thoughts on art, oil painter Anne Marie Peterson, realism painting

Some of my old tubes of oil paint

I have plenty of thoughts on art. And I have even more questions about art! Why is it that certain things can trigger within us a reaction that takes our breath away or makes us forget reality? What is at the root of the need inside the artist –the need to communicate the experience to the outside world in the form of art?


As an oil painter of over thirty years, I must say that I have changed my reasons for why I must paint. I’m not your average artist; I don’t even consider myself an artist –I call myself an oil painter because I perceive of my abilities to be more technical than inspired. That being said, I won’t paint something if I am not inspired, meaning I can “see” the finished product in my mind when I look at it and have the Inner Knowing that what is before me “is an oil painting”. Now that is a real “thought on art“!


In general, my drive to oil paint was simply to express the beauty I experienced when I looked at life around me so I could share it with others who weren’t with me or couldn’t witness to it. This stems from my natural enthusiasm for our fantastic planet and the range of beauty that can be found here.

Thoughts on Art From Mother Nature

I used to travel to inspire my artistic self, often putting myself through unusual conditions as if to temper myself. Camping, hiking rough terrain and sailing great distances are a few of the things I would do to tune out my usual daily life so I could attune myself to Mother Nature and listen to what She wanted me to notice, what She wanted me to think about her art.

Without a doubt, travel for me is the best way to calm my inner voice…I can find stillness within and attune myself to the subtler vibrations of the world around me. I notice more detail in color and texture. I can better observe the relationships between items in a landscape and study their relative scale, perspective and notables in the blink of an eye.  I begin to see more clearly harmony in parallel lines, concentric forms and disassociated shapes, beautiful tonalities in the colors and gradations that a Realist painter like me swoons over.

The older I get, the less I need to travel for inspiration and I find it nearer than I once imaged possible. I have become a tourist in my own town and state which serves me well now that I am a mom to a daughter with special needs and a rather clever son and our family schedule is a mile long and time is short.

Carlsbad Flower Fields, smelling the flowers, thoughts on art

My toddler takes time to smell the flowers in the Carlsbad Flower Fields.

These days, I look closer to me for beauty and find it at arm’s reach.  While staring at the center of a flower that sits in a vase on my dining table, I simply notice what is in front of me as I eat my dinner and I see lovely patterns in petals of, for example, an alstroemeria. While pushing my daughter on a swing on the playground, I find beauty in the way the sunlight glints off her blond highlights and I think about how I would paint it on canvas. Those are considerable thoughts on art. I may not be able to paint as much as I used to due to my lifestyle changes and family, but I am never out of touch with my artistic side.

Every so often in life, we have no choice but to hit the “pause” button and take a time out from our usual activities. One day, I will return to traveling to a far off land and return home with a huge desire to paint a magnificent landscape as a testament to the beauty somewhere else other than home. And already my mind is converting a closet with a window (ventilation is important with oil paints) into a studio so that I can paint while our children are at school. The convenience of just closing the door to seal off the closet from little curious minds is too good to pass up. I’m certain it won’t be too long before I have a paint brush in my hands. And I can hit the “play” button with no guilt! –And that playful thought on art makes me smile.

What are your thoughts on art? Please share them in the comment section below!

Live well and be happy,

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