Fotini Christophillis

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Making a Beautiful Picture

By Tina Christophillis

Jan 10th 2013


"What concerns me when I work, is not whether the picture is a landscape, or whether it's pastoral, or whether somebody will see a sunset in it.  What concerns me is- did I make a beautiful picture?" -Helen Frankenthaler

I make a painting to create beauty, to enter a beautiful place, to somehow transcend thoughts about a thing and just be... something beautiful.  That's the conversation I want to have with the viewer, a wordless conversation, a mysterious dialogue that somehow hits home.  I'm not sure what that is.  If a painting is "about" something, if there is a motif, it serves as a point of departure, and I realize what it is about when I'm close to being finished or much later.  

The motif serves as a construct from which to explore beauty and color, form and mystery, notes of passion.  It's all about emotion really, somehow expressing emotion, and somehow healing.  Art somehow allows me to do this in ways that nothing else can, in that way it is vital, and a need of the soul.  

Everything that goes into a painting is to provoke a question.  This line, this shape, this form, this color, this person looking up into what?  This road going where?  This sky shining light on what place?  I'm not sure.  I paint to figure out.

If I'm lucky, I figure out what it's about when I'm close to being finished, or long after. 

It's an exciting moment, when things come together, when I figure something out.  It is worth the struggle to get to that moment.  Those moments are what I live for.  Sometimes you just nail it, you just get it. 

That's why I keep working, to hope to figure something out.   I'm still searching.  I'll always be searching.

In the end, I simply want to make a beautiful picture.  If it's beautiful, then I have succeeded.  If it hits home somehow, then I have done it, I've accomplished the goal.  With this in mind, I keep working.

Above image:  "Causeway", by Helen Frankenthaler



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    Hi I'm Fotini 

    Welcome to my blog!

    I am a painter currently based in Greenville, South Carolina.  Through my work, I seek to communicate an internal narrative using traditional painting processes.  

    Here you will find information about what I am working on, recollections of my process, things that inspire me. I am asking questions about art, writing letters to myself, reflecting, learning, growing, discovering.  Thank you for joining and supporting the adventure.