Friday, February 19, 2010

What's the Real Story?

When I started out this series of posts, I was thinking about the different parts of an artist's statement. What, I asked myself, needs to come together in order to give the reader and viewer an insight into the work that I've constructed?

After I wrote the last two posts, I got to thinking. One of the things I've learned over the years is that for my art work to find it's way to a conclusion, I have to abandon a cognitive understanding of what I'm doing, the subject matter I'm working with and any story lines I might want to tell. I have to continually surrender to the presence and the process of the artwork, because otherwise the art has a way of becoming didactic, of becoming a one-to-one correspondence between my idea and the finished piece where there is no mystery and no middle ground where new ideas have present themselves.

That mode of working has it's downside. I realized that after many years of working this way, I don't stop to figure out what the story is that I've told. "Oh my goodness," I thought to myself, "there lies undiscovered riches." I mentioned compost in the last entry. I think that unless I stop to reflect on the finished piece of art work, I'm missing the valuable "compost" for the next.


  1. Yes, to your last statement, but doing it at the end of the "automatic process" is the same as the new viewer seeing into the art what THEY SEE and interprets it to be. I like that it could be this; it could be that feeling as opposed to being told what it is by the artist.

    Currently I am working on a piece for someone and getting their input as to how it is to look...and this is much more difficult, not that experience of it being born of me...I am missing that spontaneity, as I try to please the buyer of this work.

  2. your work is amazing, i can see why you and lynn had such a wonderful time meeting each other, i have spoken to her on the phone, but would love to meet her too.

  3. Thank you Lynn-- & meeting you through this strange web of ethereal space is grand!

  4. Hi Hannah, I love what you say here about surrendering "to the presence and the process of the artwork" in order to acknowledge the "mystery" and the "middle ground where new ideas have present themselves." It's so easy to forget that, as we impose our personalities and expectations on the artwork. Learning to allow the piece to breathe and expand is one of the gifts of making art.

  5. Its so easy to impose my expectations on my work. To want the work to "work." It seems part of the dance, or "inspiration" is allowing it to breath, to remember that it is separate from me. It strikes me that this is not unlike a marriage!