I suffer from motion sickness (kinetosis), always have. Things like riding in a car around the winding, mountain roads of North Carolina, sitting on a ferris wheel at the county fair, even swinging at the park, has usually made me nauseous to one degree or another.

Worse case scenario-I lose my lunch and/or become incapacitated for a good part of the day. It’s interesting, in the case of riding in a car, if I’m driving I don’t get sick–something about having control of the motion I think. One of the most sickening experiences I’ve had as an adult was in a 3D, animated movie theatre that gave the illusion you’re moving; it’s awful even to think about.

Last Of Fall 16x20 acrylic on canvas MTMcClanahanEven so, I think I am enamored of motion. I use to have a recurring dream (I hope there’s no dark meaning behind it) that I could fly. I would get a fast, running start and fling my body forward like Superman. I swooshed around at great speed just above the ground.

I tell you this because I think it has some impact on how I see and paint. My work–the way I apply the medium–involves much movement and dynamics. I dislike a static look and seem to automatically employ conventions such as cross-diagonals and broken, quick strokes to create an image. The first name I had for my studio was Rushing Trees. It was taken from a painting I did of a group of trees that appeared to be blowing and swaying in the wind; they looked like they were, in fact, rushing to and fro. It described my way of seeing—movement within nature. I see this in just about everything I do .

Structural emphasis takes a back seat to my emphasis on flow and movement. I think there is a desire to feel the unsteadiness of having been on a ride; funny considering my afore mentioned malady. But, conversely, I have an affinity for objects that may well appear solemn and calm but that were built with a brush full of intensity and force. Maybe it is this contrast that attracts me.

Image: Last Of Fall 16×20 acrylic on canvas MTMcClanahan

MT McClanahan

An artist and perpetual thinker, MT McClanahan finds inspiration through connecting ideas across a broad range of topics. He especially enjoys philosophy and how art and life interconnect. He is the founder of TPT and his paintings can be seen at mtmcclanahan.com.

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