I met a fine artist today and saw her studio.
(It was kind of a date, but that’s not the point of this post. If you must know, it went just fine. “Saw her studio” is not a euphemism.)
Usually, I don’t
like understand fine art, because, like many other humans, I find myself trying to see the “meanings,” patterns or cues in a piece of non-representational artwork, and since I am experiencing it in a vacuum, I ultimately fail, or have to content myself with whatever conclusions I can draw on my own. The artwork I saw today was made primarily from printed matter, which caused me to look harder for a way to append “meaning” to her work that I could readily understand or accept (again, patterns).
However, since she was there and I was able to pick her brain about her motivations and processes, the pieces she had made more sense to me, probably as much sense as they could without actually experiencing the emotional triggers that led/guided her through the creation of her work.
This last bit is important because her work, in many cases, refers to or describes her own personal experience(s) in one way or another.
Anyhow, while thinking about this understanding, something… “dawned on me” isn’t the right turn of phrase, but I started thinking about my own work, and the nature of “showing, not telling,” because I tend to do both- I write things on my sketch pages so I don’t forget what I was thinking at the time, and I run long at the proverbial mouth here on the blog as I unpack my thoughts.
But a nonrepresentational piece of artwork, sitting on its own often lacks such support, especially when it is charged with emotions and/or meanings that would be difficult to express simply in words, nevermind through a nonverbal medium…
The more that I try and turn this idea over in my head, the more it melts away, which is kind of frustrating.