How to Look Inside a Painting

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Information about How to Look Inside a Painting

Published on November 26, 2008

Author: betsystreeter



Thoughts on the wonderful things you might find looking at a painting. By cartoonist and illustrator Betsy Streeter.

Next time you look at a painting, Here’s something to consider: Copyright 2008 Betsy Streeter |

Somewhere on that canvas, Under all that color, Is the first mark The artist made To get started.

What do you suppose It looked like?

What was the artist Thinking about?

A painting is much more than A picture of something Or someone…

It is the story of Everything that happened Between the first mark And the last dab of paint.

So think of the artist, Standing there, Deciding what to do next.

Maybe some things Got messed up And had to be fixed.

Maybe some mistakes Got incorporated Into the final picture.

Maybe the paint didn’t mix Very well that day.

A painting is A recording of that journey for you to see.

The journey may have taken Only a few minutes, or It might have taken Years.

Paintings and drawings Are filled with the life Of the artist.

So next time you go to a museum And look at a painting, Or a drawing, Or a piece of pottery,…

Perhaps the artist Will be standing there With you.

P.S. Here is a wonderful book about painting: “What Painting Is” by James Elkins. Thanks for Reading!

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