Figurative Painting and the Soul Connection

Why Figurative Painting Speaks To Us

Figurative painting has been popular for centuries because humans love to see other humans. Of course before the camera was invented, figurative painting was what chronicled events. Monarchs and The Church would hire painters to create portraits and scenes glorifying them. But our attraction to figurative painting is much more basic. As infants we love looking at the human face — whether its our mother’s or a smiley face drawn on a piece of paper. We look for faces in rocks and clouds. We love looking at other people.

Figurative Painting In Your Home

Landscapes are a lovely addition to the walls of any home, but figurative paintings not only open up the space by they add a richness that speaks to our souls. It’s like having a friend in the room. If the figurative painting is allegorical, we have something more than the tv to look at. We can ponder our own stories — look into the scene for subtle hints as to what the story is.

Most of the religious figurative paintings reinforce the stories we know from the bible but more recent works provide an opportunity for the viewer to create his/her own story about the scene. This is how I approach my latest works — especially The Window Series. The canvas tells me a story and then I give the figurative painting an abstract name so the viewer’s imagination can soar.

We, as a society don’t use our imagination enough. We rely on tv and video to tell us their stories. Figurative paintings give us the opportunity to flex our imagination muscles — and through those become more creative in our lives. So the next time you’re in a museum, or gallery, or someone’s home where there are portraits and other works depicting people, make up your own story about it. How rich can you make that story? If the figurative painting speaks to you, you’ve made a soul connection with the work. Where do you feel that connection? In your heart? Your tummy?

This is the beauty of art. It speaks to our soul. It stirs emotion. It keeps our imaginations alive.

If when you’re looking at my paintings and they tell you a story, share it on my Facebook page. I’d love to hear what the images tell you!