Thursday, August 18, 2011

Can you articulate?

About a month ago I re-wrote my artist statement, which spiraled into a personal journey of me asking myself once again what I was trying to accomplish with my art. I know as artists we are often asked what inspires us, and as easy as it is for me to express myself with paint, it is equally as hard for me to articulate that same thought with words. I think this is why art is such an important modality in learning.

Can you articulate in one paragraph why you make art? (please share if you can)

I tried to articulate... but as often as I sign onto my computer, it seems I am editing!

"Every season in nature has a unique color palette, energized and transformed by the endless cycle of rebirth. I walk through the woods and feel secure in the arms of Mother Nature, cushioned by her earth tones, viewing what was once a budding branch, now a full-bodied tree. The waves and currents change along the coast, and I am in awe of their movement. Nothing stays the same and the cycle never ends."

This paragraph is a summary and a starting point to help you understand what inspires me. I continue to explain in more detail the processes I use with each body of work featured on my website.

It is easy enough to search out other artist statements online. I find some artists to be so technical I am easily confused about what they are trying to explain, and other artists so vague I feel lost. Because I am applying for an artist membership at The Copley Society I have been forced to review what it is I am doing, and why. The one thing I am clear about is my love of the land, the changing seasons, and the life force that exists.

*if you want to read the rest of my artist statement visit "About the Artist"


  1. This is really very good Robin. I agree, it's really hard to come up with an Artist's Statement that is a 'one size fits all' sort of.... I have seen plenty of examples. They all seem so varied, depending on the target audience, I guess. I know mine needs to be reworked....will add it to my TODO list. Right now I am unable to explain in one paragraph why I make art...thanks for the challenge, I shall work on it. :)

    ~ Kathleen Krucoff

  2. Hi Kathleen, reviewing my statement is a healthy exercise, I hope I have inspired you to do it too... sooner or later, it will get done.

  3. Sheesh, Robin. A tough question, especially as I find it hard to think of myself as an artist. Still...why do I create art?

    It is so innate, so intrinsic to who I am. I've been creating art since I was very, very little (and so has my daughter). I've never developed into a great artist. Always something askew or amiss. Nevertheless, and here is thing: I SEE in pictures. Words bring images to my mind. I am usually fairly articulate but sometimes I don't always have the words. But I can always see an emotion (doesn't have to be my own), a description, and idea in my head in some form of picture. It simply has to come out somehow, whether I translate that image into words or into a piece of art that never quite captures what I mean to say...

    Now that I've confused us all...

  4. Sherry, you answered and articulated beautifully! (plus you added a line or 2 of self doubt, why o why?!)

  5. I've read your paragraph several times; I think you're definitely on the right track. I'm not much help when it comes to statements.

    Why do I make art? Hmmm.

  6. Hallie, I am just about burnt out, trying to figure out what I want to say in regards to my art making, but it's a requirement to have a thorough artist statement for some of the things I am doing right now. I am ready to say, I have nothing to say about it, I just love doing!! is that what your HMMM means too?!

  7. Hmmm... can I paint an artist's statement? I think that would be a lot easier than writing one...


  8. This is a tough one. I've had to write a few in all of my years as a practicing artist and always found it to be a chore. I create because the process fascinates me. The inspiration continues to change over the years so my artist statement has reflected that. Good luck with whatever you decide to write. I'm sure it will be perfect.

  9. It is/was a chore, Eva! but good practice too.