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That “Problem Child” Artwork

January 10, 2010

A few years ago a new student came to my painting class.  She was demonstrating the way she does portrait painting and discussing how the painting, the paint, and the artist have a dialog, a conversation .  Sometimes it bursts into an argument, or a debate, it could just be friendly banter. It was intriguing to hear her say what I always felt. 

It makes sense. Art is a form of communication.  Whether the artist is a musician, a writer, a dancer, or painter… they all communicate something to the audience.  A painter’s audience is the viewer who sees the completed work hung on a wall, let’s just say it’s in a gallery.

I find it interesting to listen to people who are looking at art in a gallery.  They can come up with the strangest ideas to explain what they are seeing. The worst ones are critics and historians.  Wow, what crazy stuff they tell about the “meaning” of the artists underlying purpose in doing the artwork. Now I digress.

I usually begin with an image in my mind.  It is the completed image that I strive to  translate on the canvas.  Unfortunately, that isn’t always a simple task. Occasionally, working out the composition on canvas becomes like dealing with a four-year-old child.  “No, I don’t want you to put that color here!” it screams while flailing and flopping around.  Ever had a four-year old throw a tantrum in public?  You are not gonna quietly get that child to calm down or even to use their “inside voice”.

So, next week I will continue this topic.  This week I must get ready for a new semester of teaching.  But, I will leave you with a question to answer: Have you ever experienced  an out-and-out battling with a creative project [of any sort]?

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