I was shocked, of late, to learn that a young woman whom I have come to respect as well as rely on for her artistic expertise counts among her most passionate guilty pleasures a weekly viewing of a television show known as ‘The Bachelor’. This is an intelligent woman of discriminating taste who, in years gone by, has lived an ‘on-the-edge’ life of daring adventure and who can scope the most abstract art for its deepest meaning and symbolism. And she watches … wait … what! No!
Now, she has good reasons for this which I shall not recount, and it is not my purpose to deride such personal and (I suppose) not unreasonable indulgences. Crap sakes, you should see some of mine!
Rather, thinking about today’s blog it struck me how much the television show in question illustrates an important lesson for artists as they judge their own work – sometimes it’s a question of which one you love the most.
I came across the subjects of today’s art while cleaning out a drawer and knew immediately I wanted to capture them (they’re actually a couple of napkin holders). I positioned them on a scrap of red silk next to a window drenched in morning light and made a series of macro photographic captures from different angles and distances. Bringing them into my artboard (i.e. my computer) I began experimenting with various methods for edging, texturizing, hues and lighting, walking that line in the middle of abstraction and realism. Each time I finished a version I thought, “Yeah – I like that – wait, let me try this other thing”. The third version, the larger one here, is the one I felt strongest about. But I couldn’t bear to abandon the others – couldn’t stand the thought of turning away from other options of my ‘bachelorhood’. More than once I have initially favored a work and failed to see that others were actually better. And tried to go back to them.
We marry our art, but at heart we are polygamists.
All my life I have had to learn to do things differently. To see the world differently.