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Ruth's Art Blog, "It Makes Me Think"

Who are you painting for?
By Ruth Hugeback
Posted on 11/15/2020 10:45 AM

A friend sent me a photo from her road-trip.  The scene was lovely even though it was a poor quality photo was taken through a windshield.  I sat down to paint that beautiful landscape thinking my friend would like to hang it on her wall. 

My paintings go through stages, good, ugly, better, worse, improving, kind of OK, or a cuss worthy mess.  This morning that painting was so awful that I wouldn’t show it to anyone much less give it to my friend.  Happily, my morning also included a fun video phone call with my son’s family.  My 5 year old granddaughter loves to draw and paint.  When I told her that I started a new painting she asked to see it.  She gave me a big smile, a thumbs up and told me it looked great.

So who am I painting for?  I tell people that I paint for my own enjoyment, that the process of learning brush strokes, composition and paint colors is great entertainment – and it is, but I like it when others enjoy my work too.  I like to make people stare to find the story in my paintings.  Mostly I like to make people happy.  So I have to admit that sometimes I don’t paint only for myself.  Getting a thumbs up from a 5 year old feels pretty darn good.