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What to say??

December 8, 2015

Bars and blocks I

I am busy revising my artist statement again. It’s always a work in process because I am trying to put into words something that is basically in my head (or mind’s eye?). I’m trying to be concise and clear in what I say. I always want to know: What do other artists have to say about their work? Do they try to express the thing that’s itchy in their brain? Do they try to find the right words to describe their process, their content, or their desire to create?

I have found a swell book: Living and Sustaining a Creative Life (2013). Since this book is a compilation of interviews with artists, I get some thoughtful answers to my questions. It’s a good read.Cover of the book "Living and Sustaining a Creative Life"

Here’s a bit from artist Sharon Butler in the book:

From my early monk-like devotion to painting alone, to a cross-disciplinary embrace of digital projects, writing and abstract painting, my art practice has changed tremendously and unpredictably over the last 20 years. Recently I’ve concluded that I’m better off following my instincts, no matter how non-linear or disjointed they seem. For me, the process is always going to be (a little) more important than the tangible product or conventional success. Had I maintained my early vision of a hermetic painting life, churning out series of nearly identical paintings year after year, I would never have discovered my love of writing or had a child, both of which have made my life enormously rich, if also heartbreakingly complex. At 53, it seems easier to plan and navigate the years ahead, but perhaps the future will bring equally unexpected opportunities and challenges. You never know.

…oh so true…follow your instincts!

* * * * *

Here’s a painting I’m working on…just trying to decide whether to cover some of the spaces up so that it’s more “comfortable” for me, although I’m quite in love with the phthalo blue wash that is the bottom layer. I’m kind of stuck on this piece because it doesn’t look so much what I’ve been doing most recently, and that little voice questioning consistency pops up. Sometimes the paintings just have their own direction…

No title just yet

No title for this piece just yet

36 x 36 x 1.6, mixed media on gallery-wrapped canvas

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Mikki Aronoff permalink
    December 10, 2015 6:50 am

    Not only does it remind me of the Parthenon, but the “water” is the color of Greek waters. Maybe there’s a title referencing a Greek myth for you? Mikki

    Sent from my iPad


    Liked by 1 person

    • December 10, 2015 6:05 pm

      Mikki–you are definitely tweaking a memory! I was in Greece in 2003, and I stayed in a hotel near the Parthenon. I could see it from my room’s balcony every night, swathed in light. It was quite a view! And you are so right about the water…swimming at Sifnos (one of the many islands) in that special blue water was awesome. I’ll have to come up with a title…


  2. Mikki Aronoff permalink
    December 8, 2015 7:23 pm

    Painting lovely – sure makes me think of the Parthenon.

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

    • December 9, 2015 3:49 pm

      Thanks, Mikki! I had not thought of the Parthenon at all, but I see what you mean. Maybe all of that blue is an ocean reference from my subconscious.


  3. roguesandpark permalink
    December 8, 2015 4:40 pm

    Excellent point! I think artists statement does try to put into words that intangible process we know in our heads. If I fall in love with a part of a painting, I usually know that I will probably have to part with it. Well, I try.not to be afraid of letting go. However, I also like the blue wash. Maybe just sit with it for awhile and see what the painting tells you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • December 9, 2015 3:53 pm

      Thanks, Adriana! I often run into the same thing–loving a part of a painting, but being willing to give it up. I usually take a quick picture of all the different stages of a painting…helps me to let go of something that doesn’t fit the rest of the painting. Thanks for the suggestion–I am going to sit with the blue for a bit.


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