Talking About Your Art - Part I

 “At Peace” | Plein Air Oil on Linen | © Beth Cole | SOLD

“At Peace” | Plein Air Oil on Linen | © Beth Cole | SOLD

I always want to write about things here on the blog that I wrestle with as an artist, so this new series is on talking about your art. So awkward, right?

This first post will be about writing an artist statement, and I also will share about writing art descriptions and writing your artist bio.

Your Artist Statement

by Beth Cole

So how is it for you and writing an artist statement….a struggle or a piece of cake?

I am still trying to figure out the best way to talk about my art and why I make it, you too? It is difficult to put into words what my art is all about. It has taken several years to begin to understand my materials and how to apply them to achieve the vision in my head. To articulate a deeper meaning seems, most of the time, beyond my grasp.

Nonetheless, I have heard and read so many times that people want to hear from you. They want to understand what you are thinking when you paint and why you chose the subject matter and what it means to you. They want to hear about your emotional attachment to the art.

Why is this? I don’t know for sure, but I believe it might be because deep down everyone wants to be emotionally attached to something and some people have a hard time with their emotions. They have forgotten how to feel. Art helps them feel in a way that nothing else does.

[warning, slight rabbit trail]

After all, art has a purpose. If it didn’t, it wouldn’t have survived since pre-historic days when drawings were made on cave walls. It has survived and developed and thrived because, I believe, it helps people connect with their emotions and it touches a part of humanity that can’t be touched in any other way. Art can be glue, it can hold us together, bring us together and bind us together. It can be fuel for ideas and dialogue and discussions. It can say something more clearly than a million words. It speaks a universal language that requires no translation because the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

[rabbit trail ending]

So to make sense of your art, should it speak for itself or do you need to explain it?

The “art world” says we need to explain it and so an artist statement helps us articulate in a general sense, what our art is all about. It is still up to the viewer to interpret the piece through his or her lens, but I think people want to hear from your heart. For example…..

  • Why do you create what you do?

  • What moves you?

  • What materials do you use and why?

  • Who has influenced you?

Answers to these questions are, I believe, what makes up an artist statement.

I have tried several ways to write an artist statement. I have just been trying to find my way, and honestly, it is only recently that I feel like can articulate answers to these questions without sounding like a cliché.

So how has it been for you to write an artist’s statement? A struggle or a piece of cake?

Thanks for following along….I’m ever grateful for you.

--Beth

Soli Deo Gloria