Thursday, March 26, 2015

Three Questions

Beren and Luthien in the Court of Thingol and Melian     in progress     110" x 62"     Oil on linen

by Donato

Another couple of weeks have past since my last post and I am still in the middle of a large commissioned oil painting, my most complex ever.  Although it would be great to keep updates on every process development, I find that I am not taking many image shots as the work proceeds.  Not from any lack of interest in documenting the painting, but rather my desire and focus while involved with this work has different needs for me.

I entered illustration and a career in oil painting because of my love to bring forth images which swirl away in my mind.  It is thrilling to make them real, and even better to share them with a sympathetic audience.  But the heart of why I am an artist is that I love to work, to spend a day in the studio creating.  That is what is driving me now, the need to create - not to socialize, develop new concepts, prepare for a convention, nor think about what the future may bring in my art.  Right now I am focused on what is in front of me...and it makes me extremely happy.

This state of mind makes me reflect on words of wisdom from Leo Tolstoy, through Three Questions (by way of introduction through a beautifully illustrated Children's book  by Jon J. Muth)
It once occurred to a certain king, that if he always knew the right
time to begin everything; if he knew who were the right people to
listen to, and whom to avoid; and, above all, if he always knew what
was the most important thing to do, he would never fail in anything
he might undertake.
The rest of the tale is here.

Following the lesson of Tolstoy, I find my most important time is now in the studio.  The right people to be with is no one, but rather to be alone. And the most important thing to do is to paint, today and everyday for the next month until this work is finished.

My apologies for this if it makes for dull posting in the next weeks, but this is the path I see to avoiding failure...

I wish you the best in your pursuit of answers to these Three Questions.


  1. Honestly, this is probably one of my favorite posts by you, Donato. It's always a good reminder of why we do art...

  2. Thank you Doug...back to work in the studio!

  3. Donato...thanks so much for your post...(We met a few times judging at SI.) After reading this, I just had to comment. (My first comment ever on the site)...As artists working today, we are so often pushed and pulled in so many directions. At times, I feel so overwhelmed that I can't even focus and feel like I am living a massive overdue "ToDo" list, juggling work, family life and everything in between. Never enough time to do anything it seems and then feeling stress about it. I just happened to stumble on your post on FB which led me here. You summed up my feelings so brilliantly. I have over extended myself for so that I am doing for everyone else except myself these days...Everyone else's deadlines and priorities are more important than your own. I think the mass communications that we are exposed to makes us feel that we need to be almost machine-like as creators, constantly doing more. I am just not built that way I guess, maybe none of us are. Keep painting my friend and thanks for the moment of peace in the midst of the chaos! Lisa

    1. What a coincidence! Lisa, literally as you were writing this reply, I was teaching my Smart School class and recommending your two books on experimental paint techniques. What a pleasure to have you here!

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. That comment was badly phrased, but in short, yes, all of that :)

  6. Been there. Time passes when I am really into a painting and I find I haven't eaten in 8 hours or stopped for a drink..etc. Your painting has really progressed. Looking forward to the next update.

  7. Donato, you're a hero to many of us and there's nothing that we'd like to see you do more than to paint. Besides the more you ignore your fans the sooner we get to see your finished painting. Thank you for this post! I'll be chatting with you on the 15th, until then enjoy!


Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Whatsapp Button works on Mobile Device only

Start typing and press Enter to search