Saturday, May 10, 2008

My Talented Peers

straight away oil on canvasThere are so many equine artists now. Back when I finally realized it made sense to paint what I know, hardly anyone painted the subject. Now, there are entire "guilds" and "associations" representing the horse in art. Where did they all come from?

Some of my horse-artist peers are awesome, truly talented and I'm inspired by their skills. And of course, others are simply dreadful. I've made up a moniker, calling them the "4-F" painters - lovely, pleasant paintings of foals frolicking in fields of flowers. Sentimentality abounds in this genre. I've been reprimanded for this sarcastic opinion, but hey, these artists will never go down in the history books.

Even some of the good artists get stuck in a loop of replicated work. It sells, so let's paint it over and over. The work's incredibly good but the subject, style, format, even colors are reliably predictable, albeit tiresome. There's a camp that states an artist must decide "what kind of artist" to be; i.e. determining focus, discipline and direction, as if it's either/or. To be or not to be a gallery artist, outdoor show artist or museum artist. I say, why can't an artist be all and do all?

Being a creative person implies that one is in a constant state of pushing envelopes, continuously exploring every element and not fearing failure.

The above left painting is my latest: "Straight Away", 12"x48" oil on canvas. It's a different angle of horses breaking from the gate. Application of paint is loose brushwork with a thick, energetic background utilizing a palette knife.


Anonymous said...

Sharon- You captured the dynamic force of the starting gate by using this unexpected dimension of long and narrow.
Great work here, again.

My take is- never feel boxed in to any genre or expectation of what your art is supposed to be, whether it's formula, sales, or the familiar.
You surely don't have to be concerned with your work falling into the 4-F club.

Sharon Crute said...

Bonnie, thanks for understanding my point. I'm always amazed at how some really good artists will get comfortable and stop experimenting. Guess the same applies to music.