as an artist in college, was to copy a famous original artist using the same techniques, material and size. The process started with looking through hours and hours of paintings. I can remember saying to myself that this is going to be impossible and why would I want to copy someone else. I am an original artist I said. During the search I moaned and frowned and I even asked the Professor, What if I can’t find one? Am I allowed to paint my own?”
That’s when the Professor Greene took me out side for a talk. It was a quiet and sunny but cold day. He took the time to explain why.
First off he said you have natural talent and a good eye for depth of perception, shade and you understand light and reflections. What you need now is passion. Passion is… (I know what passion is I’m saying to myself.) Passion is what gives life to what you put on canvas. That passion should live on even if you are not there to explain your work. So, now I want you to look for something that speaks out to you.
I went back in with no intention of looking for anything to jump out to me. However, the very first page that I flipped to was a man on a boat in a storm. It seemed to me that this guy was going to die for sure. As I looked closer there were also sharks in the water, in frenzy, because of all the blood in the water. The man on the boat however was not in a panic. Why?
By now I had been drawn into the story. I had to know where he came from and what had happened before this. Although I would never know for sure in my mind I could come up with my own story.
That’s when I also realized what Professor Greene was talking about. There was more to this guy on a boat than I had realized. The passion that Winslow Homer put into his work was transferred to me.
I love art.