Posted by on March 12, 2017

Bateman’s House. Image credit: national trust.org.uk

My first blog post.

Gulp!

It’s a nervous moment when you start writing a blog for the first time. I am exhibiting some of my work in Rudyard Kipling’s home this autumn, so for this first post, it seems appropriate to begin with a quote from the great writer:

“When the flush of a new-born sun fell first on Eden’s green and gold,
Our father Adam sat under the tree and scratched with a stick in the mould;
And the first rude sketch that the world had seen was joy to his mighty heart,
Till the Devil whispered behind the leaves,`It’s pretty, but is it Art?`”

~ Rudyard Kipling
The conundrum of the workshops

For me, this sums up what it feels like to be an artist. Part of the process of making is trying to silence your inner critic to get the work made in the first place, and then, having poured all your energy into making this little part of your soul visible, you then have to offer it, with trembling hands, to the world. In many ways, a new work feels like a baby, and as its creator you feel protective of it.

It is important to bear this in mind when communicating with an artist or maker. Yes, we are protective of our work, and at times sensitive, but the reason we put the work out there is for it to meet an audience so that its life as a work of art might begin. Without an audience it is nothing. It also helps to tell artists what you think about their work. It doesn’t mean we will necessarily change tack and try to make things to start pleasing people, but it does help us to gauge reactions, to test if our objectives are being met or not, and it gives us the chance to talk about what we do. Constructive criticism and honest feedback is the lifeblood of an artist like me who might otherwise spend huge amounts of time on their own.

Why am I sharing this thought with you? Because I am hoping that, if you are reading this, we are starting out on a journey together. If you have read my artist’s statement you will know that I want to hear your stories, and I always want to know what you honestly think, so keep it real, but keep it kind. These are my babies that i’m sharing with you. x

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