Sometimes I work, and work and wonder “why?” I must suppose this angst is just the human condition. And working does keep me off the streets (by keeping my alcohol consumption down a bit). And, in truth, I crave all kinds of impossible things: rocks, bones, etc. that can only be imagined, so I must create them myself… Mind you I don’t ever reach the perfection of the vision, but again, that is the human condition.
On Monday I received a wonderful, unsolicited comment / compliment from a fellow artist, about this work, when I left it at Northwind Arts Center for juror review:
“that is a very powerful piece”
I couldn’t ask for a better compliment: so sincere, and so satisfying! I am happy!
I certainly hope the juror agrees! If so, this will be on exhibit in March in the show “Earth Matters”.
I start with drawing, and line, and shading.
I love color: delicate, subtle, deep, vivid, intense, seductive colors!
But using color effectively in my art does not come naturally or easily for me. I have to enforce great restraint, or I will run amok with color, and lose all sense of the whole work.
I have never really practised or trained using a limited color palette, or had any patience what so ever with color theory. As with all work, I play and experiment, and use whatever is to hand and feels right. Of course this does not always have a satisfactory result!
However working by the rules, while impressive and effective, is often dull, even stultifying. Why create art without pleasure?
And all my mistakes will, I hope, inform my next work without constraining me in a tedious way.
I like to think that, anyway!
While considering entering a new juried show, I reviewed paintings by the show juror, Michael Paul Miller. His oil paintings are stunning: his subjects are attention getting and his technique is exquisite. All his work shown at Saatchi online is gorgeous & very impressive. The work is described as post-modern realism, dark and often depicting an environmental apocalypse.
I was much intimidated! But I sent the link to a friend, along with the show statement and 3 works I am considering submitting (advice solicited re: frames). This was her response:
The juror’s work does not intrigue me at all. It is so obviously and literally and constantly dark. But I think he would learn from your work. Your work is not propaganda from either the light or the dark side.
Wow, what a compliment! My work does not have the meticulous technique (and never will). But perhaps I don’t need to be intimidated by that fact. Although I am guessing that Miller’s gorgeous paint work, with a clear and assertive message & subject matterwork, will always appeal to more people than my ambiguous messages, my work does allows the viewer room to create an individual interpretation and response.
It is so not easy! I certainly prefer to think that my doubts, agonizing, reworks and difficulties make my art better. And that the end result is worth something to others, not just to me. Self-doubt hovers in the wings every step of the way, and I waver between triumphant satisfaction and complete confusion: do I “waste” my time? Well, no I do please myself, but I want a bit more than that! Click on the image to view all three possible entries for this next juried show.
1) to create & print a good quality 2nd edition of my 2012 Sketchbook. This is my longest sketchbook, with images drawn directly into the book as mailed, spanning two pages. I scanned it, but did not take the book apart so pages are not square, etc. It is not sufficient to print out the scans! I want a book with all the images, squared, lined up, and looking good! I don’t need an exact copy, but want to keep the sense of the original.
A big problem with this is the limitations of my software: both OpenOffice & LibreOffice will print brochures double-sided BUT it is hard to preview the book layout (left vs. right pages). Which preview, if any, shows me the collated book end view, not the confusing 2-sided print order, or other view.
Worse yet is with the large number of full page images, both products get very slow, & buggy. They do not refresh the screen or preview correctly with a document this size!
2) I have several hazy ideas about a new work that will be a part of my “burials” series, but I am not making fast progress. I have a couple of poorly realized sketches, which I have trouble working on. I will try to focus on various parts, to produce drawings which may be incorporated, or just help me complete, the larger work. But these may have a life of their own instead!