Getting off the Grid and Painting


Yellow Carp in the Morning _ oil painting on canvas _ 48 x36 _ 2002

by Robert Conway

There is no lying in painting, it is the absolute truth as to where you are in this world and who you are, no matter how many likes you get on Facebook, or recommendations on Linkedin, at the end of the day is that really going to float your boat? You just want more the next day, it is all so fleeting, is that are how we are measuring our self worth these days? Is checking our status or studying our website traffic patterns the measure in you are having a bad day or a good one? If someone ever knocked out our power grid, everyone’s sense of purpose would be scattered to the four winds. Taking a little time away from the cyber assault and painting is a good way of keeping your eye on the ball. the ball that I am referring to is reality. It is a great way to fashion an identity for yourself while others are just clicking and scrolling all the live long day.

What you are working on your canvas mimics your own existence on a small scale, you are mapping out part of your life when you take up the brush. It runs parallel to what is going on with your life. Organizing the elements in your composition is just like arranging parts of your life together so everything functions, it is the same exercise. Now having said that, I think painting is a lot easier in comparison because other people are not involved and you can just make up all your own rules to your heart’s delight. So unlike real life, things are all stacked in your favor when you are painting.

Painting is one of the few things in life that you can be absolutely sure about. I mean other people can deceive you, even your family and friends may embellish the truth a little as to not hurt your feelings. If you are a religious person, well there are a lot of religions in this world, how can you be so absolutely sure that you have thrown your hat in with the winner? if there is one? Images, movies, videos can all be manipulated, we are living in an age now where you truly cannot believe your own eyes. Your painting is something that you have total control over. I see it as a barometer for who you really are, in a world getting crazier by the day, it is something pointing you in a positive direction. A firm foundation to function from. A little bit of control in a world slipping out of control. Just the simple act of sitting down and whipping off a few brushstrokes on your next masterpiece can give you the feeling that in some way you are on top of things. It is something of permanence that will probably still be around after you are gone, and the Internet is past history.

March 9, 2014

49 thoughts on “Getting off the Grid and Painting

  1. So true. I was gearing up to planning for the New Year, fixating on the usual “what am I going to do with myself this year?” when I realised I’m incredibly happy creating digital art. I’ve come home to art and nature. Just keep creating art, keep walking, get up close with nature. Great start to 2014!

    • amen, hope you have a great 2014, I am going to do more digital art this year hopefully, I just downloaded the painting program “Procreate” today which I am going to use on my ipad while I commute looks like a lot of fun. 🙂

  2. “Your painting is something that you have total control over”… well, sometimes, but, I am happiest when the painting takes over… when something totally unexpected happens. Then I feel I must just get out of the way. Happy painting, Robert!

  3. I hear you, Robert, about not getting caught up in how many likes I get or how popular a post is or whatever. That is never what I intended my blog to be about. I just want to share my work and my thoughts. Period! And with the new goals I have set for myself this year, I am not sure how much I will actually be doing that! I love my blog and reading others, but I have to step back and not let it take over my time.

  4. Oh, you can’t know how much I want to agree – about any arts – mostly because I certainly see the truth – the strength I have in animation/drawing that I’m trying to capture in watercolor is always a character’s expression. (Can’t tell you how rarely the water helps me out. :))

    What an amazing painting, that.

    • thanks for the kind words, I think that capturing an expression must be the hardest thing to do as an artist, that is why I rarely paint people, it is too much for my brain to comprehend. I wish you the best of luck. happy new year – robert

  5. Right, you can’t measure your art by likes. That has far more to do with how big your social circle is to begin with, how dedicated you are to maintaining a presence online, and mostly how cheesy, fashionable or mainstream your work is. The most popular all time works on DeviantArt, for example, are a cheeseball fest. And some of the best work I’ve found there had very few likes at all. If one wants likes, paint cats and movie stars. The more true art is the less people want to see it who don’t want to hear the truth. But the more attractive it is to those that do.

  6. Incidentally, was admiring your yellow carp, and I started to think about how he lurks under the water and the canvas at the same time. I think one of the strengths of the big fish paintings is the surface of the water mirroring the surface of the canvas… Ah, and he’s so peaceful.

    • I am glad you liked it Eric, that painting may be my favorite one ever. you know it is a large painting and I can remember working on it when I was sleepy, I kept feeling like I was going to fall into the water.

  7. Love the insightful post as well as the comments. As I sit here on my device typing, I am reminded that I need to get back to the task of observing the actual world and objects around me. Drawing and painting require that you do this in abundance. Thanks for the reminder and added push!

    • go for it Abbie. How is your new painting class going? that sounds like fun, someday when I have time I am going to take some courses, painting by yourself all the time can make you a little cabin crazy sometimes. good luck

  8. Keeps the crazy away, I love it Bob. Painting or my digital painting is a awesome therapy. Sometimes I think what would I do If I didn’t have this God given talent.
    I . Usually I don’t read comments of others blogs but I sure did this time and some are really great along with your answers. I so enjoy your art and your writings.
    Happy New Year My friend and to you family may it be blessed

    • right back at you Sherri, after all it is a fairly inexpensive way to keep the crazy away, a few tubes of acrylics, a canvas, a handful of brushes, not too shabby. I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t creative, that would be a tough one. probably be a menace to society or something 🙂

  9. I bullshit you not, I deactivated my FB account permanently about 20 minutes ago and am now reading this post…another funny thing is I plan to get back into oil painting as soon I buy the other 5 colors I need….Good Post brotha!!!

    • wow that was excellent, very interesting, that guy does some beautiful work, i am going to watch more of his video, of course it makes me jealous as heck that he can paint so fast! happy new year Stephen.

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