Monday, October 31, 2011

Voice - A Journey Worth Taking-Cont.

Back from a road trip to North Carolina and the changing of the leaves.  Road trips always foster interesting conversations with my husband.  It's great; he's a captive listener!  After a quick stop in Charleston, SC, we headed toward Asheville. Somewhere on I-26  I brought up the topic of Voice and asked David. . .  Was voice something that could be identified by the viewer or did the viewer need the artist to provide words of explanation?  This was prompted after seeing a collection of work by an artist at the Robert Lange Studio in Charleston.  We both agreed we could identify some artists because of their brushwork, color palette, subject matter, and unique elements such as backgrounds.  Is this voice?  Or is voice something deeper in the concept or meaning the artists is trying to convey?  The more we talked, the more I wasn't sure I could describe voice or would even  know it if I saw it.  As a reader of literature, I can usually tell who an author is after a few chapters without looking at his or her name as long as I have read three or four of their works.  So maybe voice is just that , a definable style.  Maybe it doesn't have anything to do with a message you are trying to convey?

The above image is a closeup of a painting I just finished called Italian Repast.  Below is the full 32"X16" canvas.  People always tell me they can tell my work without seeing the signature.  Is that style or voice?  Your thoughts on this topic would be greatly appreciated.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

VOICE - A Journey Worth Taking con't.

     As I prepared for a pilgrimage back to my early roots in North Carolina, I checked out my favorite galleries in the area to see who is showing their work.  One of my favorites in Asheville is 16 Patton Fine Art Gallery.  What does this have to do with voice?  In reading artists statements of work that I am drawn to, I found an artists who describes what I am alluding to when it comes to emotions and connections.  The artist is Mase Lucas and I have taken an excerpt from her artists statement to show what I am trying to describe.
       "Notwithstanding an occasional portrayal of horses in
        action, most of the paintings are quiet and reflective …
        herbivores at peace … as they are here in my fields.
       The thing about horses that makes them compelling
       art subjects is the same thing that makes them
       compelling to me in their own right. My heart melts
       at their beauty and kindness and my adrenalin rises
       at their power … a power so often restrained to
       accommodate us humans."

When your subject matter can cause a welling up of these kinds of emotions then you know you have to share them in some artistic form; now you are beginning to speak in VOICE.  Is communication through subject matter all there is to artistic voice?  Not necessarily so, but you are coming closer to the meaning of your art and your voice.  More to say about voice in the near future as I continue this series.  How do you speak your artistic voice?  Have you found it yet?  Your comments are welcomed!

Friday, October 14, 2011

VOICE - A Journey Worth Taking

Something magical and mysterious has recently happened in the creation of the last few paintings that have come off my easel. So magical and so mysterious that it has caused me to step back and ask . . . have I found my “voice?” In asking comes the decision to explore the journey that has led up to this eureka. My logical brain has known for years that finding your voice is the key to an artist's expression. It's what distinguishes your art from the rest of the herd. I also know that it comes from somewhere deep inside and is not easily reached. And last I know that when I see this type of expression be it the written word, dance, music, or art, it can bring tears to your eyes or make a lump in your throat. Words like emotion, spirit, connections, and even no words will be on the map for this journey. My road map begins with an inner journey.

Accessing it requires a personal decision to do the work. It requires time set aside away from distractions on a regular basis. My suggestion would be to set aside about 10 to 15 minutes each day and revisits old memories. Write memories of events that have given you the greatest highs or the lowest lows. Feel the moments and write down your thoughts about what you felt back then. These moments will well up and drive the need to put them somehow and in some special way on canvas. This solitary exploration will allow you to pull it apart and make sense of it. It will drive the artistic expression. This is VOICE. Also pay attention to those objects, place, and people that make you not only take notice but resonates with your emotions. Keep a discovery journal either in written or visual form or both. Add pictures from various sources.

Voice for me is an emotion that is aligned with my life experiences that are remembered.  It reflects my story; the good and the bad. It is told with the utmost desire to tell it truthfully without ego putting in its two cents worth. It requires detaching from the outcome and just go where it leads you. Now that I am older and in my crone stage of life, I am free to tell it like it is or was. Painting with voice must somehow connect to this inner journey. I will add more about my journey in the next blog. In the meantime, please share with my readers how you discovered your VOICE.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Butt Pain from Sitting on the Learning Curve

    Is it just me or is this technology explosion causing you to ask . . . WHY?  This past week Robert Genn's s newsletter broached the subject of the lack of sales in this weak economy.  He stated that in a conversation with five artist, one being a technology guru (my words not his) sales were almost non existent.  Obviously if their work is not up to par all the advertising in the world won't help.  And during this same week I pulled up a site that I had bookmarked some months ago called ARTIST HELPING ARTIST.  This particular radio broadcast was about blogging effectively and all the strategies to have a bigger following.  I was overwhelmed with all the techno information.  I've tried staying current but new information and marketing information to promote my art has overwhelmed me.  I know that if you do the work you will increase your community of readers but is that enough?  Do you have to have a store with books and prints of your work to make it pay?  Why do a few artists (daily painters) seem to sell everything they paint on ebay.    What is the real goal for putting all this information out there?  I would love to hear your personal experience with being internet savvy.  I have included the broadcast at the bottom for those interested.  This broadcast is only one of many that are great and I recommend checking this site out.  Just be sure to have a pencil and lots of paper to make notes.  Looking forward to all comments on this topic.

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