Saturday, January 23, 2010

Feeding the Artist

When I painted "Diet Pizza" I knew it had problems. And why, if I know this, am I posting it here? It must be that I want to learn from this failure.

Compositionally it has major issues, so I cringe when I look at it, and even want to chop it up and throw it away. But then I think of why I painted it and I tuck it aside, facing the wall.

This piece has thematic meaning to one person. Me. Is it ethical for an artist to create art that only the creator understands? Can a mystery piece, if well done, be a piece of art if no viewer understands its true meaning?

A critic said, "Put more color into it." I would have preferred that she had instead asked, "Why is the color so dead and empty?" I think the failing of this piece is that she didn't ask that question.

Maybe someday I'll paint over it in a way that she'd understand, if she saw it again, that the lack of color is the point. In other words, I guess I didn't make the painting feel empty enough.