watercolor on paper, 26" x 20"
Katharine A. Cartwright
In the couple of years that have lapsed since my book reviews, I've spent a lot of time developing this new series entitled "The Laws of Nature" and showing it at various exhibitions around the country. I've completed 28 of these so far, and have another going in my studio.
What's become most obvious to me over the past half decade is the importance of decision making when it comes to art making. I'm not a great fan of happy accidents. Rather, I like to think things through and then make a decision about what to say, how to say it, and when I should stop.
The decision about what to say arrives after much introspection. What is my internal perception of the external world? What single point can I make in this painting or series of related paintings? How is reality altered by my perception and how can I exaggerate that?
The decision about how to say what I want to say arrives after even more deliberation. What ideosyncracies in my mark-making can I exploit to express my own unique style? What color relationships reflect the mood I want to impart to my work? What values do the same? How can I best construct forms and relationships between forms to express my idea?
The decision about when to stop a painting or a series of related paintings occurs when I consciously realize that the work is becoming repetitive and I have nothing new to say about it.
At that point, I must begin the decision making process again and create a new series.
Some have teased and even criticized me for being so deliberate in my approach to art. The only defense I have is that I'm introspective, analytical, and meticulous and must, therefore, express who I am in my work. In other words, I won't deny who I am and I won't try to be someone else when I make art.
How 'bout you?