Updated: Mar 4
Hello and welcome!
I decided to start this blog because (1) I enjoy writing; and (2) I wanted a platform other than social media where I could write long, naval-gazing diatribes ;-) about my art and share what's going on in my world.
I've been working at this art business for about a year-and-a-half now, and find myself wanting to paint faces more than musicians.
As an artist, in order to sell our wares, we're asked to find our "why": WHY we create the art that we do. We need to dig deep and keep asking ourselves "why" with every new discovery. ("WHY do I love painting musicians? Because it brings back memories of playing and touring with my old jazz group and of going to music school, where I made so many friends." "WHY do you like those memories?", etc...)
So now I'm faced with this turning point in my career (I want to paint faces other than only musicians' or performers' faces) and need to re-examine WHY I make art.
I've had this conversation with my husband and with several different artists: WHY do artists need a WHY statement? A graphic designer doesn't need a WHY statement... Does this then mean that designers aren't artists? One of the reasons, I've realized, is that our collectors match the art to the artists. Artists' Why statements are what thread those together.
Galleries and outdoor art fairs insist on having this information as well. It helps them market the artists' work while providing context to the art.
"Artist Statements give the viewer some background on the work, you as the artist, and why you created the piece. A quality piece of artwork will always pique the interest of viewers on its own. However, providing an artist's statement for your work grounds the piece in the context you provide."
So, as much as I want to avoid doing this... I must!
I've now changed my "WHY" statement on my website to exclude the word "performers". This doesn't mean I'll never ever ever paint another performer, but that I'm broadening my scope of potential subjects, as I'm a portrait painter (which you've probably guessed by now).
My old Why statement was: "A former jazz vocalist and stage performer, I now use my artistic voice to express myself with paint instead of music. (But listening to music while I paint is a must!) I’ve had the pleasure of working with many excellent musicians and other stage performers before spending 25 years in the corporate world. They helped raise me to a level where I played the Montreal International
Jazz Festival on three different occasions, toured eastern Canada and the northeastern United States, and even performed in Hong Kong. These performers gave me the opportunity to shine and surrounded me with excellence.
The energy many performers exude on stage or in rehearsals can be electric. I’m drawn to capturing that electricity on canvas through bold use of colour and abstract realism/expressionism to help celebrate, “see” and feel this unique energy."
My new one is:
"The energy and emotions many people exude can be electric. I’m drawn to capturing that essence on canvas through bold use of colour and abstract realism/expressionism to help celebrate, "see" and feel this unique emotional energy."
LESS is MORE! This now "allows" me to paint ANY face or figure! And if I stray from it for one or two collections, so be it. This is really my WHY right now.
New Painting in Progress
This is the new painting I'm working on. It will most likely change. I'm not big on blending colours but decided to do this with her hair, to have it simulate fire. I usually prefer to layer my brushstrokes and to allow some "peak-through" from the layers beneath. I painted her face in this way.
[This photo has a "moiré effect" (the light and dark wavy lines you see in the bottom right area of the painting), which is NOT part of the painting but a result of my phone's camera being confused and not knowing how to properly display those areas.]
I'm curious to know your reaction to this new painting and my new "WHY" statement!
Please leave me your comment below.