Herry Arifin


Why I Paint


Painting is, for me, a way of communicating, of expressing to others my feelings about the world around us.  When I retired early, in 2002, I found that I had suddenly lost many of the opportunities for communicating that had come with my work.  Painting has filled that need since then, and I think it could do so for many retirees.


People often think that to paint one must have unusual, inborn talent, or to go through a long period of training in art school.   I found that is not really true – painting, like talking is a natural human activity.  I had no special training as a young person, only after retiring, I attended painting classes.  This taught me the fundamentals of design and of the technical aspects—handling paints and paper.  Since then it has been a matter of practice, and looking as much as possible at high quality paintings by others.


The choice of medium and style for communicating in paint is a personal one.  At first I wanted to imitate other painters, but fairly soon I realised that the important thing was to allow my own style to develop.  I’ve chosen watercolor because it suits my personality as well as my painting style.  What inspires me most is taking a busy, even chaotic, scene, and organising it into a pleasing, simple pattern of shapes and colors.


I hope that people will enjoy my works, but most of all I want to encourage others to have the confidence to try it for themselves, and experience the same kind of satisfaction that I have found.