Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The agony of an Artist Statement

I have been working in watercolor some more. The new paintings are different, and I am not sure how I feel about them yet. I guess I will post one now. I am not even sure if it is finished, although I like it right now. So maybe it will have to sit for another day or so first. This painting measures 12 x 9 inches. I think it will be called "Ravine". Maybe.

In addition to painting, I have been putting together a couple more portfolios to take to galleries. Part of this involves writing the dreaded "ARTIST STATEMENT." For those of you who aren't familiar with the artist's statement, it is how an artist describes their own work. I don't think I am alone when I say I would rather have someone drill a hole through my head than have to write an artist's statement. It is important, I know, I know, Alyson! I re-write mine ALL THE TIME. I could probably write it over again every single day. The reason it is so difficult, I suppose, is because I am trying to WRITE about something that is not about words. It is about color, form, IMAGE. Also, I am a painter, not a writer. Yet, this is an essential part of being able to talk about my own art. And so I perservere.

This is the most recent version of my artist's statement (re-write #5 for the year 2008):

The utmost concern for me in the finished painting is harmony of color. I love rich, yummy colors you can sink your eyes into. The reason I prefer to work abstractly is because I feel our lives are already too involved in the physical - that which can be seen, heard, touched or tasted. This art is about the spirit and the soul. The soft transition from one color to another offers a path leading from our busy lives to the realm of the spirit. These paintings provide a serene space with visual elements to intrigue and arouse curiousity. The geometric elements, such as the circle, oval or square, are a reference to ourselves, and how we fit into this place of meditation. I feel it is important for us to recognize our connection to all that is around us.

So there it is. My current artist's statement. I still think it needs some work, but I am going to see if any of you have helpful comments or suggestions. Does this make you want to look at my art? Does this statement provide you with an understanding of how I see my own art? Does it help you understand it? I am open to suggestions, at this point. Keep in mind I have more than one statement. This particular statement is for the most recent body of oil paintings and monotypes. Thank you for any input you may have!


High Desert Diva said...

Having to write an artist statement would give me the willies, too.

In answer to your questions:

Does this make you want to look at my art? Yes

Does this statement provide you with an understanding of how I see my own art? Sure does

Does it help you understand it? Yes

Karine...the only thing I would change would be the word yummy. While this happens to be a favorite (word) of mine, I don't think it flows with the rest of your statement.

Clover said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! What beautiful work you do!
Love Clover xo

Lyn Bishop said...

Karine, I have to agree with high desert diva, the word "yummy" isn't hitting the mark for me. Perhaps you could brainstorm a list of words that conjure up the feeling of yummy. I'm thinking of words like "vibrant" or "bright" or "sensuous". Congratulations on making such progress!

Anke said...

Hi Karine, I enjoyed reading your artist statement and yes it helps me to understand your art and wants me to look at your art and discover it. I think it a good one, I never wrote one for myself but I sure would have problems too......
Your new watercolor painting gives me a being light feeling, taking stuff not too serious and enjoy the little details around me, especially in nature. Keep on coming with those....smiles, Anke ;)

Karine said...

How about the word "delicious" instead of "yummy"? Is that better?

Melissa & Emmitt said...

hi karine
i think you statement is very good. :)
the things would change are very small.
i would take out "the reason i prefer to work" out and just say i work abstractly because...
i would also change "this art" to My art and "these paintings" to my paintings.

:) m

Nazu Tonse said...

Liked your point about prefering to work in abstract because "our lives are already too involved in the physical" ..

Agree on the "yummy" just not going with the rest of it ..

and must confess I did not quite understand this sentence "The geometric elements, such as the circle, oval or square, are a reference to ourselves, and how we fit into this place of meditation".

priya said...

hi karine,
your abstract watercolour is beautiful and very compelling to behold.
in your artist statement, is 'abstractly' a word at all? it doesn't sound right. i agree with
nazu about the geometric elements stuff.

apart from that,i think you've done a good job with it.

Karen said...

Karine -- I'm not sure why you are so uncomfortable with this....some tweaks might be good, but I think it does what it should do which is give me a sense of why you painted what you painted and makes me want to look. Beyond the suggestions you already got, would it be appropriate to say "The geometric elements, such as the circle, oval or square, refer to us, and confirm that we belong in this place of meditation"....? Just a thought.

kate smudges said...

I like the different direction you are taking in this watercolour. It is intriguing to me ... makes me want to explore what is going on beneath.

Might 'yummy' be substituted with 'enervating'? I like your artist's statement ...