One of my favourite observations about being a painter comes from a treatise on painting by Leonardo da Vinci.
“Look at walls splashed with a number of stains, or stones of various mixed colours. If you have to invent some scene, you can see their resemblances to a number of landscapes, adorned with mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, great plains, valleys and hills, in various ways. Also you can see various battles, and lively postures of strange figures, expressions on faces, costumes and an infinite number of things, which you can reduce to good integrated form. This happens on such walls and varicoloured stones, (which act) like the sound of bells, in whose peeling you can find every name and word that you can imagine. Do not despise my opinion, when I remind you that it should not be hard for you to stop sometimes and look into the stains of walls, or the ashes of a fire, or clouds, or mud or like places, in which, if you consider them well, you may find really marvellous ideas. The mind of the painter is stimulated to new discoveries, the composition of battles of animals and men, various compositions of landscapes and monstrous things, such as devils and similar things, which may bring you honour, because by indistinct things the mind is stimulated to new inventions.” ― Leonardo da Vinci
Many will relate to the things in this quote and some of us respond with the act of painting. I paint to express my ideas and when commissioned, help others realise the things they’d like to see in a painting.
Percy Williams Building