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Thoughtful Thursday: Painting Life's Stories

“Around every corner is a story waiting to be told. And people are longing to hear it.” -Jeff Goins

The more time I spend at Les Poissons Gallery, the more similar it grows to a library. Every piece of art, like a book, tells a story, in fact each piece of art tells multiple stories. Where and why it was painted, how it was titled, what techniques were used to achieve the result tell the artist’s story.

But each person who views the painting brings another story. People hunger for stories as they search for meaning, shared values and connections.

At the gallery, stories invite people to invest in the artist, the art, and the gallery making them more likely to remember their experience. And they pass this story on to others.  I have experienced a visitor returning with another person, show them the piece and repeat the story I shared.

Most people have little understanding of the artist’s craftmanship, so sharing stories gives a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the artistic process. Sharing the story that John Schisler mixes ‘black oil’, which is the basis for the mediums of such masters as Titian, Rubens, and Rembrandt resulting in the same color, shadow, and brilliance found only in their paintings or that Keith Whitelock builds models of each of the Chesapeake Bay workboats he paints and that Eleinne Basa is a founding member of the American Tonalist Society while explaining Tonalism in art lures the observer to engage as a patron.

Stories have that impact…If, according to Todd Stocker, “Stories give color to black and white information,” then the artist is the illustrator of life’s stories.

To view life’s illustrations and hear the stories behind the works of art, please visit our gallery in Chestertown, or shop virtually at

Absorbed, by Jacalyn Beam

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