I am always
thinking about art, particularly painting. I don't need to be asked
about it or my painting to be thinking of it. Even when I'm not at
work...perhaps I'm doing something other than painting...my mind is
on the latter.
The more I paint, the more I want to paint. It
seems it's burning within me. When I hold that brush in my hand, I
want to go further...I want to explore...the longing to paint controls
me. I have to pick up my brush every day.
Once in a conversation with two of my friends,
a painter and a writer, the comparison of art with a jealous lover
came up. I thought it was a good symbol or metaphor for what many
artists struggle with, or at least I know I do, and that is time.
There is the pull to socialize: You have to make time for friends...for
family...for relationships in general...What do you do when you simply
have to be away from the canvas simply to gain perspective? But, the
passion to paint, to write, and to compose, as I think it has been
for all artists throughout the ages, always wins. Your friends, your
family, any relationship automatically sets itself up in competition
for your attention. This is often, too, why the artist gets accused,
unfairly, as being selfish.
Mr. Waldroup's Cartoon Character Murals
When the artist is before the canvas with brush in hand, there is
energy being expended that's unlike the energy expended by millions
every day on their jobs. When the artist has a brush in his or her
hand, it's that energy, which is really only a combination of the
emotions and the cognition, what the theologians have referred to
as the "soul", that is taking what the imagination has seen
from where it has been...and if and only if everything is in sync...brings
order to it. That order, as it has been worked out, cognitively and
emotionally, becomes concrete reality on the canvas. Wherever the
imagination has been and whatever it has seen, is made real, earthy,
and comprehensible by this process.
I think this is why some artists, aestheticians, and art critics have
referred to the spiritual nature of art. This is how a great work
of art is made, or, if you
prefer, created. All those elements, those ingredients have to be
present, to be working properly.
Surrealism is where art begins for me. It opened up for me all
the other doors into the art of this
century, that is, the whole of modernism. Yet, I continually
return and return again to surrealism and especially to the
work of its founder, Salvador Dali.
As an American, my experience is urban. That's
how it is, too, for the majority of the population. I believe it would
be inauthentic for me, or for that matter any other artist today,
to paint landscapes or nature.
The landscape of the twentieth century is urban.
As is commonly known, it's cities that have inspired, often subtlety,
in this century more than in any other that preceded it, greatness
in art, architecture, music, novels, and plays. Thus, the urban landscape,
of which I am intimately acquainted with, is not a weakness. It's
a source of strength.
Of all styles of art modernism has produced,
surrealism, I believe is the most viable and potent to express
the reality and the truth of urban life and culture. Why? Because,
if I understand surrealism correctly, what Dali and Magritte
did, was to take reality and show us what it was. It's like taking
a garment and turning it inside out. That's how you know how it was
I want to do the same for urban experience. I'm
going to turn it inside out and tell you: This is what it's made of,
and, if my muse is kind to me, what it means for us all. This is where
I want my painting to go.
Portraits is proud to represent the very talented and topical
artist Hulbert Waldroup. The cost to commission an original
Waldroup portrait is $3000. Please contact us by phone or email
to arrange a sitting or you can send us a photograph. This is
a once in a lifetime chance to have a portrait done by one of
America's rising stars.