i have had conversations recently with 2 artists that i just happened to meet (always pay attention to those random encounters) about the same subject (pay attention). both talked about the importance of knowing why you make art. the first, in the context of getting her degree and the emphasis put on that question by her teachers. the second artist asked me why i make art. i had an answer because of the first conversation, which is that i do it to communicate. i also love that my art takes on a life of its own once it leaves the nest, and it doesn't matter what i was trying to say- it likely means something different to everyone who sees it. but what i created touched someone- they liked it well enough to put down their hard earned cash and take it home to live with.
i find it amazing that art i made is out there in the world- in japan, england, germany and scandinavia; that people see my traffic boxes in boise and ketchum and visit the earth node that lynn and i created at the foothills learning center. and every person who sees my art has a different take on it. it can be a long, convoluted path from my brain to completion. i work intuitively. sometimes i look up a number or animal that shows up in a piece and think- oh, hello, that's why you're here. and the art becomes something else when i let it go.
both conversations also included discussion about how many different art forms i do. each of these artists focuses on one type of media. we know that ain't me. i think that i have a certain "hand" that shows through- color choices, composition, subject matter are fairly consistent. whether i use so many different media because i haven't found my home or because i just like to play my be up for debate. i lean toward the playing part.
the creative process fascinates me. it seems that some artists go deep- they want to learn and master their chosen media, push it as much as possible, understand deeply and truly what their chosen art supply (oil paint, watercolor, pastels, their camera- pick a medium) can do. some go wide- a common theme may run through but the media varies. i know plenty of artists who work in a variety of media- and of themes. some more successfully than others. the real key is probably understanding when a medium doesn't suit the project- or realizing that it just doesn't work for you.
thank you universe for throwing this out to me. i'll keep thinking about it, but so far it feels like i'm on the right path.
speaking of different media- my piece for the shrinky dink auction to benefit surel's place:
- on the left, pre baking, on the right the end result
i was worried about making something that felt not so much like art, but am happy with the end result. happy accident- the southeast quarter rolled on itself and was not salvageable. made the piece more interesting in the end.
i drew this guy when i wasn't sure what i was going to do for the auction. had to use it-
here's what happened as the result of playing-
masterpiece? no. but someone will see this, it will speak to them and find a home.
the most consistent and constant medium is alive and well- got the camera out this weekend, and have fodder for mixed media art, transfers, paintings- whatever seems the right way to communicate the wonder i feel at moments like this.