Sunday, October 28, 2007
The last to know
Sometimes the artist is the last one to recognize when a work is good.
My advisor while I was a student at Mass Art, Dan Kelleher, told me often that an artist needs a few trusted people to visit the studio on a regular basis and offer advice. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be an artist, just someone who can be trusted to be honest and impartial, and who has a discerning eye for what’s working visually and what’s not.
My friend Carol O’Malia visited my studio a while back, and she was kind enough to look over the new paintings I had lined up and give me her opinion. She stopped dead at the painting pictured above, and said that one was really working and suggested I make more like it.
Weird, I thought to myself. That one was just something I threw together while I was waiting for some others to dry. I hadn’t really thought much about it, before during or after making it. (Another lesson I learned here, a real "David Carradine in Kung Fu" moment: too strong an attachment can squeeze the life out of a painting.)
Anyway, I took Carol’s advice and made a number of paintings in this style in different sizes. Boy, was she right. Two of them (this one included) have sold, and I’ve shown another version as part of a triptych in a recent exhibit that got some great feedback.
Without Carol’s suggestion, I never would have thought to pursue this direction. I had discounted it because it seemed “too easy” to make, it went together too fast. I'm glad I listened to her!
This work is called “Silken Web 1” – it is acrylic and fabric collage on canvas, and measures 28” H x 20” W.