Q: How important is the feedback of your audience? Do you ever think about who will enjoy your Art when you conceive it?
A: I can’t say that I think at all about audience reaction while I’m creating a painting in my studio. Although, of course I want people to respond favorably to the work.
Generally, I’m thinking about technical problems – making something that is exciting to look at, well-composed, vibrant, up to my exacting standards, etc. When I finish a painting, it is the best thing I am capable of making at that moment in time.
I think about a painting and look at it for so long and with such intensity, that it could hardly have turned out any differently. There is an inevitability to the whole lengthy process that goes all the way back to when I first laid eyes on the folk art figures in a dusty shop in a third world country. Looking at a newly-finished painting on my easel I often think, “Of course! I was drawn to this figure so that it could serve this unique function in this painting.”
Comments are welcome!
* an ongoing series of quotations – mostly from artists, to artists – that offers wisdom, inspiration, and advice for the sometimes lonely road we are on.
A work of art which inspires us comes from no quibbling or uncertain man. It is the manifest of a very positive nature in great enjoyment, and at the very moment the work was done.
It is not enough to have thought great things before doing the work. The brush stroke at the moment of contact carries inevitably the exact state of being of the artist at that exact moment into the work, and there it is, to be seen and read by those who can read such signs, and to be read later by the artist himself, with perhaps some surprise, as a revelation of himself.
For an artist to be interesting to us he must be interesting to himself. He must have been capable of intense feeling, and capable of profound contemplation.
He who has contemplated has met with himself, is in a state to see into the realities beyond the surfaces of his subject. Nature reveals to him, and, seeing and feeling intensely, he paints, and whether he wills it or not each brush stroke is an exact record of such as he was at the exact moment the stroke was made.
The Art Spirit by Robert Henri
Comments are welcome!