Sunday, October 11, 2009

Like Broccoli

Every artist must, must must write an artist's statement. I think it's the law.

I imagine there is some cosmic Art Mother standing amongst the clouds in her sensible shoes with her hands on her hips, fine canvas apron tied neatly about her waist. She's giving me the hairy eyeball, her look telling me to stop fooling around and get that statement written. And when I ask why I have to explain in words, she says in her most motherly voice: "Because, it's good for you."

I've read and written lots of statements over the years. It's a must, a have to, because everyone else is doing it. And I'm here to tell you, we artists create visually because we do not write well. We're better painters/sculptors/creators than we are wordsmiths.

My original plan for this post was to rail against having to write statements. I had some pretty good arguments for not bothering to write one. Interestingly, no matter how clever my reasoning was, I had to admit that writing about my work has proven to be beneficial for me. It's good for any artist to sit with the why. Taking time to think about the reasons behind the subject matter or the color choice or the medium selection can be enlightening for any artist. I've gotta say, I believe that getting a handle on the why will validate and enrich your choices for current and future work.

I take familiar imagery and highlight the beauty and intensity of the moment. I choose sensitive and exciting colors and use energetic strokes of pigment to create an image of vibrancy in an otherwise ordinary moment.

Barb's Pond copyright 2009 P Scarborough

It's not rocket science, but articulating my thoughts about my style and subject matter has helped me know how to approach new ideas and paintings. I'm on a path, and while I'm not certain where it is leading me, at least I know there's a course for me to develop.

So, much to my surprise, I land on the side of Art Mother, hands on hips, sensible shoes. Write your statement. It's good for you.


kate said...

What a good point! We musicians have the same issue when it comes to writing our bios. It may seem like a formality, but it's necessary and good for you. I'm forwarding this to my friends who hide behind ironic bios (or none at all)!

Patricia said...

Thanks Kate, good to hear from you.
Ironic bios...a post idea for another day!

Karine said...

But, I don't WANT to write one, Art mother!!! Do I HAVE to??? Please don't make me do it.