Saturday, January 31, 2009

Baby Step Taken and Another Thing

Victorian Home 2
5" x 5"
Acrylic on hardboard

Quote from artist Christopher Schink in Palette Magazine “…your criteria of good art is based on perceptual accuracy - how precisely a painted image suggests real objects - their actual size, form, and color. “It looks real!” is your viewers’ highest praise and your goal as a beginning artist”

A beginning artist??? Holy dung heap! I’ve been at this over 50 years to one degree or another and I hardly consider myself a beginning artist and yet I am stuck right there where he is talking about - still at the starting gate! It is high time I move on and I know it. I’ve known it for a long time -a very long time. Vanessa and I have talked about this before - I also have found journal entries from exactly one year ago where I was writing and thinking about the exact same thing -and I know it goes back - way back further than that. Actually back to my college days. I am stuck and held back by “proving” to someone -exactly who I am not sure - but I have the need to prove that I can draw, and believing that I can't, that I am not good enough yet ! And I believe it is partially tied directly to Christopher Schink’s statement above. Stuck at the starting gate. Dependent on others' opinions and judgment. Afraid someone would walk by and say "my kid (or monkey) could do that." I have my response ready - "Yes" I will say and smile sweetly "but they didn't - I did". It will be my heart and soul and blood, guts and tears on the canvas - for whatever it is worth. Fear...holding me back. Well, that is about to change - this year.

I am starting a class with Reed Cardwell on Wednesday and I am very excited about it. I feel very good and positive about being able to work through this and get moving, and his class will be helpful. New sounding board, new approaches. I am not saying I want to go completely different - but I want to express more than just another head, just another pear, just another "isn’t that nice, looks just like it" painting.

I was surprised at the L A Art Show - at the art that attracted me and held my attention. I have been distilling what I experienced, keeping my inner critic and judge locked away - far away, and just accepting fact as fact. One fact is that I like scribbles. I do. I like marks and mark making. The art that people walk by and snort "my kid or a monkey could have done that!" And yes, I am guilty of having said those things myself! I am ready to “make the leap from perceptual art to conceptual art - in some form or fashion. I don’t know exactly how. I want to be more imaginative - more creative - more expressive. Expect some bad and ugly art to be showing up here while I make an effort to pull away from the starting gate. Baby steps - and here is my first - a redo of the Victorian house - focusing more on how I "feel" about the house than in replicating an image. Yay for me! BABY STEPS!

And another thing..Artist Robert Genn stated at the end of his recent letter: "Fact is, you don't necessarily have to sell out to be a success. Sure, conservative reality rings the cash register, but exploring one's personal reality can be a lifelong love affair made gracious by hard-earned days of electrifying joy. Sensitive collectors pick up on this. In a sense collectors are way ahead of critics because their emotions harmonize with their chosen art and artists. Critics, often "sold out" by their need to dump controversial ink, are different folks than the wide world of untrammelled collectors who cave in to their legitimate needs."
from The price of popularity (January 30th, 2009 I highly recommend his his twice-weekly letters). Lots of words these days- I am off to try another whack at Victorian House and see what happens. I think I will keep working very small - work stuff out then go bigger.

Yep - lots of words lately - I actually look forward to shutting up , and getting to that place of "electrifying joy". Not yet I am afraid. Baby steps....

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  1. Nathalie,
    This newest Victorian is even better than the first one-- wow! Really wild color, and also a convincing sense of form-- just once I wish I could pull off a stunner like this. Hope you enjoy your new class.

  2. Geesh! - thank you - thank you - thank you r. garriott! I am honored and encouraged.