Why Do I Paint?
Creating art has intrigued me ever since I can remember. My very first art lesson, where I grew up in Mt. Vernon NY, with a teacher from my school, consisted of she and I on location sketching. I was a fourth grader. I loved to draw and loved color even more.
In eighth grade, now living in Hazlet, NJ, my teacher recommended to my parents I be enrolled in an adult oil painting class at the local high school. They agreed and sacrificed to buy me my first set of oil paints, Grumbacher, a few canvases and all else necessary for me to begin this intriguing and equally terrifying odyssey into the world of "grown up" art. I was 12.
Though my life has been, so far, rich and diverse, in travel, relationships, and experiences, nothing is as compelling, fulfilling or important to me than to paint. My art is my life. The vision and purpose that brings to me my subject matter is the food of my soul. It is my way of expressing my heart, my mind, and how I see my world. It is who I am and most of what I wish to do in this life. To create is to be one with the creator, and thus, our true spirituality. It is who we are; our birthright, our highest and noblest gesture and way of being. It brings us peace and fulfillment.
For me, love comes first. My creative expression is my way to express that love in so many forms. Through artistic expression I have come to know who I am and always have been. I have always been an artist. I was never formally schooled, but have trained with some of the finest artists I have ever met. They nurtured and encouraged me. I have studied extensively, the ways of the Masters and perused galleries and museums around the world.
I began designing sets for plays at the age of 13, doing murals from around age 14, worked in oils for over 40 years and now acrylics for 12. I have designed book, CD and magazine covers, product labels and signs. I have done portraits and commissions for over 50 years. I sold my first painting at age 15. I have patrons and collectors around the world. Now I pursue my series of "Hearts and Doves" representing love and peace, quintessential subject matter for me. I paint flowers, the Goddess in her many forms, the sea and the sky.
I paint from my heart and the visions that make themselves known to me. Sometimes they appear as abstracts, sometimes as fertile matrices with elements of our precious mother earth and the wonder of life on her sacred surface; the wonder of the content of our hearts as we navigate through this life, from whence we came and to where we journey and how many times we've made that journey... All elements I consider as I explore the realms of my creative expression.
I have always realized my job was never to "accept and comply" but to re-create the world into something I can live in as my perceptions and my higher self direct me. Perhaps you will connect to my vision, and permit it to somehow enhance your life through its expression. In a book I found years ago about a wonderful French artist, Louis Labro-Font 1881-1952, he expressed his profound appreciation for the gift of his creativity as follows; I humbly and wholly embrace his statement and would like to share it with you...
"Le petit homme doux au visage précocement ride' majestueusement seul sur sa colline heureuse, porte en lui-même le trésor le plus beau et répète tout en caressant affectueusement ses toiles: "Mon Dieu, je Vous remercie de m'avoir permis de peindre..."
The gentle little man with his face precociously lined with wrinkles, magnificently alone on his happy hill, carries in himself the most beautiful treasure and repeats while fondly patting his paintings, "My God, I thank Thee for having permitted me to paint..." ~ Marcel E. Grancher
Now, after some 60 years of being romanced by paint and its magic, Having traveled all over the world, and for the past 30 years residing in the lovely CA village of Carmel by the Sea, my personal créative journey has not waned, but grows stronger every day...To love, to life, to creativity! ~ Ali Miner