When asked "what do you paint" I always say I'm a landscape painter. Yet, when I take a look back at my iPhoto file of 'My Paintings' I see lots of things, not just landscapes. So who am I as a painter? Well, it's obvious I'm more than a landscape painter.
When I started out painting I thought I'd be a flower painter. I had enjoyed many years of gardening and photographing flowers and herbs. After painting together for about a year, my first teacher, Keith Rose said that I was going to be a landscape painter, so I took on that title. Yet, when I look back at the body of work... huh. A different story emerges. So what kind of painter am I? A diverse/inspired painter, I like it all. Here is a series of recent photographs of the walls in my studio.
The real truth is I do enjoy painting a wide variety of subjects. And one of the 'drivers' in my mind is learning new things. How do you get real depth on a flat surface? Or to do a 'high key' painting with real interest? How to paint a rock wall, without doing each rock? How to make a sidewalk look flat to the viewer? What about all this 'stuff' in the photograph? And on and on it goes in my mind. It seems I always have more questions than answers.
At the moment I'm interested in storefront windows with all the reflections and room interiors... see... it just goes on. To that end, here are some photographs I'm wanting to paint at this moment.
I remember reading an art book by Richard Schmid where he said something like... what painting really is, it's problem solving! And he, himself, painted it all very successfully I might add - including people which I also want to paint. See how it just continues: learn more, do more.
If you tried to put paintings like the windows or interiors into a category like I have here on my website, do they go into landscape or architectural? Do I need a new category called interiors? And then, I'm remembering Richard painted it all and classified all of it as "paintings", no categories! Maybe that's the answer for a website. But what do you say to someone who asks the question, "What do you paint?" Do you say, "Oh, I paint it all." Probably that's not the answer they're looking for.
Maybe we all are searching for an identity and that search is part of the enjoyment of the creativity we all have at our disposal. I don't know... I'm wondering what do you say when someone asks you "What do you paint?"