Friday, December 17, 2010

Acceptance

Santa Fe Sun Series (1 of 11 5x5's)
Early this year, a well-known art marketing -teleconference coach told me she found my main website confusing. It includes both abstract painting (and monotypes) and figurative sculpture listed in categories with portfolios by year. Adding to the confusion is my homepage, which shows examples of both. She suggested that I separate them into two websites to be more clear. I haven't yet done that, as I have been bringing a third website, my watercolor portrait site, up to speed. I have collectors of either paintings or sculpture who have been confused by the presence of both genres in my outdoor show booth here in Santa Fe, and who definitely prefer one or the other, but not both, usually.
Commission-3 sister

Imaginary child(workshop)
Her confusion brings me to reconsider the idea that a mature artist (me) should have focused only on, become known for, one genre. Certainly numerous artists become very successful commercially doing that, but if it's not in you, it just isn't. To me, that one genre idea goes along with the idea that one should develop a career as a fine artist only through the gallery system. Generally galleries bring an artist in with a particular body of work, and expect the artist's production to remain focused on that one vision, particularly if the gallery is successful at selling it. Some artists find
security there and are able to maintain their interest and output, but for a certain kind of artist, that's very limiting, and exploring the next avenue of expression, though risky in terms of one's galleries, collectors, and livelihood, is irresistible. Sometimes, moving on (in genre, gallery, means of marketing, etc.) is a matter of circumstance, a combination both of  unforeseeable events out of the artist's control and the choice to explore and grow as an artist. Certainly the committed average artist ( not the superstar or shining light) who is actually trying to support himself with his art, and unable to rely on a spouse with steady and adequate income, will make different choices at different times in his career, and not always to his own ultimate benefit.
Liquid Graphite brush drawing
That said, and at this late point in my career as a self-taught fine artist, I find myself now having a number of things to offer those who love original art and want to have it in their lives - not because I have continually searched for the next best thing to present, or because I was trying to figure out what the fickle public might like (maybe when I was a much younger artist), but because my skills and interests have led me organically from one thing to the next. At this point, I think the best thing for me is to accept that this is who I have become as an artist and do the best I can with presenting it, within the accepted notion, or outside of it. Perhaps I should add the watercolor site to the abstract painting and sculpture site, and include a separate section for drawings? I continue to think that my potential collectors have enough intelligence to figure it out! and if you feel up to it, check out my painted pony on e-bay!

2 comments:

  1. I see nothing wrong with showing all your talents on one site. It is who you are... multi-talented, so why not let everyone know that. I keep all mine on the same site and I prefer it that way.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Marianne, I have the same problem. My website shows my abstract bent, but I love to do realism at times especially wild life. You would not know it is from the same artist.

    I tend to market my abstracts to the world, and have a very local group of fans for my realism.

    It is a dilemma when you are trying to make a living doing what you love. I have been thinking of marketing my realism under my maiden name (Pamela Whipple).

    ReplyDelete

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