Sunday, December 14, 2014

What Every Woman Wants: Baubles, Bangles and Beads -- or is it?

"A Joyful Heart" pastel on bristol board, matted and ready to frame
I may be the odd woman out, but jewelry is not my cup of tea. Topping an outfit off with a smashing pair of handmade earrings is more my style. Gaudy and expensive jewelry is not.

I prefer an understated look. I was never into ruffles which make me feel silly. I prefer simple classic lines that enhance my comfort and put me more in touch with the person I am.

We all have different tastes, likes and dislikes. We are each uniquely created. In the same way that our fingerprints and eyes are not alike, so our preferences in food, music and clothing vary. The same goes for artwork. None of us will ever see the same thing. One painting may draw us, the other may repel. That’s how the “power of the purse” works, and why certain things appeal to a broad spectrum of people while another is less popular.

"Tansy's Pride" pastel on bristol board; matted and ready to frame
The buying public is also fickle. Discrimination is often based on current trends and popular opinion. Someone once said “We are a nation of sheep.” In most instances we are.

Still, there are ways for an artist to move past that shallowness. We can acquire a “universal” appeal that extends beyond the bounds of personality, culture, and tradition. Certain subjects have broad appeal such as family, love, hope, fun, dancing, merriment, shared experiences, and familiar landmarks. I’m sure there are many many more.

A mother and child will usually arouse warm sentiments. A child learning or experiencing something new for the very first time is another appealing delight. Animals and especially pets touch a soft spot within almost everyone. Suffering, pain and sorrow strike a chord that vibrates the very soul. Any action whether joy, hate or anger that captures the human condition can be related to by many people.

"Broken" mixed media on canvas SOLD, but prints available
The skill of an artist in relating these universal truths to others in a way that is visually exciting and moving can make the experience have even more impact. Familiar shapes and hues arranged in such a way as to lead the viewer on an eye-opening or emotional journey is another way of revealing our shared humanity.

When the common things that surround us are portrayed, others can relate. Illustrate the simple beauties of the earth and in the eyes of the viewer their value is elevated and appreciated. Patterns and textures that replicate nature’s vast chromatic surface add another layer of “simpatico” that reaches out to others.

Wise use of space or sparseness of color may also emphasize loneliness, emptiness, or baroness in a way that detail and color could not; emotions that most of us associate with loss, devastation, and tragedy which we all experience at some point in our lives.

The more universal appeal your artwork contains, the greater the chances that you’ll be successful.
"With these Hands -- Hope" oil over acrylic under painting