Painting as a Vehicle for Communication

“As communicators, artists should not just portray a subject. Their work should be a window to the thoughts and inner workings of their artist lives and minds.” ~ Elizabeth Azzolina

By Al Gord

The essence of art, in any form, is to communicate with others. From the earliest times drawings, paintings, dance, acting, song, and oral story have been used to pass down history, share monumental events, and commemorate stories of personal value. Today we are fortunate to still have documented first-hand accounts, as well as artifacts, that allow us to learn about and make meaning of the past. While media outlets and social media allow for instantaneous news, stories of personal interest and important breaking events, we cannot lose sight of the important role that the arts play in society, both as a medium for sustaining and sharing culture, but as a tool for “giving voice” to others.

Whatever Tomorrow Brings I’ll be There

When I first started painting I dabbled in watercolours and oils; I tried painting nature scenes and still life. None of this resonated with me! I gained experience looking at other artists’ work and reproducing their painting purely for my own enjoyment. While I derived some pleasure from re-creating other’s work, I also felt an emptiness upon completing the piece. People would be impressed with “my work” and the positive response, while uplifting, still did not fill my artistic void. Continued practice helped me improve my technique and yet I still felt as if something was missing.

Over time and after a break from art I realized why I was not getting the enjoyment out of something for which I once had a passion: the essence of art, and of any creative pursuit, is to convey a message, an idea, an emotion. Without that the final product is empty. When an artist is sharing their innermost thoughts, their most personal feelings – their passion and their message comes across in the work. It was this shift in understanding, due in large part to life circumstances and a difficult time, which helped me transition from someone who produced art to that of an artist – two very different creative types, both in style and mindset.

Everyone has a message to share, experiences to retell, and emotions to express. Some people find that talking to a trusted person in their life or journaling their ideas are enough. For others, the creative route is a powerful and transformative way to further express their ideas. While this requires some level of comfort in letting strangers in, it is also incredibly cathartic! Not only does this support the artist in allowing him or her to communicate their innermost ideas and feelings, but art allows others to find a connection, be it with the art or the artist.

About Al Gord

Al Gord is an up and coming artist who lives in Toronto, Canada. He has been a featured artist twice in Niji Magazine. Al has exhibited pieces in shows from Toronto, Canada, and New York, New York to the United Kingdom. He combines abstract techniques with figurativism to create Iconic Rock Portraiture paintings. Other series include Modern Romantic Expressionism and his works which focus on mental health awareness and advocacy. Regardless of the subject matter his signature style is clearly recognizable. His work is showcased on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where he welcomes inquiries, questions, and feedback.

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