Hey, I’m hopping to have about ten new paintings done for the 21st. If you’re in Ottawa stop by for some beer, hummus and art. I appreciate your effort in coming out to say hi. After sacrificing my social life, for hours spent alone in my room, it means a lot to me seeing friends, family and stranger alike.
In the coming weeks I want to share a few words about some of my new images, but before I do I need to explain a few things.
I am often guilty of an annoying artistic offence when I answer visitors’ questions about my paintings. The default answer I have given, often, goes something like this: “I don’t want to impose my interpretation on you, I want you to be free to interpret the image without my explanation colouring your view”. Now I know, even as I stammer out the above answer, that it is a cop-out. Why? Because everyone knows art is open to interpretation, so telling people that they can interpret my work is like saying frozen yogurt is for eating, while calling into question my sincerity as an artist. Since I’m selling my paintings this default answer actually screams out my intention not to offend. I think it’s human nature to avoid contradicting a customers’ opinion on their potential purchase, so, as long as we are in a venue accessorised with price lists, it’s difficult for me to say what I mean with the sincerity I’d like to convey. Basically, I’m worried that if the message you saw in my canvass is different from the meaning I had in mind as I created it that you might be less likely to buy the piece than if I reinforce how you saw the canvas. And the only way to do that is to downplay my ideas, and the themes I’m trying to bring up.
I have been trying to stop using the default answer when someone asks about the meaning behind creating a painting but it’s a difficult habit to break. My desire to discuss ideas with people when they visit me is quite strong. While I do like a good sale, an interesting discussion about one of the works, or ideas that the pieces present, stay with me long after I’ve spilt spaghetti sauce all over new jeans that said sale might buy. I’m trying to learn how to share my insights into why I created a certain piece without dampening the validity and importance that you, the viewer, have into the work.
My long drawn out explanation comes down to this; I think it will be easier to share some insights into the ideas behind my pieces in this format rather that verbally. My nerves are less likely to get frazzled by the possibility of a new pair of jeans, and you can go into the show with an idea of what I meant by completing this work. That way you are truly free to come up with your own ideas from the pieces, and then, hopefully, we can have a nice chat about things that the canvasses bring to mind.
Hopefully I’ll see you on the 21st.