Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Innovate or Placate? Experiment or Languish? How’s your Painting Libido?

Some artist’s are making a big splash. They are non-conformists doing things their way. Not afraid of criticism or worried about “staying in line,” they follow their gut instincts; and in the process, they’re making money. Wish that were you?
Self taught artists probably have more daring. What have they got to lose? But there are artists who get bored by the tried and true methods of the past and just want to make waves. They want their art to sizzle and sing. They manage to push the envelope to the outer limits.
Don’t get me wrong. These artists have already proven themselves in traditional ways. They are color and value experts who wave the brush expertly and intelligently. They also follow trends. They understand that what’s popular today may not be hot tomorrow. They have found a way to capitalize on the here and now in hopes of making some money and it seems to be working.
I watched a street artist use nothing but spray paint and window scrapers as a brush. The work was not as crude as I’d expected. He layered colors from light to dark, and while still wet, expertly scraped off top layers to expose the light. Shapes formed. Buildings appeared. Different sized palette knives and scrapers exposed a cityscape and a sunset. The end result was breathtaking.
His “street art” was produced quickly and expertly. The wrapped canvas paintings sold like hotcakes! People were intrigued. They were in awe as landscapes and city streets appeared in living color. The canvases were affordable and inspiring. This artist had found a way to tap into the pulse of the buyers who lived and worked in the city.
Chloe Morris Sketchbook
Who is your audience? Does your work appeal to the culture and clime of potential buyers or are you focused on your own drumbeat drowning out the sounds of the marketplace? Do you live in a seaside community or a rural farm area? Do your buyers hail from suburbia or Harlem? Who do you want to reach? How do you want to touch them or influence them? Does your work have universal appeal or is it specific?

These are questions every artist needs to ask before proceeding with a work. If you paint only to please yourself, you may have only an audience of one.