My First Painting


I have always been enchanted and captivated by art of all kinds.  I am especially drawn to looking at paintings and how they were created. I like to try to imagine the motivation behind a particular painting that I am examining. When I first started painting, I had no idea of motivation or why some artists choose particular subjects to explore. I did not begin to paint seriously until I was an adult. I took my first painting class for two reasons. One, it was taught in France, and two in emphasized creativity, not technique. It was a perfect class for me because I was creative, but had no technique what so ever.

First Attempts

I have read many examples or talked to artists who have purged their first attempts painting. I once went to a workshop where one of the teachers said “If you have paintings in your studio that are not any good, get rid of them, burn them”. I, however, disagree. Yes, I have certainly painted over works that I was never going to be able to fix. But I have kept many of my first and early paintings because they remind me of how hard I was trying to create something, how emotionally involved I was with my subject, or how proud I am that my first attempts.  They were so primitive and amateurish, but I love that I was doing my best. Also, there was already a glimpse of my palette, my technique and the subjects that moved me then and now. Here is an example of one of my very first paintings in France. I love this painting, because I remember where I was while I was painting it, where I was sitting, the fact that I was alone, how I was enchanted with this old ruined house and how much I enjoyed putting paint on canvas.

Soreze Door

Soreze Door, acrylic on canvas, 9×12, ©2000, Ann Hart Marquis


Ruins, acrylic on canvas, 11×14, ©2000, Ann Hart Marquis

This French workshop took place in a medieval village in the southwest of France. There many things calling to be painted. This very old door was one of the last of my paintings on this trip.

After many classes and mentors, and spending time by myself making mistakes on canvas and then realizing how to fix them, I am now a painter, and artist who paints in order to touch that sometimes not so quiet voice in my head.

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