Friday, January 16, 2009

More on Cohesiveness - Then it DOES matter!

Yesterday I talked about the importance of taking the time to experience making art fully, deadends, trying different media, etc. and how we learn who we are as artists, not to rush to a style in order to be more marketable.

I should have also said, and will here, that there's a point, and Ghislain is there and I feel I am, too, where decisions have to be made not only for marketability but for growth.

We can be a little good at a lot of things. Or we can get really good at what we found during the experimental phase, that we naturally loved and found we accomplished more than in the stuff we didn't like.

Otherwise, we might never become masters and not only won't be taken seriously, but will feel like we're spinning our art wheels, with a roomful of supplies and no growth to show for it.

I recently read that it takes 40 paintings to be able to do a one-person show. That's an awful lot of work, and of course there's steps on the way.

So sidetrips into another new medium or subject can derail at this point. There comes a time where you have to figure out what "ball" you want and keep your eyes on that ball.


Cat-in-a-Box said...

The advice that Ghislain received - to work in series' - isn't bad even for those of us in 'stage I'. I am still exploring (as finances permit!) but it is easy to get turned off an entire medium if you don't give it a fair chance (especially if you're self taught, or if you are taught but have a poor teacher).

I've made an informal self-rule that if I'm going to try a new medium (scratchboard is my most recent interest) I commit to at least three finished pieces in that medium before I'll decide I don't like it.

Midlife artists face the fact that we don't have a whole lifetime ahead to experiment. We also often don't have the formal training that, as you said Robin, exposes you to a range of different things. Just more aspects that we have to pay attention to and take control of ourselves!

Robin said...

Great points! We don't have forever, do we? And honestly, I feel if we spend the time, it will come together.

You are so right about the giving it a chance thing! Especially about FINISHING it. I see so many people who give up part way, get discouraged before giving a piece the shot to turn out!

I don't think the advice Ghislain got was bad at all, maybe I didn't convey that's just that I've also seen almost a panic to "get there" and miss the journey!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and good luck with the scratchboard. I use scratchboard tools with my woodcuts!