Friday, August 11, 2017

A Letter on Art and Art Training

Below is a part of a conversation on art and art training. I am always surprised when simple morning email chats elicit some part of the past and a better understanding of who I am as an artist. I love these conversation and it's amazing when artists in totally different media can help each other. I love these conversations and I'm always curious to know how other artists think and work. Enjoy!

Isn't it funny how we seem to have been taught different ways. Sometimes I wonder how true my memory is or if it's just what I'm thinking happened. How much did peer pressure have on me as a kid -- a lot -- and how has that colored my memory. And I know (now) that that held me back from lots of things as I tended to retreat into myself believing I wasn't as good as others.

And, I have to admit, I really don't remember much of anything about doing art in school. I don't remember being taught -- I took art classes, but I don't remember being taught. How weird. I have only a couple tiny bits, like quick flashback clips, but no real memory. 

Work in process
Thank you for drilling into me about my work being "loose" and not to see it as blurry. This could be one of those issues where I need the repetition before I can fully own it. I have to stop doubting myself and just work. (And I have to get out of my head my mother's belief of what being "loose" meant.)

Also, I think (again totally in the opposite direction as you) I should not work drawings/paintings so much. I need the simpler approach. I need to keep my work more ephemeral/foggy; go back to that "illusion of detail." I forgot that in my evolution into pastels. I can still have amazing color while keeping a feeling of mystery in the painting.

What I've been doing is -- trying to do too much -- work in more layers, keep playing with it trying to get lines that I can never get and which don't work well for me. Part of the reason is because I hear and read that's what other artists do.

But, I am not other artists. I have to be me! I can’t be anyone else or like anyone else.

Maybe in everything -- art and writing -- too many people have written too many rules. Maybe it just all comes down to preference and opinions. An editor bases writing on experience, training and personal preferences of self and the publisher. How many books are out there on how to be a better writer? I find bits of controversy in all my research as to what is the “correct way.”

Artists train for years in specific mediums then some put their own twists on their work. We can have similarities, but no one is the same. We don't always think the same when we work, how we work, or what we work on. It’s important and more interesting to allow differences.

How can we not put our own twist on a project? We are individual thinkers! Even those with strict adherences to photorealism develop their own ways of doing things. We meld aspects of all we've read and studied and practiced into what we do today and we still work at perfecting what we do. We keep trying, knowing there is no such thing as perfection.

The bottom line is we have to be satisfied with our art.