Tuesday, April 7, 2015

the dreaded artist statement is your friend

work in progress-  oil - 30 x 30"
I think most artists agonize over writing artist statements for body's of work or for entries to shows or exhibitions. I know I do. It's not easy translating art into words, but it's kind of essential that we learn to do this.  Did you know that an artist statement is actually your friend?   Yes!  It's on your side...in your corner...tooting your horn...giving explanations of your work to those that take an interest when you're not around to do it!  

Personally I hate confusing 'art speak', and always appreciate reading an artists statement that is written in simple language so anyone can understand. That can sometimes be hard for us artists! We get excited about and  caught up in our own technical interests and ideas about how we make our art, so much so that we forget the simple(but 'ultimately sophisticated') edit.  I know I have written tons of statements over the years to go with my art. Tons of boring yadda yadda yadda waxing poetic about my art philosophy etc.  Who really cares? no one that's who! ha ha.  I'm learning as I go on. 

As my art changes so do my statements.  Here's my most recent attempt. We'll see how long it lasts. heh. heh.

"Recent themes in my work acknowledge personal freedoms and joys found in the activity of everyday life.  The freedom of cycling along, the joy of quiet solitude, the delight of a holiday. With these ideas in mind, I merge the pictorial with the emotional. I love the meditative process of working in oils."

I had to laugh when I viewed this satirical youtube by visual artist Charlotte Young.  Hope you get a laugh or two.


  1. Hi Sally, Loved your post! I think your artist statement is perfect, and beautifully sidesteps falling into the style that Charlotte Young's Youtube sends up. Had a good laugh at that!

  2. hi Wendy, glad you had a laugh. she looks so serious, so it's not until you start reading the subtitles that you realize she's pulling your leg!
    thanks for the feedback on the artist statement. it's always such an agonzing couple of sentences, but i'm learning to be straightforward and forget the art speak.


Go ahead...make my day. I love our mini-mails!