This week’s experiences were a contrast to last week’s as I visited an art exhibition put together by local people, mostly amateurs and hung in a local community centre. Eight hundred plus works created in a variety of media and curated mainly into groupings by subject. I went around quickly scanning the works and when I got to the end I paused; I noticed how I had been subconsciosly grading them into ‘good’ and ‘bad’, or worth my consideration or not. Wow! harsh!
So I went around again, much slower this time and trying to give each work its due notice and consideration and this time I was aware of my judgements as they arose. Looking with kindness on these artworks brought a different appreciation. I noticed that each artist has the same problems, the struggle with colour and establishing a palette, the struggle with composition, the struggle with light, the struggle mastering the media and on and on, each problem needing a resolution.
I noticed the things that people felt were important, so important they spent hours of their time and much effort to try and express their experience of these things. I noticed how simple these things are; their pets, their homes, their villages, their food, their gardens, other people, plants, birds, trees, the ocean, machines, the landscape. Things that we all engage with every day and that have a profound impact on us. I noticed the differences in approach from those with colour straight from the tube laid on boldly with a flourish to those tentative and shy with the brush. I thought I noticed those with some formal training as opposed to those who were self taught.
Later, I thought again of my judgements from the first time around and remembered that I am a product of my own culture and experiences and that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that notions of what is ‘good’ and ‘bad’ change. Not quite sure where I am going with my ramblings, but I am glad I went to this show and took the time to try and see.
Back in the studio………..I have had my own personal struggle with colour, composition, light and use of media, but I have finished my first ‘composed’ picture and it is posted here for the record. Onto the next one………………the garden is bursting with material and today (Thursday) is my ‘art’ day so I shall take a little wander around outside to see what demands my attention.
How to decide what to paint? I would be interested to hear how others make their choices.