Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Creative Challenges

horse racing artIn progress, oil on canvas, 34"x60"

Getting there. After last week's power outages from Fay, I managed to get some work done on the piece I started.

thoroughbred paintngThis is the artwork that pays the bills. Cranked out with the explicit purpose to sell for decent money. Business is about sales.

I create two types of paintings: a) commercial tried and true racing subjects, traditional in tone (yet still dynamic), not pushing any envelopes, produced to keep my business in the black and appealing to the majority of my collectors. These paintings establish that I've learned my craft, developed decent skills and am a respectable painter. Then there's b) what I consider the real "art", edgy, innovative, exploring all levels including: boundaries of edges, concept, presentation of emotional feel, multiple canvas theories, paint application as expression and forcing this genre into the esteemed mainstream.

This is a tightrope I traverse every day in the studio. Of course I desire to create the "art", yet I'm under considerable pressure to be financially productive. The "art" is acceptable to museums who eat up the genre with a big fat twist (art snobs consider painting passe although they desperately grasp at anything radical or remotely fresh to appease a certain longing), while collectors respond with only mild interest.

So, am I underestimating my collectors and their ability to appreciate leaps outside the box? To actually be contemporary? Am I unconsciously repeating the same 'ol same 'ol to really placate myself? On one hand, I'm bored and that screams volumes about the process. On the other hand, Michael has recently retained an intellectual law attorney because I tend to freak him out on a regular basis with my manic brainstorming. ("Can we do that?")

"I own up to my own mediocrity, embrace it actually, and think of it as the petri dish wherein I strive to culture my own excellence". - Carole MacRury (thanks, Carole)


Anonymous said...

Busting out of the gate- get out of the way.

Sharon- so glad to see you're back in painting mode after being in clean up mode.

This is another powerful example of what you do so well.

Marian Fortunati said...

I think your work is amazing and am glad you're able to do both the "money" paintings and whatever it is that you consider more creative.
To me everything I've seen that you do is beautiful. I guess how you look at things depends upon where you sit.

Sharon Crute said...

Gosh you two - thanks.

Marian, what an astute observation.

I guess I'm trying to explain the difference between what gets the creative juices excited and what is every day "work" - the stuff that's honest and forthcoming but lacking in vision, experimentation and original thought.