Friday, October 18, 2013

Artist Statement

I had to prepare an Artist's Statement for a show I'll be doing in December. This is the first time I've had to do something like this. As someone who is self-taught and came to art relatively late in life, I haven't had the experience of reflecting for years on what I create and why. This is what I came up with:

I paint and draw to understand myself. It’s no surprise that art journals are my primary mode of working. While my written journals help me explore and document my experiences in words, my visual journals take me to different realms within myself that I can’t access or express with language.

It’s also no surprise that most of what I create are women’s faces. I’ve come to realize that these are ways that I’m exploring different aspects of myself and lately I’ve become more intentional in teasing out what I’m trying to learn about my hidden moods and feelings, especially those things in myself that I reject and keep in shadow.  

My art is made intuitively. Many pieces, especially my paintings, begin with symbols and quotes that I use to charge the piece with a particular quality or energy. And then I begin to paint or draw over those initial marks. I look for happy accidents and hidden opportunities--how can I build on the serendipities that come from painting with no particular end in mind? I love layers and depth, but some of my favorite pieces are those that are the simplest.

Art, for me, is like therapy. It’s a way to go into flow where I’m beyond conscious thought and the demons of my left brain. In my favorite moments of creating, I’m aware of being tapped into something larger than myself, into an energy that is both exciting and calming in equal measure.

It’s not the product that turns me on as much as the process. That feeling of bringing something into the world that expresses some energy, emotion or experience in a way that rings true for me. A piece is complete when I know that it has told me all it can say.

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