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Documenting a period in my development that could become pivotal

Thursday, April 17, 2008

My Development Since Graduation from Portland State University

Painting on Ritner Creek 1990, photographed by "Rain" of the Rainy Day Thoughts Blog

Yesterday I wrote about what my art education meant to me. It is more difficult to honestly say how I am doing with that education. The selling was better years ago though the art making is very satisfying to me otherwise. My status as an artist in my community is ranked as a good artist. I see the main body of my work as being sincere, honest and unique. My craft skills are good enough for my needs. I do need to continue to learn and develop. As an artist citizen I am a very giving person. I am also frustrated with the groups I have been involved in. I know the groups have problems but I have not brought the skills out of me to influence the direction of these groups. In the Albany, Corvallis area I have pulsated between being out there in the community and being cloistered in my home. I have taught classes and several workshops at the Linn Benton Community Center and other public venues. I am not what the students want. They want hard fast rules so they can instantly make a painting like their favorite artist. They say they don't like my work meaning they don't want to paint like me. And I don't want them to paint like me too. I want students who want to experience all the steps of the learning process -students who want the joy of discovering what works for them. I am much more happy as a facilitator than a teacher. I have been a show committee chair for our art guild and I found businesses willing to hang our art. I started educating the business community about how and why they should be supportive of local artists. But my intention has gone by the way side and now the encouragement for the arts has been replaced by dividing the membership into not yet artists and elite exhibiting artists. I don't believe these labels are true or helpful in encouraging people. The big thing at the guild has become selling and not sharing all their true feelings in paint. I have tried for years to shape the direction of the community but I am attacked with hidden insults and rejections. This morning I am meeting with a new group forming in Albany. We are painting outdoors on location at a local nursery.
I wish to add that I still support and am a member of the Corvallis Art Guild and the Corvallis Art Center. I have hope, with the increasing membership, they will become more open minded. My statement and sample piece of art is posted on the Guild's web site tour of artists. http://corvallisartguild.org/ Although I am not looking to show my art work in the Art Center this year or next, I will again apply for showing 2010. I already have exhibits lined up for 2008 and 2009.

3 comments:

katie jane said...

I know exactly what you mean. I don't know why people don't take art more seriously. I found it extremely difficult to make any kind of living in art and gave up and got a "real" job, as so many of my friend and relatives call it. I feel like part of me is missing if I don't do some kind of artwork, so now I just do it for me.
We are living in an era where everything is obtained "fast". People are too impatient to discover who they are and what works for them. This comes later in life and for some, never at all. I can only sympathize with you trying to deal with committees and organizations. Good Luck.

Parapluie said...

Katie,
I think we do our best work when we are creating for ourselves. I do hope that people will realize that art makes us complete. And doing art is real. And it is work.

katie jane said...

Well Said.