Frequently, I ask my workshop students to consider how their work contributes to the global dialogue of art. This means examining their work for its purpose. Does it truly reflect their own view of the world or is it imitative? The former lends authenticity to the work and has the best possibility for contributing to the dialogue. Each artist has something unique to share, even if the medium and techniques are traditional. What we have to say and how we say it are essential, in my opinion, to creating work that is truly meaningful.
I was never taught this in college, or even in any of the art workshops I took years ago. We students were given assignments that led to the mastery of technique and little attention was given to helping us develop our unique viewpoints. I never thought about it much until fifteen years ago. That made all the difference. I make no claims toward greatness, only that my work truly reflects how I see and think. That’s satisfying.
Recently, I saw a painting in a nearby art museum that had several technical flaws, but the overall effect was intact anyway. The viewpoint of the artist spoke to me and evoked a feeling. So, I started to wonder about the importance of the technical aspects of the painting. I’ve always felt that the best way to effectively dialogue through my art is to eliminate as many technical errors as possible so the viewer doesn’t miss the message. Then again, artists who are only technicians bore me to death. There’s a fine line there, somewhere.
What do you think?