What’s Your Motivation?

Or, I could ask “What’s your poison?” because painting and art in general gets into your system and insidiously affects all you think and do. Motivation for most artists is so strong that at times nothing else matters, except perhaps a fire in the studio.

What’s my motivation?

Getting awards and selling a couple of pieces has prompted me to think a little more rationally and less emotionally about why I paint.

Emotion in the how is what we want folks. But, the wrong emotions taking over the why can lead you down many paths that won’t necessarily be good for your art or you.

(Getting motivated by doing collage sketches at the Lady Franklin Gallery!)

The “please buy my art” path will most likely be the undoing of some of the enjoyment in making your art. I’ve experienced this first hand and believe me, it’s soul destroying. I think I have partially let the need to sell go. Sales here and there are certainly great, but that’s a byproduct of painting and exhibiting, not a major reason for doing it.

There’s also the “Why didn’t I/when will I win?” mindset. This whole scene is quite fickle. Wondering whether you might win an award is counter productive. It stops you making art in a relaxed way. You tend to adjust what you think or do to suit judging at the expense of your own preferences. And, funnily enough it can detract from the art you create.

Judging awards is really down to the judges and is difficult to predict. Even if you have three judges, they are all going to have differing opinions about the work being judged. I know from experience that there are always other works as good as the winners, but for some reason, mostly unknown to the artists, a particular piece is chosen. Some years ago, a judge told me I won an award mainly because I had collage in my graphite drawing!

As for my personal motivation, I could ramble on with some arty garb, but I just want to paint, learn and improve my art. For me, the need to be creative, to paint or draw, comes before the subject, medium and techniques. My art (process and product) is, first and foremost, for me! 

With that in mind, these two paintings are the newest additions to the catalogue of art I have available. They’re two works from a small series where I recall really relaxing into painting and, as they say, “just doing it”!

Curvy” 20cm wide x 20cm high – To find out more on Bluethumb click here
“Orbit – 20cm wide x 20cm high – To find out more on Bluethumb click here

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HOMEGALLERY

Plenty to do!

I’m all set up in my new studio and there’s been a burst of play activity on the new painting wall!

The room is so much brighter than the old one and Jessie, our kelpie, and myself are loving having the French doors open. She naps and I work. Here’s a shot taken from the doorway. The walls are a lighter than they look here. Cameras!!??

Can’t wait to get settled into producing whatever artworks are lurking about.

Apart from painting the studio, building the painting wall with my husband, then moving in, it’s been a busy time organising pieces for three exhibitions that are coming up.

Making Art

There’s been minimal painting or even thinking about painting lately. I fiddled a little with the work in progress below but it’s still not making me happy and the solution is not forthcoming. Maybe some rubbing back?

I often attend the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery’s “pARTicipate” sessions. Last week Allan Mansell gave a printmaking workshop.

Allan instructed us in making collagraph prints. He had plenty of great reference material to choose from but I chose to make a print of our mountain, Kunanyi/Mt Wellington. It’s right on our doorstep and a wonderful backdrop to Hobart. Currently, it’s the subject of much debate as developers are itching to build a cable car that cuts across the “organ pipes” (as we call them) along with all the required supporting infrastructure.

The print turned out pretty well and Allan’s advice to remove more ink from the sky was spot on! He may have prompted me to make more use of my baby etching press. We’ll see what happens.

Those composition/design finding exercises continue to inspire. It’s fun creating random pieces and marks, cutting them up, reassembling them in different ways or cropping them to find pleasing compositions. Trouble is, I don’t know whether there’s enough time left to use them all, or even just the best ones!? Still, it’s all about having fun.

Which one of these would you choose to develop first?

“Wetland Walk 3” sold at the Rotary Hobart Art Show which is great! I hope the new owner is enjoying it.

I hope the world is treating you well in whatever your endeavour of choice is.

Subscribe here to receive fortnightly issues of “Studio News”.

Click here to find out about exhibitions Wendy currently has work in.

HOMEGALLERY