Matthew Ballou: What Is Painting?

Matthew Ballou, Immanent Eminent, oil on linen on pentagonal panel, 18.5 by 18.5
Matthew Ballou, Immanent Eminent, oil on linen on pentagonal panel, 18.5 by 18.5 inches, 2007-2008 (collection of Geo Weissler, Illinois)

In the first post of a new blog series titled "What is Painting?", Matthew Ballou considers what painting is to him.

Ballou writes: "Painting, to me, is a love of attention. That is, as I pay attention to experiences and objects and ideas and light and space and hope, my painting becomes a kind of index of those things. It is made in the humble expectation that others will also offer their own contemplative attentiveness, submitting to the possibility of meaning in the work. In sharing our attention, we share in the reality of others. The best painting will always be a relational conduit. Paintings are a physical artifact proving the potential for meaning in the world. In spite of everything, emotions are real, ideas are real, experiences are real, objects are real, and people are real. Paintings offer some sort of embodied proof that intangible things are real."