Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of being able to paint, is the ability to alter reality a little bit in my subjects, sometimes it takes just a few brush strokes. So, you want your 1990's high school graduation picture slapped on the side of the worlds largest box of oatmeal cream pies, while being lifted from a helicopter over a sea of dinosaurs? I'm your gal. (Somebody *please* commission this) Or maybe we can go a touch further into impossibilities and say you need a nice family portrait where everyone wears nice clothes and opens their eyes at the same time. You can photoshop the "I love pandas" shirt away, but you can't erase the dream.
ART IS LANGUAGE
When we think about language we think about spoken words, and visual hand movements such as gestures or sign language. Language can be constrictive and can create barriers in society, since its much harder to interact with others in which you cannot communicate freely. However, art is one of the few experiences that can surpass those "barriers" and be shared by everyone, even people with radically different perspectives of the world. Art has the power to bring people together.
I remember when I was a little girl, my grandma would tell me stories that her Mother passed down to her from Italy. We'd cook together using a cookbook I couldn't read because it was written in Italian. I didn't realize it then, but every story and every recipe she taught me is something that made it over those barriers (I'm vegetarian now, so the 200 year old meatball recipes has died off, but will forever live on in memory of all of the adorable animals I've digested in my childhood).
ART IS EVOLVING
Creating a "Body of Work" seems to be all the craze in the art world. Everyone wants to see an entire website dedicated to the same thing, yet they want it to be innovative and unique. If artists followed this rule then Picasso would've died painting classic realism.
Last month I was invited for an interview in this fancy gallery space. It was clear they were looking for a particular style, and they shared with me ideas of the types of art that sells best in their gallery. I walked around looking at all of the beautiful artwork hanging, professionally arranged, on the oversized stark white walls. It was overwhelming. These pieces of art were going to fancy office spaces and corporate building settings and needed to fit in with a certain category of art. Wait for it....Art Decor. Earlier that day, I had just finished painting an Alpaca in a cardboard box being pulled by an airplane tricycle. I smiled and handed over my little black book of art.
"Can you paint more landscapes? I think those types of art will work best for us," she said.
And the thing is, I love painting landscapes. Some of my favorite artists are landscape painters. I just want to be able to paint a landscape and a dog flying across the sky by a balloon if I feel like it, too.
The lesson here is that everyone will always have something to say about what you are doing and where you're going. Art should to be conducive to the audience it attracts, yet it has to be innovative enough to remain interesting and to attract new collectors. How do you achieve this? That's a good question. But style should evolve between the artist and their work, and never to the setting of the work around them, no matter how white the walls or big the audience. Art shouldn't be anything like that bad relationship that you tried so hard to make work, but never quite could get on the same page. You'll end up sleeping on the couch every night.
"If I could say it in words, there would be no reason to paint" - Edward Hopper