Art inspires me…

Carl Schaefer’s Ontario Farmhouse. I can remember the first time I saw this painting – in the National Gallery in Ottawa. I was there for a few days from Toronto and I went back every single day to see this painting. Each time I go back to Ottawa, the first thing I do is rush over to the National Gallery – admire Maman below (by Louise Bourgeois) and then spend as much time as I possibly can with the farmhouse.


I’ve been in the art business on and off for many years, have a minor in art history, have even tried painting myself (badly). And I often fall in love with paintings…

Sadly, they don’t inspire me to paint, at least not once I figured out I couldn’t paint. But they do inspire me to dream. And write.

I’ve written more than a few stories based on a painting or a sculpture. Sometimes it’s the title that grabs me, sometimes it’s the actual brushstrokes, sometimes it’s the subject matter or the painter. Sometimes, probably most of the time, I simply admire.

Looking at art is one of my favorite things to do and I often drop by the Vancouver Art Gallery or one of the many private galleries in Vancouver when I have a few minutes to spare. I always find something to inspire me.


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One Response to Art inspires me…

  1. cavepainter says:

    Are you sure you can’t paint? 🙂

    A guy named Vincent van Gogh once said “real painters do not paint things as they are… they paint them as they themselves feel them to be.”

    Could you paint that farmhouse and make it just like the original? Probably not, and maybe that’s what frustrated you, because that painting was what Carl Schaefer himself saw and decided to show to us. The key to what van Gogh said is that artists paint what they “themselves” feel. Badly or not, making art is about showing people how you yourself feel something to be, and sharing with them what you saw that they couldn’t, because they’re not you. Maybe that’s kind of like writing stories too.

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