Sunday, April 10, 2011
As Fine Art students, we are always asked to write an artist's statement accompanying our submitted art works and projects. One can see these as being some what of a bother and an annoyance, however generally speaking I have to say they are a very positive undertakings and an opportunity to reflect seriously on why it is you do what you do, how you came to be interested in the work you do, how you feel about it, and what you like about your work. The regular practice of doing this, I believe, clarifies the answers to these questions and to helps you to be truthful and to get honest with yourself.
The artist's statement is meant to be ongoing and updated as your work changes and you evolve along the creative continuum. I also believe the process enables you to further the creative process as a artist.
As an artist I have come to accept and realize my first love in my drawing and painting practice is subject matter found within the world of the representational, figurative, and portrait. I've long had a great appreciation for this expression and interpretation of my subject matter. That said, it is no longer, such a rigid definition, as it had been for me in the past years. Over the past three years I have had let go of realistic rendering, in order to return with a renewed perception and ideology of what it means to involve myself with art, and in particular with painting. I give myself permission now to make " mistakes ", which results in me being enabled to greatly enjoy the creative process, while sustaining my interest and passion for realistic rendering, or not, without any preoccupation with the completed outcome.
I have found the medium of egg tempera to be extremely satisfying, in that I have discovered numerous exciting qualities I greatly appreciate about it, especially in how it resembles drawing, in the manner it is maneuvered through continuing line and mark making, around and on the surface of the panel. Drawing for me is what I consider to be essential and at the foundation of the kind of paintings I want to create.
The intensity and luminescence that occurs through the building up of layered applications of a variety of colour is visually powerful, in visceral way for me, giving a sense of light and a shimmering, sensual quality.
In egg tempera, I feel I have found the medium I am passionate about and this I have learned is absolutely essential to me, as well as it is necessary for me to be in love with my subject matter, in order to continue painting.
After working for many years in oil medium alone, egg tempera has given me a deeper vision vision and passion for painting. The practicality of the pigment being economic, more environmentally friendly, through the use of egg yolk, the fact that it goes along way, and it's extended life and sense of permanent quality of egg tempera paintings, are all reasons for my decision to use the medium. I had started out using masonite as a painting surface, but will choose wood surfaces in the future, as it is much more substantive.
I have found the family portraiture subject matter to be rewarding to me personally and would like to complete more of these paintings. Initially, I was reluctant to pursue this kind of subject matter, for reasons I now see as being fear based and were coming from emotional pain around my family relationships. However upon reflection and after the completion of this work, I have find it to be a healing kind of exercise and it has diminished my fear and emotional issues surrounding my family.
I am reminded of what Eric Fischl stated about why he paints, " I paint to tell myself about myself ". His statement clarifies what it is I love about painting and is one of the many very significant reasons for me, why I am an artist who strives to live a creative life, and why I am a painter.