Now here’s a subject to make even the more resilient of artists, blanch and go weak at the knees, never mind the newbie.  Why are we so afraid of selling do you think? Well, come to think of it, it’s not necessarily about selling is it?  More often than not it’s about just even showing our work.  It’s so confronting, so challenging emotionally.  Now why would that be? Well for one thing we have a lot invested in the whole thing. For some its the cost of the materials – the time and effort and feeling we can’t charge enough to get all that back. Rather more than this however, it is about the investment of ourselves.  When we put a painting on show, there is always that questioning of our self-worth.

  • Is it good enough?
  • Who, me exhibit… I couldn’t possibly, I mean I’m not really an artist ……am I?
  • Will anybody like it?
  • Will anybody like it enough to buy it
  • And then if they do – oh .. I don’t think I can possibly part with it – look at all the time and effort I put into it, it’s my baby.
Exhibition

Let those babies go

 

Our art works are our children – they are creations that we put a lot of time and effort into. However like all children, at some point we must let them go.

I think that many of the things Kahil Gibran said about children can be related to our art –

“Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.”

As do our art works.  And this ………….

“You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.”

Our creations are made to be released into the world, to be shared with others so our unique vision may be shared with the world

This weeks Question: What artworks haven’t you let go of yet that you could?

Next Week Look For: What makes an artist successful?

 

What is a cohesive body of work?

This is an interesting question and one I’m currently working on in terms of my own career.  I have come to understand that there are three main elements which hold an artists work together.

  1. A similarity in visual style or overall design elements
  2. Recurring themes
  3. Technical or textural elements

Lets look at these three elements separately beginning with visual style.

What I’m referring to here is the overall visual design elements or flavour of a work.  If you put all the works you have done during the course of your career next to each other, could you tell that they were all done by the same artist?

When I look back over all my works and they are seen together, you can see a distinctive progression.  However if you were to only see, the paintings I’ve shown here, then you might think they were done by different artists.

retro

Part of the reason this happens, particularly early in an artist’s career is that they are experimenting and searching for their unique expression.  As artists this is a part of our process. The next post will discuss the dilemma this presents us with.

Can you see the elements I’ve mentioned here in your own work? In what ways have your techniques changed or developed?  And the most important question to ask yourself is, ‘how can I improve the way my style hangs together?’

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