Sunday, August 14, 2011

Reflections on Artistic Voice(s)

My work seems to have at least three distinct points of view:
'Guardian' - 24"x36" procion on cotton; machine stitching

colorful paintings which utilized a vocabulary of symbols and metaphoric stories;

'Red Tide Series' 6"x8" procion on cotton; machine and hand stitching

colorful figurative and nature-inspired abstract paintings;

detail - book text hand stitched into found organza pleated lace & antique buttons

and neutral palette collages... 

detail - photo-transfer overlaid with lichen dyed organza
 with an aura of distressed and crumbling femininity.  

 detail - porcelain and leather doll arm secured with vintage glass button

This third category consists of a mere handful of pieces created separately in the midst of other bodies of work over the span of my career.   Another image joined these anomalies this week.

 'Haunt' - approx. 8"x11", found fabrics and objects; hand and machine stitching

Through old scraps of lace, image transfers and found objects I am striving to capture a feeling of haunted memory, of the past we can’t revisit. The pieces are at total visual variance with my other work.  I don’t know what to say of them except that they insist on being made and that the making satisfies some mental or emotional itch I need to scratch.

So I am thinking maybe artistic voice – for me at least – is sometimes a whisper, sometimes a shout and sometimes even spoken in tongues.  Should I agonize that this is wrong, that I should limit myself to one style, one medium, one language?  Are my visual inconsistencies indicative of a sort of artistic multiple personality schizophrenia?  I have been puzzling over this issue for several days in the wake of the emergence of another 'haunt'. 

Do disparate artistic voices insinuate themselves into your work?  What do you do about it?


  1. A couple of years ago I copied out the following, from where I can't remember:

    Embrace the process
    Follow your gut instincts
    Do what you feel compelled to do
    That is your voice

    Includes everything, doesn't it!

  2. Do disparate artistic voices insinuate themselves into your work? What do you do about it?

    let them speak...


  3. You are in a fine place, exploring and defining your work. Enjoy the process!

  4. It is a process, and everything you do or have done contributes to the new work you will do in the future!

    Your work inspires me to go finish up a fiber collage in progress...

  5. Congratulations! Your works are all part of who you are and where you've been. They all contribute to who you will become as an artist. I asked myself very similar questions only to find that many, many artists do not focus exclusively on one artistic outlet. You are one of them/us!

  6. Your work is so poetic. I love 'The Guardian'.

  7. Yes, yes, and yes....what do i do about it....just go with it...



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