Saturday, July 20, 2013

Good Advice

A few days ago I sent an email to one of my favorite artists who lives over in Washington. She has never met me or spoken to me before. I asked if she would share the techniques she uses because I adore her work.

As I expected, she didn't reveal any of her secrets but gave me something far more important . She gave me some advice. Unknown to her, the advice she gave mirrored my life as a working artist, and was the advice I give to all my students, but I wasn't ever sure if it was Kosher as I have never studied art formally and I make loads of mistakes! I have often felt like an imposter in the art world and wanted to give up but those experiments and failures are what got me to where I am now. After 5 years of showing up daily to the studio, I am still trying to find my own voice. I still keep learning new techniques and every new painting is quite different to the last and, I love transforming an old painting into something new so there is very little consistency to my work. I'm more like a chef in the kitchen than an artist in studio and I rarely use a recipe, instead I continually ask myself the question, what if....?

Well it was so comforting to know my process is normal and there is a lot of hope for me if I 'keep on keeping on' the way I am going....I will one day (probably in 10 years time) have my voice in the art world and it will be unique and when asked how, I too will pass on this wonderful message.
Thank you to this fellow artist who responded with the following words and a couple of helpful web sites for me to research.

"I am a self taught artist and think of myself more like a mad scientist in my studio - I'm curious about so many things and just try, try, try different things - I make huge mistakes in the process and those are my best friends because they have taught me so much. Any technique I have obtained is a result of showing up every day and working. I've been at this for over 20 years and just in the past couple of years do I feel I've found my voice through my art. I'm a strong believer in paying attention to my own curiosisty and satisfying that instead of what is going on in the latest class or book. If I could give you any advise it would be to just work everyday and pay attention to what the work is telling you. Embrace mistakes, and just keep at it. "

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