There are two ways to think about the question of why artists create:

  • What leads someone to pick up a brush and get started?
  • What drives someone to keep creating artwork?

There are different reasons for everyone. Here’s what it is for me:

Why artists create – the catalyst

I felt completely unbalanced and I knew I needed to do something about it. Much of my working life was spent in analytical thinking. I felt that I needed something to provide a counterbalance.  When I say that I get unbalanced, I mean I literally felt lopsided and needed to do something to get myself back in alignment mentally. That’s when I decided to try my hand at painting.

I spent four days trying different mediums. Although watercolour wasn’t my strongest medium when I started, it proved to be the challenge I was looking for.

The continued journey

Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.
John Cleese

For some people, painting is a short-lived pastime. But I find the mental process fascinating and I love it. Every new subject is a different problem solving exercise. Each new medium added to my portfolio is another opportunity to explore different textures and palettes.

I love the constant learning. The vibrant colours appearing on the paper are mesmerising. There is so much enjoyment in the explorations and the ideas about how to convey an idea or a feeling. And the most captivating aspect of it all, is the knowledge that looking at one of my creations is giving pleasure to another human being. That’s the most exciting aspect of it for me.

The reason I paint is simple. I paint to help people feel connected to the many facets of nature. My aim is for them to feel the wide open spaces of a landscape, and be enchanted by the atmosphere of a rainforest. I paint the environment because I believe that only by really appreciating it’s beautiful diversity will we really understand what we stand to lose if we don’t protect it.

In answer to the question of why artists create: I continue to paint because I want to share my love of the natural world, and also because, as an artist friend once said:

It’s like finding treasure in your own back garden.

What’s your why?