I think I am driven to paint. When you do something often it becomes your identity. You don’t ask why- you just do it, like walking for example. Once you do it you find things to do or places to go.
I think of my paintings as one surface after another; each calls for a new decision consistent with what is actually there. Deeply engrossed within my own mind; trusting your own instincts is key. You trust that what you’re doing is not just colours and shapes but the construction of something that transcends them. Painting, like music, is its own language, so you trust it and let go.
I let my paintings express the positive side of me. With canvas, paper, and colours, resin and sparkle I feel turned into the physical world’s power and beauty. I love nature intensely and feel the beauty of living in Kenya each day.
A rose, a tree, a stream of water, can give me a sense of belonging to them. I love gardens, the ocean, skies, as I see them here. I love this environment in a way that exalts its infinite variety and appeal.
Painting is often a hermetic and mysterious process.
We often wonder what art can do for people. I would say that art humanises society. It brings the reminder that we are more than physical bodies. We have a spirit that needs to be fed and stimulated. Visual art, music, sculpture, drama, and so on keep elevating us and opening doors to more than ourselves.
We can extend our present notion of art by examining how anything done with care can be vrewed as the beginning of an artistic instinct at work. Gardening, cooking and sewing are seen as crafts but they harbour an artistic desire to go further, to discover, to procure thoughts that transcend the merely functional.
When I paint I feel like I am a part of something bigger than myself, in communication with all those who did more or less the same thing, and part of a community within ordinary society.
It might be an idea to give young people the materials to make their own building, and ask them to plant trees. They will be less prone to destroy things that they have built, and a softer environment can make them feel good. This is where art and politics mix and where they can help each other.
I believe in the redeeming value of art.
Geraldine Robarts, October 2016.