Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I use "painterly" because it best describes my non-linear path. The term is most classically employed by Heinrich Wolfflin in Principles of Art History, where it is paired against linear. If linear is an element of "form-definition," painterly is an element of indefiniteness--Leonardo da Vinci is painterly but not as painterly as Rubens, whose art is quite linear compared to the Impressionists'. Wolfflin distinguishes between a linear style and a painterly style. His simplistic formulation has affected a great deal of how art history is taught and the history of art organized, and is aligned with Hegel's view of the development of civilizations, which many people think is misguided and helps perpetuates cultural stereotypes.

OK, that's the background of the word. My path in life has been anything but linear, and it has taken me a long time to realize that it's OK that way. Of course, not many people actually embark on a straight path that begins with knowing what they want to do when they grow up and then doing it, meeting all the typical social requirements easily along the way. I know this, have always known that, but I somehow have always believed that most people go through life with more intent than I have: intent to succeed, intent to marry, to have children, to pursue their passion. Me, I've struggled to even say, what is my passion? So, a life whose form is undefined=painterly. That's also the key to my art-making, and what this blog is about.

1 comment:

  1. Yay!!! sisterly blogs!! and oh so creative!! we can inspire each other....and look, now you have your first follower AND first comment!