I find my way by doing

I love the physicality of making art, art as craft, and the specific qualities of the materials I’m using. The creamy messiness of paint, the dry dustiness of pastels, the sharp line of a pencil, the smudgy charcoal… not to mention the substrate; paper, card board, canvas, wood – and how it allows for all kinds of different handling.

What is becoming more and more obvious to me, as I go along, is that I find my way by doing.

For a long time the art world has celebrated the cerebral aspects of art making. Art has been infused with (or maybe even confused with?) philosophy, sociology, gender studies, etc., etc., … In my former life as an art critic, this was in many ways a good thing. The rational mind of the writer and the rational statement of an artist is often a good match. When words are your chosen medium, it is easier to write about rational ideas then visual sensations.

But visual art is not philosophy. An artist’s statement is very rarely a work of art, and attempts to illustrate the same statement is often quite … tiresome & tedious.

Visual art is beyond words, something altogether different. Visual art meets the eye and evoke sensations & emotions.  

What is becoming more and more obvious to me as I go along, exploring my own world of art making, is that art is never a result of logical planned propositions

— I find my way by doing.

Philip Guston explains it well in this short video

3 Comments Add yours

  1. “Visual art is beyond words…” Indeed. So many seem to need or want an explanation in words about “what does it mean?” Two things: I try to say that the meaning can be visual and can’t be put into words, even though one can talk about what feelings the painting or artwork induces in one, the intentions of the artist, the context of the artist in relation to other artists, etc.; and I try to make a comparison to music, where one can see music can create feelings, induce emotions, but the notes themselves have no meaning outside of an aural meaning. Thank you for the Guston clip, it was very interesting and enjoyable.

    1. Sigrun says:

      Yes, I like the analogy with music too.

  2. “But visual art is not philosophy. An artist’s statement is very rarely a work of art, and attempts to illustrate the same statement is often quite … tiresome & tedious.” So true!

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