Friday, November 5, 2010

Creating a Sense of Place


Wire Sitter- by Greg Newbold, Acrylic- 9" x 18"

Illustration is about telling stories. It's about creating something that makes the  viewer ask what happened just before this, or what will happen next? What is the story behind this place? Illustration, and art in general is about crafting an image that the viewer can immerse himself in, that he can relate to. Sometimes a picture takes you back to a place in your childhood memory that you have not visited in a long time.  Howard Pyle, one of my favorite illustrators, very eloquently touched on this topic in the following quote:

The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived. -Howard Pyle

The emotional response  we get from viewing a painting is often less about the painting than it is about the emotional connection that we as observers bring to the viewing of the work. I try to create in my work an environment in which one can visit for a while, perhaps rest or even contemplate.   I think great art of necessity is a participatory experience. If the viewer doesn't bring their own experience into the equation, if it elicits no response,  is it really art? I am not talking about art whose sole purpose is to shock or offend- that type of response is a subject for another day. I am speaking of a real connection, where you feel the soul of the work. Many times people will comment to me that something I have done "reminds them" of a certain place or time, that it speaks to them. This is when I know I have done my job well and that satisfaction doesn't come until afterward.

This painting is from the book Spring Song written by Barbara Seuling.

8 comments:

Chad Grohman said...

I completely agree. I like this landscape because I want to take a run through it. There is a feeling of anticipation and opportunity here. Its optimistic.

theartofpuro said...

Amazing piece!Love the colors and concept!Great post!

Connie said...

Love his nostalgic piece.

Nancy Bea Miller said...

Wonderful! Has a Grant Wood feel.

D. Lindsey said...

This is just all kinds of awesome, and makes me wistful for my childhood.

k.h.whitaker said...

really wonderful, love the clouds and the feel of this piece.

Greg Newbold said...

Thanks for the great comments everyone. Makes me feel like I have connected with this one.

ValGalArt said...

i love this so much :)a little Thomas Hart Benton is in this too ;)