Looking through some old notebooks in April, I found the following:
‘Who do I want to be? I want to be fearless in expressing my testimony through my art. I want to produce work that is excellent as well as expressive. I want my work to speak to people.
How will I do it?
I need to spend more time looking at excellent art.
I need to make more consistently. The more I make, the more likely I am to produce something really good.
Biggest obstacle? Isolation. This is because I don’t belong to any art groups, so I don’t get feedback or more opportunities to exhibit.
Why do I hesitate to share my work?
Feeling that it isn’t good enough. A habit of feeling inadequate in the company of other artists.
I feel less educated, less experienced
I feel that my work is poorer quality than others.’
Now my journal: 30 Apr 2018
In the last month I have worked more consistently and feel better for it. I have made prints I am pleased with and worked intuitively on a canvas. I have started a blog. It’s getting good feedback and lots of follows and my painting group like it and someone, whose opinion I value, finds it inspiring!
Suddenly I’m feeling more confident re my ability and work
21 June 2018
I’ve been struggling to find a way to sell my work. This has been set in motion by a class at Church on starting your business. When I started making bookart, one of my objectives was to put artworks in the hands of ordinary people. Artists such as Ed Rucha were my inspiration. Extending that to my visual art, I thought I might be able to have it printed on household objects. However, looking at the figures, they just don’t add up. I would spend so much time shipping out the product, I would have no time to make art! So, how can I market my art?
Our class challenge this week is to make a sale. So, I am offering an original mini-print for the giveaway price of £10, with the option to buy a larger print or painting at discount price. To access this offer, go to my website at www.allenbookart.co.uk.
Selling art you have spent hours creating is a complicated emotional process. First, you worry it’s not good enough – comparing yourself to others. Then, you’ve grown so fond of it, you’re not sure you want to say goodbye! Then there’s the principle of humility versus money. Am I asking too much and, if so, am I being prideful or just proud of what I do?
And so to today. It’s been weeks since I blogged. My mind has been bogged down with too many things but these rediscovered thoughts are niggling my brain. I need to write to clarify what I think and how I feel.
What are my goals? Why do I do what I do? What am I trying to achieve?
The short answer is I love to create. I find it exciting to realise that I have produced something that I, as well as other people, find interesting or beautiful or expressive. But there is more to it than that. I don’t find it easy to express orally the way I feel. My books enable me to share things verbally, enhanced by images that I hope make readers ponder a little longer.
Poetry is still a fairly direct means of communication. Painting, on the other hand, is much less so. Even 18th century genre paintings were not necessarily all they seemed. Thomas Gainsborough is said to have used the form to express his dislike of land enclosures by the wealthy. However, the more abstract an image becomes, the more indirect its communication and the more it is concerned with emotion. So abstraction becomes a way to convey such personal things as faith, testimony, hope, without standing on a metaphorical soap-box. It allows me to say what I believe to be true in a way that allows you, the observer, to think it through for yourself or even to agree, with, unless you want it, no obligation or commitment to anything.
That’s what I’m trying to achieve!
I hope my work – figurative, abstract, poetic, whichever genre you prefer – helps you to ponder the deeper things of the Spirit and feel the gratitude I feel to a loving Heavenly Father who designed the world for us and allows us to learn from its vicissitudes, while never leaving us to face it all alone. We need but ask His help, opening our arms to receive the blessings He is ready to give us.