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By Martina Kwenda (Ethelartconnect Creative Writer)

The common adage “A picture says a thousand words “is so true especially when we talk about paintings.  When an artist paints a picture or draws an image there is a message that they are trying to convey.  What makes a painting successful is composition, colors, and subject matter all work harmoniously to deliver a unified and well-executed artwork.

People find it difficult to understand a painting because they overthink, art should appeal to you through your senses. The art of reading an artwork is not in how much you know about art. It’s just about paying attention to de

tail, a little bit of patience, and a willingness to reflect on your own feelings. This doesn’t mean a painting has to be beautiful to the eye for it to be a good one, it just has to grab one’s attention one way or the other. Sometimes a painter can share a painful story through a grotesque image or even in a beautiful manner. The beauty in art is you don’t have to worry about the reaction of people because the greatest Masterpieces in history were never received well at first.

However depending on the composition or structure of the artwork sometimes you cannot tell what the message is at first glance When others see a painting all they see is color but artists like the French artist, Yves Klein intended for just that in his painting  “Untitled Orange Monochrome”  where all you see is orange.

 The elements of a good painting consist of technique and technical aspects, Personal and Emotional Involvement, and Novelty. Once you know this and appreciate this a painting is then easier to decipher. There are three things a painting can’t live without and these are the focal point which is the ‘culmination of the momentum” which is the element that engages the viewer it can be bold or can be subtle. Layers of colors can make a painting dark or bright so they create the atmosphere. Lastly changes in direction because of the way a brush move makes a statement.

The most important thing l want to leave the reader with is when you find a painting that you respond to ask yourself why?. Why that type of artwork resonates with you can be a stepping stone in self-discovery. As the saying goes “We don’t see things they are but we are”

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