"Singing" of Spring / by Jeannine Cook

These days of warm springlike weather are absolutely irresistible! I should be doing all sorts of other things, but I find myself rushing out to paint - for the sheer joy of being outdoors as an artist!

Of course, it is then instant humbleness as I struggle to accomplish what I hope to paint. The wind blows, the gnats arrive and I can't believe that what I deemed to be straightforward has suddenly become complicated. But underlying the whole experience is harmony, of "singing true" and almost a sense of completeness: I am privileged to be doing what I love to do, in a beautiful spring world.
I think Ingres knew about this sense of plenitude and harmony, in his paintings but also when he was drawing his astonishing graphite pencil portraits or his landscape drawings in Rome. He wrote, "Everything in nature is harmony; a little too much, or else too little, disturbs the scale and makes a false note. One must teach the point of singing true with the pencil or with brush as much as with the voice; rightness of forms is like rightness of sounds."
At the left is Ingres' drawing of Ursin Jules Vatinelle and at left, is his drawing of The View of the Villa Medici. Both images are courtesy of the website, The Complete Works of Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.
Somehow, the close observation of one's surroundings and an effort to create a harmonious composition and luminous painting help to make one grow as an artist. That always helps make life more fulfilling.