Monday, October 10, 2011

To sign or not to sign

© Laying down work to contemplate
"In making art you need to respond authentically, both to your subject matter and to your materials. Art Happens between you and something - a subject, an idea, a technique - and both you and that something need to be free to move" - Art and Fear

For every artist, the key to fulfillment is finding that artistic project that speaks for itself. Part of being successful is being prepared and being organized. The other part is discipline, practice, patience and a great deal of perseverance.

And yes... obsession! That is what keeps us going through the stages of creativity.
So we start with Inspiration or the Inception of an idea, a concept, the subject matter. We plan some of the smaller details, a color palette and organize everything within reach. Then we move to the next step of Conception. We dive in to get the work done, tackle with our fears and bring paint to paper.

The third step is the most interesting of them all, its Contemplation.

As an artist, we are usually our worst critique or may be its a defense mechanism to protect ourselves from harsh comments. Whichever, a painting is never complete until we decide to sign on it. Signing is more a ritualistic act which means that 'we are now ready to share/ show off our baby to the world'.
Believe me, and I don't just talk for myself, all artist go through this step. And we all have a couple pieces at least still on the easel or in sight for us to look and think. Sometimes we even go and add a few more strokes, sometimes we do nothing but look at it and contemplate.

What do we think? A painting is a voice, a story we want to tell the world. The contemplation process is essentially looking at our work and seeing what story it really tells. There has been occasions when I have gessoed right on top of one of these pieces and started all over again. Its normal!

Creativity is a cycle. Its a process we repeat again and again and again, until we master every minute detail of it and learn to deliver with perfection.

And I am not kidding when I say "Being an artist is a lifestyle, not a job!".

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