The Easel

Canvasing opinions: what can books by Julian Bell and Andrew Marr tell us about painting?

What, really, are painters doing when they paint?  Answering this question has become more difficult over time as the painter’s options have grown – perception, perspective, narrative, feeling, abstraction, colour, medium. One suggestion – a painting is “a corner of nature seen through a temperament”. A more declarative alternative is that a painting is the artist saying “I exist, and therefore you, the viewer, do too”.