Call Me Luxurious
A long time collector of my art visited recently, and paid me what I consider to be quite a compliment. He told me he describes my paintings to his friends as “luxurious.” While I’m not into what most people consider luxuries – brand name clothes, new cars and such – that struck me as a particularly apt description of my work.
He was referring mostly to my rich use of color, but he was also using the word as shorthand. It implied the looseness with which I apply thick layers of pastels in a generous, non-fussy way. It suggested I paint with vibrancy, energy and a love of life.
Shortly afterwards, a friend shared a related Thoreau quote with me: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” To her it means we all see things differently, literally and figuratively. For me, it captures how I might look at the same scenes others do, but I see color and energy they may not. Then I want to paint it, in order to share whatever made me love the scene – that luxurious thing.
This painting of Chania, on Crete, is a good example. From previous posts you may remember the photo, or the painting in progress, and be surprised at how much it has changed. The harbor drew me back, over and over. Never mind whatever tacky signs were casting the reflections. To me, the multicolored lights on the water felt luxuriously beautiful and that’s what I wanted to show.