Someone asked me recently "why pointillism", which surprised me a bit. It feels like someone asking "why photography" or "why oils". But, being the curious sort I decided to sit down and journal about it. Here are my top 10 reasons of why pointillism...
Pointillism slows me down. I feel like I learn from my paintings more at this speed. I see extra colors when I take the time to look longer. I see how a color can be cool in one area but warm in another. I get to savor my painting process.
It is calming. Often I can start with practically jabbing the canvas and move down to gentle dabs after just a short period of time. I'm so caught up in the experience of applying the colors to canvas that I lose all track of time.
I really enjoy painting with bright colors and pointillism lets me do that without having crazy neon results.
When I listen to music, I hear the layers. When I paint in pointillism is is a similar sensation. I paint my colors in visual layers.
I love puzzles and challenges. Experimenting with different ways I can use simple dots fascinates me. I have a whole little journal filled with years worth of ideas to play with.
Pointillism tricks your eyes and your brain. Your eyes see two different colored dots side by side and your brain tells you it is the blended color you see. Your eyes see a squished square mark and your brain says that is a circle. I find these kinds of things curious and fun... like magic.
You can look at the paintings and see something different each time... a new set of color combinations. The view doesn’t get stale.
Pointillism paintings are experiential. They look different from a distance than they do up close. You can keep stepping back and forth to interact with the paintings. Many people do. It’s almost like a multipurpose painting. (There’s also a wonderful texture if you, um, sneak a touch.)
Dots are simple, and yet distinct to the artist. Consider having 10 different pointillism artists putting on a show. I promise you will see 10 different "styles".
And the number one reason I do pointillism is...
I find that most of the moments I consider "happy" have multi-sensory components to them; Wine + candle + music; Ocean + wind + smell + sounds of gulls. When I can have a painting with texture + experience + visual color, it just fun and happy.