Exhibiting at The Other Art Fair, Victoria House recently (March 2018), the feedback I received from visitors (including existing and new clients, friends, art professionals and artists) was gratefully received. What you may not know, is that it is also essential to my creative process.
Working as an artist can be a solitary existence and building a community of professionals, friends and peers is vital. Conversation is key. Think of us as bats. Without echolocation we would be lost and unable to fly properly – or feed ourselves. Artist fairs are an excellent way to meet other artists and connect with visitors. This helps to nourish and expand our community whilst gaining sales and exposure.
More than this, visitor feedback is also my fuel and drive to create the next body of work. It is through feedback that I understand whether the paintings have relevance or meaning beyond my own desire to make them.
This may seem a strange thing for an artist, who spends days and weeks in varying degrees of isolation, to admit – but- I don’t make paintings for myself. I make them for the moment when someone else sees a painting and connects with it – when, through another person’s eyes, a painting is re-created, and gains a deeper, more profound meaning than I could ever have intended. It is my hope that a viewer will have the sense of being viscerally or emotionally transported to another place or time in their life as they experience a painting. The underlying invitation is often to pause, breathe, be and be absorbed – to have space and shift perspective. Landscapes are felt through the skin and the muscles as well as seen through the eyes so the paintings sit in a delicate space of abstraction – enough world, but not too much. It is only by sharing the paintings that I know whether they are working (and have merit) or not.
The key ingredient in this process, and the one I cannot control, is you.
Thank you for sharing your ideas with me.
Here are a few visitor comments:
“A wild British wilderness vibe”
“Thank you for reminding me to breathe”
“You can lose yourself in these paintings”
“Images to fill the soul with peace and wonder”
“Moments of reverie and the finding of sanctuary”