Swatch of Life


“The ability to create great art comes from an awareness of yourself and what surrounds you.” ~ Jenie Gao

I remember when my daughter used to ask me questions about everything, the most random things. Like, Dad, what would happen if we all lived in a whirlpool?

How do you even begin to respond with a logical answer? Truth is you can’t, but you still answer the question, to the best of your ability, and she always understands.

Life throws us these random curiosities sometimes, and each and every time we have to make our way through with our own understanding and experience. Art teaches us this value. Through simple childlike questions we learn and experience the creative drive that inhabits our spirit, and we express it in whatever functional way we can.

Sometimes, like a child, we have to test the objects of our creativity. We have to question the structure of whatever we choose to create. We have to see the result, ask and test the substance which we use on our palettes.

Enter the swatch board..

A simple swatch board is an artistic tool to be used for testing applications of color, blending structure, line and brush strokes. It may seem like just a simple rudimentary tool to be used as a key or a guide, but it can be so much more. In fact, the creation of the swatch board itself is a work of art all its own. It is an artful expression of the questions we must ask, and of the structure which we are attempting to find.

The swatch board is a childlike projection of our desire to both learn and create. It is a question of self-awareness, and of our surrounding world.

I invite all artists to create a swatch board. Play with the color, test the brushes. Make swirls, circles and patterns. Blend, brush and streak. See the birth of creativity within your testing of its gentle life.

All creative spirits should exercise this simple expression of life. It is a marker of what drives us to be creative. It’s a child asking a question about whirlpools. It’s why we share what’s inside of us.

It’s why we are who we are, in color, in patterns, in blends, streaks and spirals. It’s the diversity of the world represented by one simple truth.

We all desire to share what’s inside of us.

Enjoy your swatch board. Enjoy your life.