The Compulsion to Discovery


IMG_0001The rolling hills, trees in autumn splendor, sunsets over the lake, sunlight dancing across the landscape.  These scenes, forever etched in the files of our memories that inspire. I have written much about the physical beauty that inspires my work and how, say, a road can represent many things — inner and outer journeys and such.

But what occurred to me as I was working in the studio the other day was that those things — those remarkably beautiful memories of preciously stunning views and what they may represent metaphorically and in the halls of my memory — while powerful, are very much secondary in my work.

What painting is about for me is, in every way, about what can be done with paint. I don’t only paint the sky and the road or the vineyards again and again because I love them so much. Or because the journey of life in every way is so dear to me. I paint them again and again because my 100th sky will be better than my first, and the 300th even that much better, and in the process, I, the painter, get to explore what me and paint on canvas can do. That is what drives me into the studio everyday. It is the exploration, the experimenting, the learning and re-learning.

IMG_0002To that extent, it is a commitment to my craft. I could have a million hobbies and interest, but I say no to almost everything but painting because I know mastery takes commitment and single-minded devotion. I even hesitate to use the word mastery because it is not achievable. We never stop learning. If we did, I suppose there would be no purpose in going into the studio. It is a compulsion of discovery.  Picasso on his deathbed said he felt he was just starting to get it. He started painting as a young boy and lived to be 91.

What in your life’s passions is a compulsion to discovery? It’s always good to hear from you; feel free to comment below or on my Facebook page. Happy explorations until next time!

About Stephanie Schlatter Art

Stephanie Schlatter is an Artist who draws from the world for inspiration. While she calls Grand Rapids, Michigan, home she’s often off on new adventures. For more than a decade, her journeys have taken her across the globe. She has studied art both locally and abroad, including time in Mexico, where she decided to shift her focus from photography to painting. Stephanie's travels led her to found Absolutely Art: A Project for Change in 2006. Through this non-profit organization, she brings art instruction to the children of Ethiopia while supporting their education. Stephanie's work reflects an expression influenced by other cultures which resonates a variety of influences that have given her work direction.

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