Q: Does your work have an overall message?

Barbara's studio

Barbara’s studio

A:   Maybe there’s an overarching message, but that’s something for viewers to judge. I generally don’t like to specify what my work is about because my thinking about meanings evolves constantly and I don’t want to cut off people’s interpretations. Other people’s insights and opinions are equally as valid as mine.  

Recently I had the experience of being told that my interpretation of an artist’s work was “wrong.”  Besides hurting my feelings, she cut off a dialog and learned nothing about how her work is perceived.  I found it sad because art is communication and an opportunity was missed.

Comments are welcome!

About barbararachkoscoloreddust

Barbara’s thoughts on art, the creative process, soft pastel, the inspiration she finds in travel, what it’s like to be an artist in New York City, and other wisdom for artists as we travel our solitary and sometimes lonely roads.

Posted on January 11, 2014, in 2014, Art Works in Progress, Black Paintings, New York, NY, Painting in General, Pastel Painting, Photography, Studio and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. Hi Barbara, Sorry you had that experience. Most people don’t know how to listen to a different opinion without getting defensive. It is fun to hear how different viewers interpret our work. At one show (Musician paintings) a visitor patted me on the arm sympathetically and said, ‘Tsk! They’re all so sad!’ Two days later another visitor exulted ‘They’re so optimistic!’ If we can maintain our sense of humor, it’s a lot of fun.
    all the best, Laurel

  2. Greetings Barbra – All work has a message of some sort if it strong or not that up to the artist to provoke the viewer and the viewer can take it from there – Till later rave on and continue with the great thought provoking – Blog .

  3. Hi Barbara: I would throw this comment to the wind. In the world of art, works are all subject to opinion and there will always be those who are most supportive and often an equal number against. There are numerous examples in art history e.g. Van Gogh. If you have even a few people who like your work and want to purchase it you have hit a home run!
    I find your art most engaging and can only add “Good Work, Please Keep It Up”.
    As a matter of fact, your studio is also engaging as it is so well organized and likely the envy of many. Bravo.

    • Bruce, thanks for your thoughtful comment and for following the blog. I agree completely with your ‘home run’ comment. As artists our work is meant for a select audience, even if it’s an audience of one.

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