Tuesday, July 20, 2010

self expression vs. pretty pages

It's a constant push and pull -- do you take time and care and worry to make a perfect and pretty page?
or do you let loose, have the ink and paint fly around and maybe make a mess but get it out.
Chuck Close started by painting huge abstract expressionist canvases which were totally non representational.
He said it felt great to do, but it wasn't something he wanted to hang on the wall. His later work (after he ended up in a wheelchair) are the most exacting, careful photo representative works you have ever seen, and they are stunning . . . .
I work with this tension all the time in my art journal -- I want to just "get it out" and be free to make a mess, but truthfully, there is also something very satisfying about making a page I like to look at after the fact. And I always feel the slight tension of the idea that I will post my pages here on line for the world to see. I do get many more comments for "pretty" pages than for the messy ones.
So after working for years in art journaling, I have come to the reality that I do want to be pleased with my pages, and if there is a way to have BOTH/AND rather than EITHER/OR, I will choose that.
I don't want to put them in frames and treat them with kid gloves, but I certainly don't mind if they look nice.
Very expressive, yet "pretty" pages.
Why not have it all?

"If it doesn't sit right I'm not really saying it. Getting it to sit right is another thing – complicated, time-consuming, wasteful. It comes around to what is contained in 'sitting right.' This is what the picture is about." Richard Diebenkorn

1 comment:

  1. I can completely relate to what you are bringing up here. beauty and getting it out are important to me - sometimes one feels stronger than the other, so i go with it, but usually I find myself striking a balance. I don't like it when I think about the end and possible feedback I might get from my viewers online, but that's a natural part of the human thing!
    These pages are stunning!!