Becoming and remaining an artist may not have been as comfortable of an option as I had once thought. It didn’t become a hobby or pastime. It has been a trying and, sometimes, painful devotion that could obliterate life as I'd expected it to be. Being a dedicated artist means that I've had to stay the course, no matter what because that ability becomes a main ingredient to reflect in my work. Practice can yield excellence but defeating the hardship ensures the perseverance. For me, being an artist has had to be a religious experience and my life remains real when I paint. In return, I gain a fulfillment including an unbroken sense of progress, purpose and time used to its best. There's no reason for me to live a different way. It's been a most incredible gift in near impenetrable wrapping.
For me, representational painting, realism, is a mix of creative objectives, observations and challenges. The objectives include leaving a crafted narrative about a world I experienced or an inspiration for others. The challenge lies in pursuing potentials of the skill, to grasp its purpose and reasons for an artist's life beyond nature's most obvious plans. Such a broad term, "artwork" leaves a lot to be understood or interpreted so I frequently ask myself what defines it, if that's even possible. The only answer relevant to myself is in exploring what my eye takes in or wants to see, what I mentally refine and what my touch can present on canvas in the end. It's the way I'll tell the story, possibly shy of all the facts. I could have chosen a different genre but I had always been moved by classical masters. As a young boy, an old palette box was given to me and I've never wanted to close it back up. A library of art history books line my studio and with all the masters to browse through from any era, I'm fixed on making my own contribution. It's as if I discover my own reason to exist.
Painting is an exploration of visual effects and possibilities. Not only must I discover these and reflect a subject but also myself, the artist. The most predominant feature or "signature" on a canvas is how rather than what I painted . It's as if there must be a train of thought or state of mind reflected. It becomes a voice that's recognized. "Realism" reaches well beyond initial observation. It's a utilization and manipulation of reality. It's an extension, an amplification process that performs. It's a mirror into which I look. As a representational painter, my finished canvas is a reach for the finest ability today that strives to surpass the past. I'm out to stimulate visual passions, most of all my own. My ultimate objective is in challenging that ability to discover and reflect more of myself and find out who I was meant to be or what I was gifted to produce.
Bruce Wilcox Braithwaite