Friday, July 3, 2015

The Art Life … The Artist's Statement

This week, I have been working on updating my website. Yes, I do it myself!  Spending several days glued to the computer ... my head swimming with HTML, javascript, and CCS … is my idea of hell on earth. I want to paint! I want to paint!!!!!  But, the website has to be done.

After spending so many hours knee deep in the quicksand of computer language, I was surprised that what got me really hung up was writing my artist's statement. It's been a few years since I wrote one, and my painting style has changed somewhat. This should be a simple thing, a few paragraphs on what my work is about. But, I think it is hard for most artists to summarize their work in words. We tend to be visual communicators, not wordsmiths. 

The same problem comes up in conversation. Someone I just met asks me what I do for a living, and I go blank. If I answer, " I am an artist." I have not really managed to get across what I actually do in that simple a statement. I have tried different variations on that answer. "I am a professional oil painter." "I paint still life oil paintings on canvas." Blah. Blah. Blah. How does that really describe what I do?

What I do is find things that visually excite me, study them intensely, and try to get my impressions down on canvas.

Wait… Isn't that what all painters do? Oh, no! That's not good enough.

I will keep working on it. 

1 comment:

  1. Good food for thought. I always say, "I'm an artist," but that tells them next to nothing! I'm going to ponder this at length - what is it that I do?

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