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the order of things

In Regimes of Truth, Foucault maintains that no one person holds a coherent aspect of him or herself throughout the varied activities of his or her life.  Who we are in the voting booth isn’t who are in the bedroom. Never more have I come to know this than I have as an art student.

It seems I am constantly asked “what kind of an artist” I am.  I understand the question, but I am at a loss for a reply.  “I don’t know yet,” is my usual response. But the truth is, I don’t know if I will ever know. I don’t believe I have to.  Perhaps it would be easier to call myself a painter; and just a few posts I did just that.  But even then, others want to know what it is that I am saying with my painting, what is the purpose, what drives me. It’s as if every piece of art is to hold some dire message, my message..who I am and what I’m saying..Sometimes, in fact most of the time, I just like the feel of the paint on the canvas.  I like to see my brush strokes, heavy and light, broad and very tiny.  I love the color and the way the oil feels when it charges my brush.  I like to find color in the whitest of white and the darkest of blacks.  When I paint, or draw, and knit; when I create I feel settled.  Perhaps that should be my artist statement, “I paint to feel settled.” or better..”I paint hoping to feel settled.”

One Comment Post a comment
  1. I admire artists who are able to build a picture from scratch as I believe that is the most creative and expressive. To me that requires a special minds-eye. I have dabbled in painting and have been able to reproduce a scene, but have had difficulty imagining or imaging, and producing from scratch. I believe your artist statement could simply be – I am an artist. What kind of artist? A good one! Might be a good answer. Provided you are good. I agree with you that you don’t have to be a “kind” of artist, except for the fact that your prime method of creating your art is by painting. I recall art appreciation classes where the instructor would ask “what is the artist attempting to say with this painting.” I hated that. How should I know – I wasn’t there and I can’t get into their brain. Like you, some people do art because of the intrinsic value they get out of it – they may not be “saying” anything, they may just enjoy “settling.”

    February 2, 2011

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