Sunday, June 24, 2012

New Series Anxiety

I am working on a new series this summer and with any new series there comes an anxiety, one that can create self-doubt and stifle creativity. Will people respond to it as the did to my last series? Will the galleries that represent me want to show it? Will it be a success? These, in addition to comments by the few people who have seen the work in progress, can really make for a tense time while creating.

When you are an artist that is known for a particular style and aesthetic, and you have been working in the same series for the past three and a half years, it's hard to try something new. I have been itching to do something different but, until now, I didn't know what to do. I had a few false starts in the last few years and nothing I tried really stuck or made me passionate enough about it that I wanted to continue working on it. It's hard. It took me a VERY long time to develop my "Forgotten Memories" series (think a life-time of painting and trying things out) and it is because of this series that I have gallery representation. Coming up with a series that would still look like my work BUT still show progress is hard.

I have been mulling over the current series for a few months, figuring out my concept, deciding on how I would execute it. Now I am ready to execute. I haven't quite figured everything out, no one ever does, and I am sure that things will change as I work, but that's part of the process. I started my first piece this weekend and so far, I am happy with it. It is still part "Forgotten Memories" since I am still using old photos and the bars over the eyes, but I've added another element to it that adds another dimension to the piece.

What is that element, you ask? Well, as hard as it is for me not to tell you or post the works in progress, I have decided to wait until I have a body of work before I show it. There's a few reasons for this. One is that I need to be able to work out issues and figure things out while painting without other people's ideas, criticism, comments influencing (or trying to) me. I don't want other people's ideas of what it SHOULD look like or what they THINK it should look like get in the way of my vision. In order for this series to work and be something that I can be passionate enough to continue, it has to be about what I want and see in my head. I don't want to worry about disappointing people if I don't use their ideas or suggestions.

Another reason for not showing any updates is that I think showing the series as a body of work will make more of an impact. I want to be able to weed out the mediocre pieces and show a strong body of work that will, hopefully, excite people and make them want to see it in an installation. I want my galleries to see the work and be able to imagine what it would look like in their gallery as a complete show. I want there to be a number of pieces people can look at and decide which ones are their favorites.

So, despite my impulse to post the work now, I am going to wait until the end of summer and reveal it then. Let's keep our fingers crossed that I can execute what I see in my head in paint and have another good series that I am proud of!

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