Thursday, November 15, 2012


One of the wonderful things about being an artist is having so many choices and directions, possibilities!! I'm interested in a lot of things and painting in lots of ways; pastel, oil, acrylic, encaustic. There are so many wonderful mediums to explore and experiment with and subject matter to tackle.

Problem is when you have had a little success in one media and or genre of painting, peoples expectations arise. Whether they mean to or not, people label you, the marketplace loves consistency, predictability. Galleries and publishers want to establish a "brand". Although this can make financial sense, eventually this can be stiffling creatively and in turn lead to less than inspired work.

We humans like to label and seek conformity. It makes it easy for us. We don't have to really pay attention for very long if we get to say "oh she's a landscape painter". Done, we don't have to think about it any more. We do this all the time. Oh, he's a yuppie, or she's an old lady or he's a republican! It makes it simple and we don't have to spend any more time thinking about it. We can label ourselves too. Then we can act out that role and don't have to consider any other possibilities.

Staying creatively vibrant is important to me. I want to paint the landscape, but I also want to paint the figure and explore abstraction. I'd love to learn about sculpture and have ideas for installations.

Choosing joy in painting has helped me navigate my way. For me. the process of painting in much more important than the end result. Staying unstuck more important than staying consistent. And for me painting is always a metaphor for life....

And...I love that both of these pieces are the same!!!


B Boylan said...

Hi Marla,
Thanks for you post as you have expressed it so well.
I have been feeling these labels of trepidation and as I have branched out with a few mediums, I begin to question how I will be perceived. Could I sustain the crowd's interest? There are so many ways to express within ourselves, and so with that, grab some clay, sculpt it and may we make ourselves complete.

Cindy Michaud said...

I could not agree more!! People always ask me: what do you paint? I want to answer: whatever makes me happy at that chapter of my exploration....seems the "category" would give me validation?!

Roxanne Clingman said...

When Georgia O'Keefe finished in the studio for the day, she decided what the work was worth to her and after she made her internal estimate, praise and criticism were the same. Her example mentors courage in art making. I appreciate your willingness to "color outside the lines".

Jean said...

J'aime beaucoup ces deux compositions .
L'arbre est fantastique !
Un grand bravo !