I was recently asked ‘does my art have a message or a meaning?’. I didn’t take long to think about because my immediate response is yes. Here’s what I said.

“Often it does. Although, I think most of the time its meaning is only known by me and honestly only meant for me. I don’t feel the need to dictate what others feel or see in my art.”

artist peering over canvas

After thinking about this for a while I stand behind that response. Art doesn’t have to convey the meaning for it to have a message or even significance. It was part of my process while working on the piece and perhaps that’s all that was needed of the work to be satisfying and a release for me. Understanding of that message by the beholder is not necessary. In fact, I love to hear their interpretations. How does it speak to them, if at all.

I put my thoughts, dreams, frustrations and desires into a painting while in the act of painting it. Even during the conception, forming in my imagination these thoughts are churning. It doesn’t matter to me that anyone know those thoughts or desires much less understand them. The act of me creating it was a release… a meditation. I’ve now let it go. Well, hopefully I’ve let it go. Actually now that I think about it, not necessarily “hopefully” unless it was something difficult I was working through in myself. Many times, I feel that I don’t want to expose those thoughts or emotions I was going through in the work. It was personal.

Which brings me to another point and I’m sure this is what makes art so therapeutic. Creating art of any kind is deeply personal for most, I think. Writing, dancing, playing an instrument, painting and more are all not only acts which sometimes have end results for viewers or an audience but also, for me, the majority of the act is created inside my heart and mind… my imagination… it’s done on the inside. The painting is the product of my heart working out my mind… because my heart is the boss. Of course the mind is defiant sometimes.

Possibly, the energy will be so strong in a painting that the meaning cannot hide. Sadness for instance. When I’m down or something is bothering me it’s hard to create happy paintings so the sadness I felt might seep its way into the painting. Same thing for happy paintings too though. I think it depends on how well the viewer pays attention as to whether or not they pick up on it. Maybe since I have the privilege of knowing the behind the scenes stuff, it just looks obvious to me but it’s not to others.

So yes, my art has meaning. It’s rare for it not to. Perhaps the meaning will twist and shift to fulfill the dreams, thoughts and desires of the viewer. It’s not up to me to persuade the definition. Either it speaks to them or it doesn’t. It doesn’t matter if they understand it. For me, all that matters is does it speak to you?

artist holding canvas

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paintings by Jaime Haney

Learn more about me on the ‘About’ page under the additional links menu. I’m an artist – a painter mostly and an avid gardener. I paint a variety of subjects including birds, koi fish, my gardens, ponds and flowers as well as anything having to do with nature especially trees and tropical scenes. I also enjoy painting abstracts and have started created more and more of them. My most favorite thing to try to achieve in my painting is is mystery and telling mystical stories.

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