Works by two local painters were displayed. I spoke with one painter about several of his canvases. The paintings were done in tropical colors and depicted scenes of the Caribbean shore. The painter, who had lived on Isla Mujeres for some period of time, was enthusiastic about his work and had information about it to share. The details of a rough boat journey from Cuba to the Yucatan and the flight of the occupants to the United States after landing brought a picture of a damaged rowboat to life for me, for example. I was impressed that he was prepared and able to say something about his work!
That might seem an obvious kind of skill but I've wondered how successful I would be in attempting to connect a viewer with my work in a similar fashion. Often my paintings become more process than subject. More about a color here or there or an angle of this or that or the texture, light or perspective which I desire to execute just because and the boat on the shore, for example, would be a vehicle for me to indulge in playing with paint.
So in the hope that the opportunity will present itself I'm writing something about the what and why of my work so that I'll have lots to say should the occasion arise!
But the end result does matter! Is the image pleasing regardless of the excitement of the process? I have to say I want to experience that as well!
What is the work about? Does it have meaning beyond the obvious depiction of, for example, rocks on the shore or a reclined figure or eyes spaced to comport with reality...or not?
"This", dear gallery visitor, "is where it might get tricky".
"I think it might be difficult for me to tell you what my art is about. If it is about anything it is certainly about how you see it more than it is about me. I can tell you about the me I have put into it, to a certain extent, but I don't know what you see until you tell me. And I may be totally surprised by what you tell me you see. But here is my story: When I paint a landscape subject from reality I am generally placing a horizon above and at a distance from myself. This perspective allows a point of comfort for me. What the natural world might represent is all that I have experienced and if the horizon represents achievement it is something I am climbing toward. Apparently I am consistent where I repeat this view with frequency. So, I think my desire to achieve, indeed to move forward is maybe relentless if the presence of horizons in my work is revealing."
"However, I don't seem to be getting any closer to that horizon. I don't seem to have much interest in seeing or representing a natural vista. So, is what I don't see in the work revealing more about what the work is about?"
I'll continue this