Monday, February 2, 2009

Lemons & Mandarins, Artist's Statement, Art tip #3

"Lemons & Mandarins"

Oil

11"x14"

Private Collection

Yesterday Karen Hargett wanted to hear a few tips on writing an Artist's Statement.
Like most artists I procrastinated (detested is more like it) updating mine. Using the step by step actions in I'd Rather Be in the Studio put me on the right path. Author,Alyson Stanfield really calls you to take action with specific exercises. Here are a few tips that got me going:
1. Learning what is an artist's statement and what isn't
Big news for me: it isn't a brief Bio. It's about your current work & direction. Alyson says "Above all, your statement should compel readers to look at your art. If it doesn't do that, it hasn't done its job."
2. "Keep it in the first person" and "Keep it short"
( I need to go back now and really hone mine again, its too long)
There is so much help in her book. One thing that appealed to me was to take all the ideas I had written down, cut them out (scraps of my thoughts). She suggested putting them in a shoebox. While this is tidy, I know I could easily forget where the box it. I taped them to a large poster board..kind of like creating a story board and kept it where it could get my attention.Then when I had time I would edit them and put them in order that made sense. It was easy to see where I'd repeated something or got too heavy. Just the physical act of pulling that scrap off the board and tossing it made me feel like I was getting somewhere.
To sum up for this post...it takes time to write an artist's statement. It is well worth the effort. I have just scratched the surface here..hoping to lead you to the wealth of knowledge and help in Alyson's book. Get it, read it, do the work. If there is one thing I can pass along to artists who want to be self supporting (and I know you don't want to hear this, I can feel you cringe!) Your art is a business. You must do what it takes to run that business, the rewards are many. It isn't hard..consistency is the key.
Make a plan, take an action.

14 comments:

Jeremy Elder said...

I love the color play of the oranges/yellows vs the blues/greens.

I appreciate the advice on the artists statement too. I need to write one.

Jennifer Bellinger said...

Thanks, Jeremy.
While not painfree (cause she makes you think) Alyson's book makes it less painful and very do-able. Go for it! It will feel so wonderful to have your important thoughts about your art on paper!

Nancy and the fatties said...

Hi Jennifer - thanks for visiting the bloggy! I've followed your work for a long time - very cool to hear from you! Jack looks like quite the stately gentleman. : ) My three fatties pretty much run the household...

Nancy and the fatties said...

Hi Jennifer - thanks for visiting the bloggy! I've followed your work for a long time - very cool to hear from you! Jack looks like quite the stately gentleman. : ) My three fatties pretty much run the household...

Jennifer Bellinger said...

Good to hear from you, Nancy. I consider pugs to be cat-dogs. They have some of the stubborness of a cat and the heart of a most loyal of dogs! Aren't they a hoot?

Karen Hargett said...

Thanks Jennifer- those are helpful hints and will keep me busy until my book arrives. I'm getting out my sticky notes. BTW Thanks for the link too ;-)

Jennifer Bellinger said...

You are welcome! Hearing enthusiastic comments lights my fire. I am so lucky to be in the art business and I love sharing what I know with other aspiring artists. We are all on the same path!

Zhao Jinzing ceramics art said...

Hello Jennifer. I like your painting, I will certainly take you into the painting to create a ceramic mural and art disk presented to you, I wish you happy! ZHAO Jin-stars

Mary Sheehan Winn said...

Thanks for sharing that info. I'm ordering the book.
I have also learned much from your paintings which is helping me process those star fruit set ups. Shapes and values!
You Rock!

Jennifer Bellinger said...

Thanks, Mary. It is fun to share what has helped me in my work. This whole art blog thing is quite amazing and I'm thrilled to be part of it.

E. Floyd said...

Hi, I was really drawn to this painting. The birdseye view is dynamic and the colors are bright.

The advice about the artist's statement is also helpful, I bookmarked this blog post earlier this week so I could go back and re-read it during a slower moment of my week.

Have a great weekend! Liz

Jennifer Bellinger said...

Thanks Liz,
Sometimes I can take something simple and make it so complex my head spins. I think that is called perfectionism! I am working on not being one..daily paintings have helped that. Which reminds me I haven't painted one in a while. You have a great weekend, too!

Marian Fortunati said...

Thanks... good to see what others are thinking and doing about this subject!

Jennifer Bellinger said...

Thanks, Marian. Lemons are probably my favorite still life subject..I think I could paint them every day!