One woman’s observation about what makes an ARTIST

Posted June 01 2015

Originally posted on: Aug 21, 2007

Have you ever asked yourself “What makes a person an artist instead of just a painter?” The answer to that frequently asked question was again brought home to me this week while filming Carla O’Connor.

For me, a PAINTER is someone who finds joy in the act of painting, frequently has a preconceived idea of the end result before beginning and is directed by the "object" being painted. In addition, there is often an element of risk-aversion in a painter’s way of attacking a painting.

An ARTIST is frequently inspired by visual stimuli, is inwardly driven, permits the painting to "speak to them" and is as interested in the creative process as in the result. An artist is willing to "risk it all" for the improvement of the whole. They are willing to alter much more than a few edges to improve a painting. Artists are also willing to spend as much time thinking about their composition as they are painting.

I watched Carla wipe out entire areas to strengthen her painting (even her "favorite" section). She was brave and exercised the power of design. The result was wonderful learning experience on so many levels. This is going to be an excellent workshop.