My most recent painting (and my first in oils since I was a student).
Title: Simchat Torah
Media: Oil paints on canvas
Copyright: © http://www.chanahelen.com
Why have I painted ‘Simchat Torah’?
Lots of artists have painted this subject – so what moved me to paint it? Well, lots of artists paint flowers, landscapes, and portaits - but each one has portrayed them in his/her unique way. I simply wanted to express it in my own way.
I so enjoyed doing this, my first oil painting since I was a student. (I’ve been working mainly in watercolours for the last few years). Besides being a good deal older, there are some other noticeable differences for me in using oil paints. These are some of them-
The paints I used are better quality than I could afford as a student. I ordered artists’ quality paints a few weeks ago, and could hardly wait for them to arrive. I thoroughly enjoy using them – they are so rich – my eyes light up as I squeeze them out onto my palette.
I’m a little more patient now. I make a lot of mistakes, paint out, still not right, paint out …. I accept the time it takes now, well, at least a bit better than I did as a student. There are the passages that I paint and never change, too – they are a bonus.
I know now WHAT I want to paint. So, what did I want to paint in ‘Simchat Torah?’ I wanted to express, in as powerful a way as I was able, a Jew’s love of the Torah. I wanted the work to be rich, vibrant, and so full of joy that it couldn’t be contained on the canvas – I wanted to paint joy without bounds – joy leaping out of the canvas. Can YOU feel it?
I hope that Jews will look at my painting and think ‘This is how I want to feel in serving Hashem!’ and non-Jews to think ‘Wow, is this how Jews feel? They must really have something good!’
Be well, be happy – and may we all appreciate what we have.