Archive for February, 2012

February 25, 2012

Feeding the Artist

So nice to have the Douglas College Art History students come for our artists’ talk on Friday.  So eager to understand the art, the artist, the creati’ve process.

Being asked to describe my “arc” was an excellent opportunity to reflect on where it began, where’s the middle and what’s next.

Then to have genuine interest and respect for the vulnerability of putting art out there was heart warming and made me realize I’m not quite as vulnerable as I was – or more properly said, I’ve learned to manage the vulnerable states.

One student asked us: Have you ever had someone completely trash your work?

My answer was a self-reflective chuckle as I said, “not really, but that’s because I’ve been so cautious about to whom I show it and at what stage.” I explained, that I had sometimes given a ong preamble to someone about “I’m showing this to you but you don’t have to like or not like it, or pretend to like it or say anything about it. I’m just sharing something with you.”  Then I’d watch for whether they “got it” and if not, they didn’t get to see very much at all.

That said, I do have people who’s feedback I appreciate, for many different reasons. I do have teachers and mentors and fellow artists whose “crit” I appreciate. From non artists, I’m more interested in, “What do you see?” “Is there a place that draws you in?” “Can you say why?”

I have one piece in the current exhibition where three different people have unsolicited offered me their reasons for liking a fairly ambiguous part of it. One says it seems like a city-scape in the middle of the forest; another feels it’s a desert and another gates to an inner world.  They’re all right. But I didn’t know that when I painted it.

The students’ assignment after our talk was to choose a piece, sit in front of it. First they sketched it, and then wrote a description as if it was to someone who’d like to see it but couldn’t and then thirdly write their own interpretations, impressions or reflections. Boy, was it neat to turn around from a conversation and see all these people, cross legged on the floor, looking so intently at my art.

Thank you, students, for feeding the artist with your attention and your questions.

February 16, 2012

Transmutations: Opening Feb 23; Artists talk Feb 24

Hope to see you there!

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