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Why we paint???

Posted by ngwoonlam on November 1, 2007

blessing ng woon lam singapore oil painting artist

Why we paint???

I heard from a teacher from New York. He said a painting is a magical thing. An artist paints an image. He/She left. Someone comes over and is able to connect and communicate with him/her.

But that’s not why I paint. I enjoy it a lot more than that. I was not able to figure out until one day I read a translated book about Rodin’s philosophy in art.

That’s was a casual conversation between Rodin and his 2 students. Could not translate the translated Chinese names back to the right language. Sorry about that!!!

Rodin was with his 2 students leaving Salon show for lunch. One student was teasing another telling him an artist was a completely useless person, which the other student had to agree with him though unhappily.

{I translate the content below from Chinese. Sorry for any minor inaccuracy!!!}

“Please go ahead and have the food Mr.XXX. Though you need not to be served as you are an artist. You are basically a useless fellow.”

“I forgive you for your impoliteness, as you have also taken half of the food.” then he continued “But I could not disagree with you ……….  Basically the world does not need us.”

Rodin then disagreed with his students.

This is what he said, “…… one can choose do a good job or a bad job. To do a good job, I believe is the human nature. However, when working becomes a measure thru’ financial return and personal needs, it changes. People choose to do a not-so-good job.”

“In order to change this, I wish everyone is an artist. ‘Artist’ here is a common word to describe one who loves what one’s doing. A happy carpenter artist….. a happy taxi driver artist, … with all these happy artists, we have a society with the best comfort and service ever.”

“That’s the one message a artist is passing to the society.”

After reading this, I quit my job and paint fulltime. I think since I like it, I can do it better!!!

Please feel free to post your opinions and opposite point of view. Have fun painting!!!

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4 Responses to “Why we paint???”

  1. paul said

    i think we paint,solely to express our myriads of feelings.feelings of downs,happiness or depressions.depressive people can paint very well too & it is those moments or period,that their innermost feelings of anguish are “released” or expressed out – i.e…on the canvass.i dabbles with paint too(once in a quartermoon) – but not when im happy or sad.i do it spontaneously,without obligation or when ,im “under pressure”.im learning to paint & i haven’t actually painted anything or had painted a “real” painting.a real painting to me is a painting which i find it simply awesome – unbelievable to my capability.i hope someday,i’ll complete or suceed in painting my that painting.

  2. ngwoonlam said

    Nice to hear that. Thanks for sharing your experience and point of view.

    Best regards,
    Woon Lam

  3. yuliana said

    Why I paint? Ehmm….quite agree that painting is a magical thing. I had backpain and headache from my office job, when I paint after working hours all pain seems disappeared and i feel it’s timeless, i just wish that time stop when i paint :D. After finish painting, approx 3 hrs, my headache comes back 😀

    I will try to be there at ngee ann. thanks for the information

  4. ngwoonlam said

    Hi Yuliana,

    Nice to hear that. I think I have Bigger headache when I paint. Just joking!

    Don’t miss seeing Mr. Lee Boon Wang and Mr. Tan Tze Kai’s Artworks at the show.

    Looks like Ngee Ann Cultural Centre is a new hot place for all art exhibitions. I am so glad to see an organisation support art events so generously.

    Weather is bad BUT nothing stops painters because we paint…… I don’t care it is rain or shine.

    Enjoy painting!!!

    Best Wishes
    Woon Lam

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