For the most part I don’t like my work. I don’t dislike it either and I certainly enjoy painting it but the final result does little for me. It’s interesting that I don’t appreciate my paintings until months after I’ve finished them. I consider them finished when I can no longer think of any more work to do on them, so I put them away and stop thinking about them. In my house this means they go into the attic. When I look at them months later my impression can go one of two ways: either I see only the mistakes and things I should have done, or they start to look real. This is the reality illusion I’m constantly referring to.
The reality illusion is interesting because I don’t know exactly what causes it. It can appear very early or when the painting is nearly finished. At first, I thought it was caused by detail, but that’s not it because I can add an outrageous amount of detail and the reality illusion might not appear. However sometimes, I’ve done very little work and if I walk away to make tea, the reality illusion can be in full swing when I get back. The reality illusion is exactly that; an illusion. I’ve come up with various theories about what causes it but really, I just don’t know. Curiously other artists don’t talk about what I mean when I say reality illusion. I don’t know if this means they don’t see or experience it with their own art or just don’t see it in others paintings. Robert Bateman is one of the few artists who’s work exhibits the reality illusion to me, John Singer Sargent is another. Although both show a tremendous amount of detail in their style, on close examination their brush strokes look more impressionistic. I’m constantly trying to do the same and generally failing, but it’s fun trying.
I appreciate my work when it’s done and perhaps exhibiting my idea of the reality illusion. I’m not in a position to sell my work but I enjoy working on my Website. I am absolutely amazed that I enjoy writing a Blog!