As I am starting the new year with goals for my paintings I ask myself :
· What do I want to paint?
· What methods, techniques do I want to use?
· What mediums do I want to use?
· Do I want a limited focus of my painting or do I want to explore new territories?
In all these questions I come up with one common factor, who do I paint for?
Let’s look at three possibilities……Show-Sell-Self
Shows and Competitions
I so enjoy the opportunity we as artists have to show our work. There are endless possibilities for local, statewide, national and international shows, galleries and other venues that are available to us. I consider where my paintings fit for a particular show or entry. What is best for the venue? Who is the judge? What gets into shows? I need to know the rules and regulations of materials, size of the art, surfaces, framing or other finishing for my artwork. Keeping these factors in mind helps me stay focused.
When painting to sell I am thinking of my potential customer. I consider the subject, price, size and who my customer is. When I have a commission I plan carefully to meet the expectations of my client. I may consider trends in color and fashion.
When I am painting for myself it is also a great challenge. My world of painting is wide open and can be overwhelming. But this is where I think I have the most freedom. I can set out one way and come up with totally other ideas that take me off into a new series, a new style or perfecting my current work. Over the years as an artist I actually found I am getting better at painting to satisfy myself (which is a hard task). I am my toughest critic.
By working in my passion and being a little less concerned with the “Show and Sell” I find my paintings still sell and make it into shows. I believe this is because when we paint for ourselves we paint with more emotion. Most of you have found, as I have, that the paintings that sell or get into a major shows are those that express emotion, passion, creativity, imagination, interesting subjects or views of the subject. Often the paintings in competitive shows that receive acclaim are outside of the norm; the artists took risks.
Whether you paint realism, abstractions, loose or detailed - paint your best and you will thrive. I so enjoy seeing it all. Express from your passion…paint on and share your success by allowing others to come into your world. If you are currently showing your work – great! Keep it up! If you have yet to show your work, please let us see your creations and we will applaud you.
Published in the Idaho Watercolor Society Newsletter January 2017