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Skepticism In Painting

Published on October 12, 2010 under All Posts
Skepticism In Painting

“Lilies and Pansies” by Stefan Baumann


When I go through my studio, I often find little treasures I have painted that have been lost for a few months, and then found with much delight.  When I am stuck on a painting or I am not sure that a painting is complete, I turn it away from my view and set it in a corner for a few days or weeks.  When I rediscover the forgotten work, I can see the painting with new eyes and will notice if anything is missing.  This painting called “Lilies and Pansies” is one I painted on my back porch early last spring.  Finding this jewel refreshes my memory of spring as I get ready for fall.

Artists constantly question themselves: Do I have talent?   Am I original?   Does my art have any feeling?  Does my art have meaning?   These conversations create barriers between who we are and what we create.   These skeptical conversations are deeply rooted in messages taught to us at home and in school that questioned our own essence of being human and doubted our capabilities of what we could achieve.  We can usually mask these doubts about our genius in our day-to-day life, but the doubts intensify and become real issues when we creatively express ourselves.  When we tap into the core inside ourselves and present it to the world in our paintings, we cannot hide.  Why are we so afraid?   It is possible that the source of our genius and creativity comes from the same “undefended child” within us that was corrected, doubted, and challenged to do it better, instead of being celebrated for making the effort to create, to learn, to risk being imperfect, and do new things anyway! 

Our insights and feelings are what make us human, and to share this understanding with others is the foundation of art.  Art is communicating to others without words, expressing our thoughts, experiences, and emotions to others so they can understand our point of view.  Everyone has something to say, and what you have to say has as much value as anyone else who has ever picked up a paintbrush or written a note of music.   I invite you to come to the canvas with a courageous and joyful heart, knowing that you have made it to this age willing to create, express, and share yourself artistically.  Those who are critics cannot stop you, for they are not able to see, feel, or communicate at your level of understanding, and those who are artists will love you for your bold and fearless spirit.


Plein air and Alla Prima artist Stefan Baumann, host of  the PBS painting series “The Grand View, America’s National Park through the eyes of an artist” and author of “Observations Of Art and Nature,” travels in his vintage travel trailer painting America’s western landscape. Baumann paints outdoors with oils and canvas capturing stunning vistas, wildlife, western landscapes, National Parks and still life, thrilling art collectors throughout the world.  He has many collectors acquiring his paintings as investment internationally. His painting style is called Romantic Realism with Lumunism and the extraordinary way he captures the effect of light is a truly an American Style used to paint the Western Landscape.  He can be seen painting in Yellowstone, Yosemite and in the Grand Canyon and Baumann’s “how to paint” DVDs filmed on location in the National Parks are the very best on the market.

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