So why exactly am I doing this? or: What you can learn by throwing spaghetti at the wall

I’ve been holding back on writing this post for some time (don’t let the publish date fool you – I’m actually writing this on April 25th!).   And the reason for that is: I’ve been doing an awful lot of thinking.

I’m the kind of person who loves to do endless research and rumination and carefully put all of my ducks in a row before even thinking about launching into something new (trust me – no one has ever called me spontaneous!).  What I set out to do – what, in fact, my BIG GOAL was – was to launch a Fine Art Career.  Years after getting my BFA (and not using it… well, actually, I did, but I leveraged it to get into a computer animation career instead), I was FINALLY going to pick up the brush and make art that 1) made me happy, and 2) made me some money so that I could keep making art.  And, seeing as we’re living in the Age of the Internet, this blog was supposed to be a major backing component of said art career.  But… I ran into a stumbling block: I couldn’t decide on what kind of art I wanted to do!

Don’t get me wrong – I know what kind of art I’m drawn to.  I can immediately point to the work of Sarah Joncas and Cate Rangel as just two examples of the type of art that I aspire to make myself (portraits of women, perhaps with a slight fantasy- or fashion- theme).  But I also really gravitate to the zen nature of landscape painting, especially if it’s done in a more minimalist, abstract-expressionist style.  Robert Roth and Peter Wileman are two fantastic examples of this genre.   And then there are times when I think “Screw representation!” and just want to go full-on abstract, like the work of Stephanie Rivet or Yang Yang Pen.

Since January, I’ve painted both figures and landscapes, and I’ve run into issues with both genres.  Proper figure painting requires a model (for which I have exactly zero budget).  Landscape painting, while relaxing, is just not something I can see myself doing day-in, day-out.  Abstract painting is, in my opinion, the most difficult genre to do well, so I’ve been putting off giving it a go.  So here I am at the end of April, and I’m still undecided.

It’s an unspoken rule that a Serious Artist deals exclusively with one particular subject matter in one particular style, constantly working through and exploring all facets within those confines to get to some kind of artistic “truth”. And that idea bores me to tears!

Maybe it’s the animator in me, but I find the thought of keeping to one genre and one style so incredibly unappealing – it would be like animating the same character over and over again!  But if that’s the case and that’s really what the Art World is looking for, then I will probably never be considered a Serious Artist because I want to have the freedom to pursue whatever artistic avenue I want, whenever I want.  Hey, it works for Gerard Richter, perhaps it will work for me, too!

And so, at the end of the day, the purpose of this blog is to track my artistic experimentation, and, maybe, just maybe, find my artistic direction.   It might not be pretty, and it certainly won’t be streamlined, but I’m counting on the idea that if I throw enough spaghetti at the wall (metaphorically-speaking), eventually something will stick!

Or not.  I may just end up with a wall covered in spaghetti.  BUT if it made me happy while I was throwing it, then as far as I’m concerned, it was all worth it.  We’ll see what happens…

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My studio space – complete with examples of other artists’ work as inspiration, and a few lineart transfers of my own. Patron Saint Nana Mouskouri watches over it all.
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3 thoughts on “So why exactly am I doing this? or: What you can learn by throwing spaghetti at the wall

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