Texas Artist, Monte Wilson
When I was asked to provide insight into what compels me to create art I struggled a bit with what I can possibly write that can briefly describe my philosophy. In short, as far back as I can remember, I have always been a creative person. Constantly challenging myself to see what I can accomplish then pushing still further to perfect it. In my youth, I was continuously exploring. Be it applying graphite to paper, India ink to canvas board, or out hiking the trail, I was always searching, aching to discover what lies around the next turn. I remember the excitement I felt at that first sight of auburn and gold leaves dancing from the trees at the turn of the season. I can still feel the cool, softness of the first snow and the calming effect of a perfectly formed rainbow after an intense storm. I believe the wonderment of a child should never be lost. It should always remain a part of one’s being. As I grew older I came to realize creativity is merely a product of vision, and vision, true vision, is the essence of who we are.
Today I am often asked: “From where do you get your ideas and inspiration?” To which my response is always: “I don’t get them at all. They are here all around us every minute of every day. All I have to do is see.” I choose to see things in a positive light and with the amazement of my inner child. I still get excited at the sight of a Great Blue Heron wading gracefully from shore or a buffalo grazing in the meadow. My desire is to take a small slice of what is really out there in this wonderful world, combine it with my own vision, to express the true beauty of what I see and, in so doing, transfer to the viewer a sense of peace and tranquility. My hope is to evoke an emotional response; possibly bring back that happy childhood memory or a fond moment lost. If, while studying one of my paintings, one feels a sense of awe and, if only for a moment, they are transported there, lost in that special time and place, then I think I have succeeded in what I wish to share.
So, to the question of what compels me to create art, my answer is everything. Art, in form and function, is a fundamental part of my soul. It is something I am driven to do and is no less important to me than an arm or a leg.