Taste in art is interesting, with this work being a case in point. I find it my most monumental piece yet, with a kind of a grandeur, but it's also a bit disquieting, because it makes me think of a wound (that was almost my first title). But it doesn't appeal to my husband Mike as much (not to say that he dislikes it, just that it doesn't do as much for him as for me). While I might choose to stick with my own sense about a painting, I honestly find his input valuable. First, I have not yet plugged in with a local art group, so my impulses and tastes are growing in isolation, with only input from Mike and the wonderful visitors to this blog. :) But second, Mike has never studied art. He's an engineer. So, to me, he represents both another perspective and also the audience.
That, of course, brings up the perpetual issue: audience. I don't know about you, but I sometimes find concern for my audience creeping in when I paint. Then I make decisions based on some concept of what I think will sell or will appeal to a lot of people, or something. But you can't do that! At least, not a lot. The point of creativity -- any creativity -- is to make it honest and make it yours. Recently I spent time just noticing when I was taking salability into account, even subtly. When that happened, my comeback to myself was, "Yes, but do I like it?" This can be hard for people (especially women?) who are raised to think of others, to keep the harmony. And it can also be hard because this is a kind of expensive hobby if I don't sell anything (I haven't seriously launched that effort yet).
Here's a nice quote from Art & fear (yes, they use the ampersand and the lower case on the front cover of the book):
Fears about artmaking fall into two families: fears about yourself, and fears about your reception by others. In a general way, fears about yourself prevent you from doing your best work, while fears about your reception by others prevent you from doing your own work.So, going back to the beginning of this entry, if I ultimately need to make my art mine, why do I need input from others? Hmm. I haven't spent much time on this, but it feels like I need a little input to stay grounded and not float away in my own conceptual world. And, frankly, I'm insecure enough to need a little validation sometimes. So, perhaps (as in many things), the answer is the Middle Path, the eternal balancing act, yin yang. As they say, "Moderation in all things, including moderation."
But I do like "Make it honest, make it yours." Of course, maybe they're the same thing. Kind of.