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'If you want to work on your art, work on your life' | Anton Tsjechov

The soul of a painting

The soul of a painting

2 minute read

A reflection


'When painting, I try to search without finding. Because what has already been said is far less interesting than what is yet to be told.'

Painting, to me, is all about de- and re-construction — layer after layer. A painting should be more than a mere representation of a human, animal, object or landscape. I'm not interested in resemblance. The work should have a character and a soul of its own. That's why my painting might seem eclectic to some. But repetition, to me, is like preparing multiple cups of tea using only one teabag. The intensity will decrease gradually and inevitably. This is the reason why I am always looking for new ways to tell my stories.

Hence the most significant challenge while painting is to get to this point when the painting's identity is finally revealing itself. The moment you finally strike gold and stop feeling like not knowing what the heck you're doing smearing paint all over yourself and your studio with nothing other to show for it than some lousy scribbling.

When this phenomenon occurs, usually it is a moment for me to relax. To sit down and welcome the new character. To give it a name and to help it make its first steps into the world. It's also a dangerous moment. Because this is the moment you can overdo it and disfigure your newborn for life. A dreadful experience for every painter I know.

It's fascinating to see how a painting can literally 'grow up' over the years due to its travels and the various interpretations given to it. For me, this is the pure magic of art — the ungraspable element making the doubts and insecurities while painting worthwhile and visual art such a powerful and nourishing form of expression.




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