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Anatomy of a Painting... Is a painting the sum of it's parts, or is there something more?

I recently sent an email with images of a new painting in progress. I showed pictures of all the different parts that go into one of my pieces, the "anatomy" of a painting. It made me think about the finished painting and wondered "Is a painting or work of art the sum of it's parts?"

In these images you can see the tangible materials that goes into my work. It all starts with an idea and a sketch.

I paint papers using the color palette I've chosen, adding texture with various techniques. These papers are a physical part of the painting.

A tracing paper pattern is made based on my sketch. The painted papers are torn into their corresponding pattern piece.

The torn paper shapes are placed on the wood panel so I can get an idea of how the colors and composition will work.

I paint the sky in acrylic, then collage the paper shapes onto the wood panel.

This is where I think about the trees, shapes, colors and placement.

After trying several different options, I decide on tree placement and they are collaged onto the panel.

So what physically goes into a painting? The wood panel or substrate. D-rings and wire to hang the painting. Paint, papers and matte medium used to collage the pieces. My signature. A Certificate of Authenticity on the back of the piece.

These are the physical components that make up one of my works.

But what about the essence of a piece of art? The things that are not tangible, but without a doubt there none the less?

What you can't see that goes into a painting is the artists idea and imagination that inspires the creation of the piece. The artists love and creativity in every brush stroke, every color choice, the placement of all parts in the composition. Every piece of art also has a piece of the makers heart and soul there in the work.

The artist is communicating through her art.

Also not visible to the naked eye but quite powerful in a work of art, is the connection between the art and the viewer. The emotion or memory the painting evokes can be very strong. It is something felt in the heart and soul. A connection between the art, artist and viewer. A circle of love.

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