Friday, February 16, 2018
Art and fear this week
I wrote last year about making collages on wood painting panels, or perhaps they would be better described as assemblage because I added a lot of found objects to make them 3-D. Check them out, with lots of photos, here and here.
For the last couple of weeks I have been working on a new batch, and I took them to my critique group a few days ago. As I pulled them out of my bag and started to pass them around, I said "Clearly this one isn't finished yet...." And somebody said "Why do you say 'clearly?' I think it's finished right now."
What I came up with was that I am still struggling with the whole concept of making art on a painter's surface, because I feel very insecure about doing anything resembling painting. And so I have probably been adding the 3-D elements as a protective barrier between me and anything painting-like.
My friends all agreed that two of the pieces were finished. A couple more coats of matte medium to seal everything and give it a uniform surface, and they can go on the wall.
I'm still not sure I have internalized what they told me and I agreed with. I do love minimalism, so the blank spaces don't scare me. I guess it's the two-dimensionality that does.
You will note that I still can't bring myself to call them "paintings." Having wrestled for a long time with calling myself an artist, and my work art, I guess this is my next wrestling match. I'll let you know who wins.