Be clear on the point of making art the way that I do. Honestly, there are so many options to choose from between medium, subject, method etc. I think I have most of the process decisions all sorted now. At the core of all the choices is my purpose to create art in the first place.
There are a few things I'm clear on:
1) I want to immerse myself in my process so that I can feel the rhythms of nature,
2) the colours that I work with have me feel amazing,
3) my perspective/viewpoint is unique and I think impactful,
4) I want to have an impact,
5) I want people to be attracted to my 'brand' of art because I create something unique.
A very good question comes up from this. Why paint at all, why not take a photo and leave it to that?
The painting process, mixing paint and putting a mark on the canvas is my unique 'voice' being spoken through the decisions that I make. What I create comes entirely from my intuition and skills. I feel like that is important. It's my imprint on this time in history.
If your painting is about colour, then why not abstraction, playing with just colours? Representational art is something I enjoy, the challenge of it. Creating the feel of the real thing is an important part for me.
I said to my husband this morning, when I showed him a proposed upcoming painting, that it feels like ballet. The movement down the jagged edge of a leaf, the rhythm of the spacing and shaping is magical. I want to experience those rhythms coming from by brush. I want to understand how the colour changes across the leaf. How the different values and hues end up representing the real leaf, as I understand it.
That's the key, as I understand it. My understanding. My mark making. My vision.
In this regard making art feels self-centered and self-serving. Which it really is. As Rick Rubin says what's good for the artist is ultimately good for the viewer. He states that art making can never be about the viewer, ever.
In my mind, pleasing a viewer will never be sustainable, because viewers have differing ideas of what they like. It would be like constantly chasing your tail. You think you are making what the audience will like/buy, but you could be totally wrong.
It seems I ask myself, fairly frequently, what's the point of all this? Each time I come to a greater understand and conviction about the contribution that I have to make to my community.
What I've done in the past couple of years is look specifically where my art can make a difference. In 2023, I donated a painting to the rebuilding of Lahaina. I cried when I realized my beautiful painting was going to a great new collector, but also helping those who lost everything in the devastating fire of 2023. This year, I will be producing and donating all the profits of a 36 x 36" painting for Malawi Africa. I'm going to fund a water well. I guess there are (5) communities that are in dire need of water wells. It feels great already to be putting this together for people in need.
In 2023, I also sent out close to 180 mini prints of one of my artworks. I do this each year. It's a special gift that I send to my email recipients. The kind words and appreciation I receive from this little gift is quite amazing. It feels good. Art makes us feel good. I feel good creating it. Collectors feel good receiving it. It's a win, win. If you would like to be included in this free gift, simply join my email list and leave me your full mailing address. You can do that here.
Next time you purchase an original or reproduction of an artists work, just know that you are helping to make their career and dreams possible. Your support is deeply appreciate in ways that are not easily measured. When an artist is support they are able to continue to produce and share their work.
I for one, appreciate all the support that I receive. It is such a gift.