Mar 272012

Schwarts-Gates painting and giclee print

Jane's 'Tree of Feminine Thought' painting and giclee print

Most artists are driven to paint. For me it is a need to express myself. I’m lucky that I also enjoy writing, performing and other forms of communication. There is, however no way to explain how comfortable it is to do what you were made to do. Sometimes it is frustrating to live in a society where there is little appreciation or value to fine arts. It would make life so much easier to be born with a skill and drive to do something other people are more willing to pay for. Artists, too, have to pay bills. We do live in a materialistic society and the arts seem to be losing priority as economic pressures increase. Yet when you are born an artist you find you need to keep drawing and painting even if there is little financial remuneration.

There was a time when I believed it would be “selling out” to do paid illustrations. As time goes on I am thankful to paint and draw for myself and for others.

Children's Illustration by Schwartz Gates

Children's fantasy seahorse illustration

Pepper illustration

Stylized pepper illustration

All my life I’ve been keenly aware of the connectedness of life and the magic of being a part of nature. We really are all part of the bigger picture – unique stitches in the grand tapestry of life. And we are all interdependent. My love of gardening is part of the same passion for life and I truly believe if all people gardened more and spent time  living directly as part of nature we would have a greater  respect for other lives and life in all its forms. That is what my paintings are about.

I’ve also discovered I can share the magic of connectedness in writing and illustration, in landscape design and story writing, and in simply making an effort to reach out to the lives I interact with each day, be they human, animal or plant.

dog sports drawing

Disk dog drawing

I paint because I love doing it and because I am on a mission. I want to express the joy that comes of filling life with the appreciation of this magnificent planet and the graceful, interdependent dance of life that populates this earth. I hope that joy will infect others through my work. All artists have their own personal reasons to paint. I think most of us hope our work will not only be appreciated, but have some helpful impact on those who view it.  Well, at least that’s why I paint.