Making art for an audience is tricky, and it brings out my Creeping Cowardly Conformity. I’m discovering that as I finish up a series of small collages on canvas that will be included in the San Antonio Art League show which opens Sunday, Nov. 2nd. The Art League is a venerable organization with lots of Real Painters, and being invited to participate is rather intimidating. Here is one of my pieces in a five-part series called “Copper Koan.” Like a lot of my work, it deals with the concept of shards and fragments of incomplete stories. A “koan” is a paradox to be meditated upon, and it seemed like a fine concept for this series (the series title is also a take-off on “copper coin.”)
This is what it looked like yesterday (below) – I didn’t want to add a little face or any text because I thought that would make it look “too crafty” and “not sophisticated-ly abstract enough.” Arg . . .Creeping Cowardly Conformity makes us compromise. You make like this one better, and that’s super OK, but I kept thinking it looked incomplete and anonymous.
So what the heck – I added the distressed earthenware face and the text fragment on my little Copper Koan, and now that they are there, I’m much happier with the piece. I hope my audience likes it, but we, as artists, gotta remember that we’re driving this Art Bus and if we take directions from our passengers, we’ll get everybody hopelessly lost. That’s MY story and I’m sticking to it!
PS. If you’d like to see the exhibit for yourself, please know that I’d love to have you there to discuss all of this and to see the work of my fellow artists – here’s your invitation! Feel free to share 🙂
Lyn, I think it’s wonderful. I love the colors and composition. The face and the koan simply make it yours and add a complexity and depth to the composition. I would proudly hang it on my wall. NEVER CONFORM!!!
Wow! Thanks, Sherry – high fives – that made my day.
I like your art bus analogy, a good thought to remember.
I love it! The face made it! That is your signature image and finished the piece.
Lyn, Your first piece is stunning! Hope you share the other ones with us after the exhibition.
I went to Art and Soul for the first time this year, and took a wonderful class with Jane Davies about strategies to quiet the inner critic. I am delighted you chose to listen to your inner voice. I did a variety of crafct shows over thirty years, typically creating what I knew would sell, along with work in new directions that fed my curiosity. I am ecstatic to be at a place where my work feeds my soul, not my stomach!
Feeding our souls is critical – remember that old proverb? “If a man gives you two loaves of bread, give one to the poor and sell the other to buy hyacinths for your soul.”