Monday, November 23, 2009

Getting Clearer: A New Artist's Statement

While preparing to deliver a few small paintings for an exhibit at the Dodwell Gallery on Long Island in Casco Bay, I decided it was time to update and upgrade my "artist's statement". After a few false starts, it finally started to click and I worked at it happily until I happened to glance at the clock. It was time to go meet Maggie Carle, the curator of the gallery.

I threw on some proper outdoor clothes and got to Portland in perfect time! But not before printing out my new statement, which is here:

Curiosity, amazement, joy and wonder--these are essential elements that I bring to making art that celebrates being alive in this world of "things". I find the natural world an endlessly fascinating source of inspiration and rejuvenation, so it makes good sense that I choose to paint landscapes as well as interiors featuring flowers, fruits, and vegetables. I paint whatever captures my attention and curiosity and quickens my pulse. These are usually not scenes of staggering beauty or grandeur but of more ordinary loveliness--a certain slant of light, the curious shapes and lines of bare tree branches, or the complexities of color in a single piece of fruit. Sometimes I paint from direct observation and impression; other times from a quick drawing or series of drawings that help me to simplify my response to what I am seeing and feeling, perhaps even to the point of abstraction.

I paint primarily for the joy of it. I love playing with paint--mixing colors, pushing the paint around with my brush, palette knife, or fingers--see what happens in a process of discovery, intuition, and a bit of trial and error. At times the creative process flows through me, and my goal is to hold myself open to collaborate with a living energy rather than to "think my way through" in a any methodical way. Other days I am more deliberate and considered. Nearly always I start a new painting with a mixture of excitement and fear, summoning courage (since there are no guarantees) and a commitment to show up and do my best with what evolves, with hopes that some measure of my own joy and quirky delight will be received by the eyes and spirits of my viewers. I consider myself hugely fortunate and richly blessed to be a painter.


Bekah said...

Mummy, I love this statement! Well put. Also, I really love the painting.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Bekah. I love the statement and I love the painting! But most of all, I love the journey the artist has made to bring her to the point where she makes this statement with "delight."

Sukie Curtis said...

Thank you both! I must say that plenty of loving support really helps! :)