Friday, March 06, 2009


My new painting Out of the Swamp makes me feel content.
It seems for me there is two types of art that I can do. One is an abstract portrayal of nature that I like to do because I love to play with the colors and shapes. This work doesn't have a deep meaning, but it is really interesting visually. This work has brought me more recognition from the "art critics" such as getting into juried shows.
The other work has a subject matter that is largely developed from my imagination during the creative process. This work is fun because the unexpected happens. Many people that visit art fairs seem to really connect with this art. It is not for everyone, some only like realism. But the people that do like it are passionate about it and bring their own interpretations to it. But this work is somehow not serious enough for the art critics to accept and reward.
I am really happy to do either kind of art work. I did feel I needed to concentrate on abstract shapes and colors for a while to learn to craft a better painting. Now I am going to try to marry the two approaches and see what happens. Do other artists continually need to make these conscious choices? Or does their artwork progress and change on its own? It seems I am always getting stuck in these situations where I need to choose which way to go.

Out of the Swamp

Thanks Tim Malles for taking this photo of me painting at the Tioga art fair this past weekend. These cows weren't created from my imagination but derived from my sketches and photos.


Jim Carpenter said...

I love the cow painting you are working on in part because it reveals the process, which is something I love to see in all art forms. I think that questioning and making choices are inherent and essential in the creative process, don't you? I'm suddenly reminded of Robert Frost's "Two roads diverged in the woods and I took the one less traveled by and that has made all the difference" and am struck by the thought of the dead end poem we'd have had he written "Two roads diverged in the woods and I decided to turn around and go back where I came from." Maybe you have come to a similar fork in the woods? Whatever the case, I think the decisions are all part of the journey.
I'm no art critic, but I like the decisions you've been making in your art.

Carol Barber said...

Thanks Jim.
I went to "Hooves and Horns" last night. I liked your "Toro" painting even better in person. It was bigger than I expected and the framing looked really nice.