Monday, December 10, 2012

The Unfocused Artist

©2012 Susanne Clark - Aggregation in Red
30 x 30 in - Acrylic on canvas
2012 has just about zipped by and I have been thinking about my artistic progress, or lack of it, this year.  I seem to want to do a bit of everything but then nothing ever gets done well.

As an artist, we are always told we should focus on one medium but look at what do I do.

I paint, but then I paint in a variety of different ways.

©2012 Susanne Clark - Euphoria
Oil on canvas
I  have an ongoing series of Musical works in acrylic.
I love to paint people and have recently been doing these in oils.
I have a real interest in non representational work in either oil or acrylic.
I did a number of loose florals this year too.

©2012 Susanne Clark - Lavender Posy
Acrylic on paper mounted on wood panel 12 x 12 in
Now to Printmaking.  This is a medium that I really enjoy however within this medium I also seem to have a variety of different styles of work.

©2012 Susanne Clark - The Ladies
Handpulled Collagraph on paper
I do some landscapes.
I have a series of 1920's women.
Some symbolic works
An ongoing Kimono series
and .... some hand painted blockprints.

©2012 Susanne Clark - Jester in Red
Handpulled blockprint with painted details - SOLD
All these mediums and styles of work and none of them have a similar look to them.  In other words they look like they were done by different artists.  I thought perhaps that being a Gemini may account for two kinds of different work but this is getting slightly ridiculous.  The big problem is that I enjoy all these facets of art.

It also follows through into my other doings though too.  I write a few blog posts and then I get diverted.  I play with facebook and then lose momentum.  I look into promoting my work and then ease off.

Life has so many choices.  We have too much of everything in this day and age.  I have started getting rid of books and a lot of my art that I have kept from years back.  It feels good to have less.  Our house is fairly uncluttered but it could be even less so.

I think I need to do the same thing with my art..  More focus is obviously needed.  Perhaps this could be my New Years resolution!

Anyone else out there with this problem!  I'd love to hear how you are dealing with it.


Kathleen Krucoff said...

I absolutely love your work Susanne! All varieties of it too.

What this tells me is that you are not unfocused, but someone with so much creativity to express that you continue to explore areas that speak to you! I think that is great.

I've done some similar things. In my younger days, I tried my hand at tole painting. Then I found stained glass. Eventually I did fused glass and my focus diverted to wire wrapping my glass cabochons. Now I do metalwork. I still see myself returning to stained glass because I love it.

One of my friends observed that I was what she termed "a bit of a gypsy"....she explained that she felt I bored easily and so I was constantly seeking out new things to stay engaged. She could be right. Essentially, I love learning and it's clear you do too!

I'm with you on wanting to de-clutter our home, less is more. That is something I intend to focus on in 2013. As for my art, I will continue to experiment and look for growth, learning new techniques.

I love what you do and hope you won't abandon your various mediums because I do find them oh so intriguing.


Eva said...

Suzanne, you are talented in all of the styles you choose to work in. You also have the luxury of not having to stick to one. When I was depending on art for my livelihood I had to stick to a style or my clients and agents would rebel.Just enjoy the the gifts you were given including a good husband and home.

Susanne said...

Thank you Kathleen for such an uplifting comment.

I was so interested to read that you have worked with several mediums too. I have seen pictures of your glass work which looks wonderful but I have never seen your stained glass. That is another medium I would love to do too.

I think I am a bit like you because I also love learning and trying new things. If I see something I like, I love to have a go and try it myself.

We were watching a program on TV last night and it showed the inside of a Japanese Inn and it was so uncluttered, serene and clean looking. We both loved the way it looked. I think we have along way to go to get our place looking like that though.

Have a wonderful time over the holidays and I look forward to seeing your new work in 2013.

Susanne said...

So nice to hear from you Eva. You do have a point. I am not depending on my art for an income so I do have more freedom to do as I like however I do find that people who do buy my art tend to have their favourite style and prefer to see that. This does make it a bit difficult when doing an exhibition or art show.

I am tending towards more non representational work which I think is disappointing for those who like my more "real" work.

I miss seeing all the wonderful artsy ladies I knew in Atlanta. Fortunately I have meet some great Toronto artsy ladies now so that helps.

Have a lovely time over the holidays!

Deborah Younglao, Silk Painter said...

Susanne i'm only now reading this post in March, because I fell off the social media wagon several months ago and am just now trying to claw my way back on! You sound so much like me here... many styles of work, on again-off again marketing/promotion. This 'body of work' thing that's supposed be essential for artists to succeed has always, and probably always be, elusive for me. Too many different things out there to try!

I really admire artists who have been able to find a particular style and stick to it... but maybe others of us are destined to follow a different path, and maybe there's nothing wrong with that! Seeing that an artist as talented as yourself has the same issues I do, makes me feel a lot better! Your work is beautiful in any of the media you choose to use... I think you should just create whatever gives you the most satisfaction at any given time.

Susanne said...

Thank you for your lovely comment Deborah. I too have fallen off the social network wagon! All this social stuff is fun but also takes a lot of time and I seem to have been busy with other things. Perhaps we will both get a new lease of life and be inspired soon.

Susan Avishai said...

I guess it all depends on the vision you have for your art. Do you want to have a body of work that makes a statement and elaborates on that statement with variations on the theme, something that sets your work apart from other artists/periods of time? Or do you prefer experimentation and following the freedom of what feels fascinating at the moment? The point is to love what you are doing and not constantly feel you ought to be doing the other.

If you need a model, remember Picasso would probably get up in the morning, do 14 drawings in pen and ink, break for coffee and complete 3 oils, spend the afternoon painting ceramic plates, and after tea (or something stronger) print a few lithos. I'm sure each medium and style refreshed the others. Exhausts me just thinking about it.

Susanne said...

Thnaks for your input Susan. I understand what you are saying and the one thing I do know is that I do love art.

Reading your comment about Picasso, I felt tired just reading about his working habits and to think he fitted in a lot of other physical activities every day as well!

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