Wire Sitter- by Greg Newbold, Acrylic- 9" x 18"
Illustration is about telling stories. It's about creating something that makes the viewer ask what happened just before this, or what will happen next? What is the story behind this place? Illustration, and art in general is about crafting an image that the viewer can immerse himself in, that he can relate to. Sometimes a picture takes you back to a place in your childhood memory that you have not visited in a long time. Howard Pyle, one of my favorite illustrators, very eloquently touched on this topic in the following quote:
The stories of childhood leave an indelible impression, and their author always has a niche in the temple of memory from which the image is never cast out to be thrown on the rubbish heap of things that are outgrown and outlived. -Howard Pyle
The emotional response we get from viewing a painting is often less about the painting than it is about the emotional connection that we as observers bring to the viewing of the work. I try to create in my work an environment in which one can visit for a while, perhaps rest or even contemplate. I think great art of necessity is a participatory experience. If the viewer doesn't bring their own experience into the equation, if it elicits no response, is it really art? I am not talking about art whose sole purpose is to shock or offend- that type of response is a subject for another day. I am speaking of a real connection, where you feel the soul of the work. Many times people will comment to me that something I have done "reminds them" of a certain place or time, that it speaks to them. This is when I know I have done my job well and that satisfaction doesn't come until afterward.
This painting is from the book Spring Song written by Barbara Seuling.