Monday, July 9, 2012

The Effects of Art

I truly believe that a successful piece of art is one that leaves you with emotion as you walk away from it. This could be disgust, joy, sadness, anger or anything really. I'm wondering if my art does that for anyone. Does it even do it for me?

"Horse Landscape Vermont"
Oil on Canvas

I will admit I'm more of a junkie when it comes to painting.... and it's not the art that I'm producing per say, but more of the medium: Can I handle oils? What can I do with salt and watercolor? How much can I stretch this composition out with out having it break apart in my hands? As you know I work primarily in watercolors. When I first started working with this medium, I would use colored pencils as well. Primarily  to correct some mistakes I had made, or punch out some values to make the piece more dramatic.  Slowly over time, I've stopped using those pencils because it was more like having a crutch - something to fall back on if things didn't turn out like I wanted them to. I have started using oils and looking at some videos regarding color mixing so that I can master this one as well.... But are my pieces evoking an emotion????

I've never been one wanted to "disturb" people viewing my art. Blame it on my 1990 experience of being in the middle of threat of the pulling out funding National Endowment of the Arts. I was in DC at the time of Maplethorpe's NOT being shown at the Corcoran Museum (my school). Too many people where figuring out how they too could make "shock art".

I was at Mass MoCA recently and saw this piece:

"You Are Loved"
Andrea Mortson
Oil on Canvas

I was thinking, "Oh my goodness. It's so beautiful the way she leans against him, how the tree encompasses both of them" and then I read the title and was just hit with a wave of emotion. That we should all feel loved.. Am I loved like the woman in the painting? I believe so. Is the artist loved? She must be, how else could she have captured this so perfectly? You might not feel the way that I do, but again, this is what I call a successful piece of art.

I hope to God that my art does this to people, and if not, will some day. Maybe I should start believing that it does and it will reflect in the art itself. But like everyone I need reassurance. And I guess I haven't got that in a while.

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