Why Do I Paint?

It is a lovely experience. For me, a painting is like a place to go, in much the same way a novel is. When I step through the door in my mind and begin, I leave this place and enter another. If I am painting a canyon in the summer, I feel the heat off the rocks, and look for the place to paint shade for relief in the sun. In the snow scene, I feel the silence and stillness and know that my breath is visible in this place, and if I take a step there will be a soft sound and an impression left behind that speaks of my passage there. Then there are still lifes. A still life is a feast. A feast for the eyes.

The process itself is a journey. My encounter with the image that inspires calls to me as I get a glimpse within of the possible destination. But for me, the journey really begins with the first touch of the brush and color to the clean canvas. Deciding the palette and other technical details are not the joy for me, important of course, but not what I enjoy most. I love mixing the color. Color does something to the brain. Did you know it has a voice? Yes, it speaks, but what is more exciting to me is to make it sing.

"When I step through the door in my mind and begin, I leave this place and enter another."
"I believe a room should wear a painting the way a woman wears jewelry. It should be a beautiful enhancement to one's environment, and I will go on to say, just as fine jewelry is in a sense a "treasure", so should art be..."

I believe a room should wear a painting the way a woman wears jewelry. It should be a beautiful enhancement to one's environment, and I will go on to say, just as fine jewelry is in a sense a "treasure", so should art be, though with art I am not talking about monetary value, but rather soul value. It should address more than your mind. It should address something within and move you inside. In doing so, it brings something to your surroundings that has the potential to enrich your life.

I have painted for over thirty years, but when I begin a new piece I always feel like a novice. I know that in my passage through this place I will discover things I did not know before. I will mix colors I have never seen before, deliver passages of light in new ways, and be challenged with problems I have not encountered before. The process of painting a picture is very much a process of problem solving. It is an extraordinary learning experience as well as an adventure of the mind and heart.

We have many ways to communicate to others what is within. Painting is one of mine.

It gives me an "exceptional and uncommon" way to bless others, meaning those the Lord passes through my life expecting me to touch. I use it, when I can, to bring extra special happy surprise to someone's life, especially a person who would never expect it. Then, of course, selling shares the fruit of my journey with the broad range of folks we call the public.

I have taken this trip, enjoyed the journey tremendously, and now I want you to come with me to this place. Stay a few moments. We are spending time together, you and I. What could I ever say with paint that would adequately express my wonder at the beauty our Creator designed into this world...

-- Harriett McDonald

"I have taken this trip, enjoyed the journey tremendously, and now I want you to come with me to this place. Stay a few moments. We are spending time together, you and I."

Copyright 2002 Harriett McDonald. All rights reserved. Revised: March 01, 2004
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