Yesterday I wrote an Artist’s Statement

An artist’s statement requires the commitment to paper of one’s own creative process. Writing about this is odd, self-knowledge seems to be a requirement, modesty is misplaced. The ultimate question driving the process seems to be: “How do I do what I do?” Answering this requires a level of honesty that I am not entirely sure that I have.

Knowledge of process may be easier to qualify if it is drawn from an Artistic education, “I do this because…” The first three words have a truth and then the fourth is stumbled over. Hamstrung as ever by the word “why.” How do you describe what you do and how you got to this point?

Having an artist’s statement is a necessity. Exhibitions need to have an explanation for how the paintings came to be hanging on this particular wall. We all, it seems, require a story, so a good statement depends on how much the artist is prepared to share. A structured provenance could list notable academic establishments, sales and awards garnered. For me, the truth of my statement hangs on the sentences: “I paint because I have to.” and “This work reflects my journey.”

Recently I read that each act of creation leads to a dopamine hit. This is the rush experienced from a job well done, for me it comes as I stand back and look. “Good Lord, did I do that?” the small internal voice comments. Ask me how, and I am at a loss.

Other than those brought about by life, there have been no lessons. Colours have been mixed because they seemed correct in the moment. Given that the true colour of pigment requires the painting to dry, completion of a work finds me left with a mixture of apprehension and anticipation. Standing and looking begs the question “Will this work?” to which the answer is “No idea.”

Eventually I wrote my statement, it passed the husband test. Fortunately he can be relied upon to ask me if I really meant the words. Now the words are on my website and the document will make its way to exhibitions and into press packs.

Please have a look at my artist’s statement. There is also a link on the menu on every page.

Let me know what you think.

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