Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why do we paint?

 In the midst of all our complex and sometimes scary world, I wonder what I'm doing at my easel daubing away. Painting is not just a personal act, it is a human one. At these times I remember the earliest humans painted, 32,000 years ago. And not just crude likenesses but exquisite works that speak to us today, and move us with their beauty like the Chauvet Caves. Here they are not just flat or crudely done, but carefully modeled and realistic, even using the form of the rock to create sculptural dimension.

This speaks to me so deeply, and connects me as a painter to all of human history, I started out in representational work as an animal artist, you can find it on this blog Artist for Animals where I will still occasionally post new work. The act of making an image on a flat surface, is calling out to Creation, I see you, I know you, I am part of you, and I bow with my small gifts to you! that is the most human of all endeavors.

Werner Herzog , made a film of these caves  Chauvet - Cave of Forgotten Dreams


  1. Beautiful reflections Coleen, I definitely agree with you and you reminded me of what somebody (probably Picasso) sayed after seeing cave paintings: 'we learned nothing more'..

  2. I also saw Cave of Forgotten Dreams and as an artist was deeply moved. It made me feel part of a brotherhood of artists of man.