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Monday, February 4, 2013

Creating or Producing?

This is a Great Question!

If you are an artist, are you creating or are you Producing?

Last week I had the opportunity to see Yo Yo Ma perform.    Because he played typical classical as well as a few unusual pieces there were questions about what is expected from an artist.  On his web site, there is talk about how Yo Yo Ma is  multifaceted and searches for new ways to communicate with his audiences.  He has pushed himself in his search for artistic growth and renewal. These statements lead right into one of my on going discussions about how an artist needs to push, change and grow in order to continue to create rather than just produce. If an artist isn't experimenting, changing, and discovering are they truly creating?  If an artist is doing the same thing over and over and over again, are they producing and not creating?

Our galleries and buyers don't always want to see new and different work from an artist they represent and from whom they purchase. Sometimes we are stuck in a spot by others, which we may like, but what about the burning desire to try something new?  How do we handle that?

Four Cairns

A few weeks ago I reintroduced a fabulous piece of glass art into my home.  Having this work back in my environment inspired me to paint a couple rock cairns, which is part of my oeurve, those rock cairns.  

Glass Cairn
Artist:  Robert Madvin

While I was working on the first canvas I discovered my curiosity peaked by the negative space.  I completed the first painting focusing on color and movement.

I had a couple small canvases sitting in my studio so using the same palette and the same emphasis on movement I painted a couple cairns, or more precisely, I painted around what would be the rock cairns leaving the area that would have been the cairns a negative space.  

Some of you saw the use of negative space last week in the palm painting I posted and some of you reacted with very positive statements about that negative space.  By the time I received those comments I had painted in the space with a palm tree (that painting is currently on exhibit in the 15th Annual Palm Springs Juried Art Show at The Desert Art Center in Palm Springs).  I wonder if I might have considered leaving the negative space in that painting had I received those comments before moving forward with the work?  

What do you think?  Like Yo Yo Ma, should an artist push themselves to find new ways to communicate?  Is it too risky to seek artistic growth?  Is it only possible to create if you are  only moving forward with experimentation?  What do you think about creating vs. producing?

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