As my solo show draws near, I can say that for the past few weeks I’ve had some difficulty in my studio practice. There has been a wide range of emotions I’ve been experiencing ranging from happiness to dread and these latest emotions have really put a few hurdles in my way. As I type this blog there is some trepidation about the projects that are yet to be resolved. At this point I’m still finishing these works but this group I feel is finally winding down. What is left as I finish are feelings of insecurity and inadequacy as an artist. Is this work any good? Is it mediocre? Will the body of work as a whole fit well together? Then the most impossible of questions arises, “Will people like the work?” Thoughts such as these create blocks that are unnecessary to get hung up on. I realize this, but these emotions are normal, I guess.
During this Month’s residency meeting with Kimberly I went ahead and explained the emotions I was experiencing, and she understood the daunting thoughts I was feeling. She related to my fears of opening myself up in within this platform of showing an extensive body of work in a public setting. She warned me about the harm of falling into these emotional pitfalls and how they could affect the output of work and how it could totally change the narratives behind each piece. Some of the things I was experiencing aside from these fears were the over analyzation of my work. I was beginning to think about some of these works in a way in which I thought they could be accepted by the viewer. There were certain “lost” projects where I was going out of my way to add elements that I thought would make the viewer “like” the work more or make it more attractive. My paintings were no longer paintings, they were on the verge of becoming products, but I realize that the desires to have a successful show blurred the lines between artwork and product.
Deep down I know painting or art-making is a journey. The works created by an artist are visual diaries, the work is important, and it matters. Making work for the purpose of pleasing others is soulless, contrived, and just in really bad taste.
Thankfully meeting with Kimberly really reinforced the rewards of going through this process such as the work I’ve created, the show, and most importantly the relationships that I’ve formed along the way. I feel I’ve added a few notches to my artist belt and that I’ve crossed another threshold within my career. I really feel that I couldn’t have done this without the support of this gem of a gallery, Greenly Art Space, who really cares about the growth of their artists. I’d like to end this blog addition by expressing my thanks to Kimberly and Dave Hocking for their support and for helping me grow as an artist. See you at the show on October 19th!
Lastly, I want to invite you to respond to the supportive environment Greenly Art Space gives to its artists and guests by donating to the "Artists in Communities" grant matching funds campaign: https://squareup.com/store/greenlyartspaceThis prestigious grant from the California Arts Council allows non-profit galleries such as Greenly Art Space, the ability to engage artists in a contemplative art-making process as they create a full body of work for a solo exhibition. A requirement of the grant is that we raise matching funds. As a participant of this process it’s important to support spaces that give artists such as myself a platform to have our voices heard. Please help us reach our goal of $9628 by donating today!
Any findings, opinions, or conclusions contained herein are not necessarily those of the California Arts Council.This activity is supported in part by the California Arts Council, a state agency. Learn more at www.arts.ca.gov.