Welcome to the worldly adventures of SEVEN

SEVEN is a collective of multi-disciplined artists from rural Nova Scotia. Collaboration is the foundation for creativity, where each artist responds artistically in her own medium to a selected theme. Through collective discourse, various elements combine to form a much richer body of thought - adding new and perhaps unforeseen levels of creativity and interpretation.

Rurally routed to their tidal landscape, SEVEN knows, what goes out, does come in.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

I want to know / I don't want to know – the paradox of being an artist

“Do you like this?” How am I doing?” “What do you think?” “Did I do ok?” Approval-seeking questions. Questions I had asked my violin teacher in the early days of our lessons. Her response - “Why are you asking me? You know how you did.”

Ahhh! There it is again – that perplexing little pop-up in my life – evaluate myself... by myself. I realize, yet again, my need for validation can only be satisfied from within.

Why would I want to know if you like my art? Art is so subjective. Everyone's opinion is so subjective. What my best friend hates may be the painting that the gallery loves. What is “good”, anyway? Why would I want another person to judge my self-expression?

But, oh deep down inside I do! I do! I really want to know. I want it be enjoyed. Appreciated! loved, even! The paradox is; this is at odds with my reason for being an artist - I can't freely create art that speaks from my true self if I'm concerned about what others think of my creations. Yet, at the same time, my motivation for creating art is to communicate my inner self. Aaaarrrgh!

While making a multitude of decisions for each painting that leaves my studio, I spend a great deal of brain energy contemplating whether I'm making each choice because it feels right for me or because I think someone out there will like the result.

What I've come up with, so far, is that I don't, so much, want to know if you like my artwork, but I really want to know if it makes you want to look longer. I want to know that my painting invokes an emotional response in you – positive or negative – and, whichever it may be, I want to know what the is mechanism is that caused you to feel your response? I want to know your story.


1 comment:

  1. That is quite a predicament isn't it, on-going and at times irritating, but it keeps our brains corrosion free, since the little grey cells have to work and writhe all the time.