I am most pleased to have been recently spotlighted in a series of vignettes in the March issue of The Artist's Magazine, zeroing in on those of us way over the age of consent! It's a nice little spread, featuring the diverse mediums of nine other artists from across the country; truly national coverage.
As noted in Grace Dobush's intro to the series, there seems to be an interesting 'theme' that 'recurs again and again' through the comments of each of the ten artists as we speak of our work and how we see things; that theme being the importance of 'being true to yourself' and having the courage to make art the way you want to make art.
I was not all together surprised when I read each of the brief articles, discovering that almost to a person, we all pretty much agreed that approaching our work as we wanted to approach it and not adhering to anyone else's rules or formats or ways of seeing, was a given. As I thought more about it, I came to the conclusion that this is sometimes a true result of age and experience.
I think, sometimes, younger artists tend to lean in the direction of their favorite, established artists, be they contemporary or historic. They find a particular technical approach or use of medium or style of painting to their liking; one that seems to meld with what they have been experimenting with. They study and often try to emulate what they like about another artist's work, certainly not a negative as we all build upon what has come before. I think also there can be a fear of having their viewpoint and work not accepted or understood and this, many times, can lead to simply taking the easier road, following an established pattern. We all need to make a living, after all!
But with time, age, experience, somehow artists tend to not only find their voice, but to embrace it and make it work . . . putting aside the fear that their work will be overlooked or that their particular way of 'seeing' will not be accepted, acknowledged or approved of. This does take courage and a lot of 'guts' to be true to yourself, especially in the world of creative endeavours. We want to please ourselves and at the same time, make art that might appeal to others. We want to make art that says something about who we are and the things that are important to us, while hoping that another will feel, equally, those desires and emotions.
This is the stuff that strengthens with age!
To those who have sent their congratulations already, my thanks. The issue is on newsstands now.
Here is the next work up for bid on ebay.