Tuesday, June 29

Do You Know When It's Done?

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Gotta' admit that I always envied the guys in my high school class who knew what they wanted to be when they grew up. You'll remember the ones who were going to be doctors, lawyers, painters, engineer... like that. Frankly there was no one back then who said, "When I grow up, I'm going to be an economist and edit business magazines, and write." Nope, nobody. So I've had to figure it out, and well, I'm still not certain what, when I grow up, I'm going to be.

Maybe that's why I've got a problem as an artist in deciding when an image is done. I mean, when it's grown up and become what it should be...could be... will be....

Take Deadfinger here. I knew the title when I used my G10 to capture this thing poking way up into the clouds. And I knew that it spoke to me about tickling the heavens, and filling upper spaces, and attracting attention to itself from the crowds all around Madison Square Garden. And there was something about hubris too in the moment, along with ambition, and daring. And of course, something about the ambition of New York in the early parts of the last century. All that was there.But...as the feelings emerged on my palette...COMMUNICATE.... But... but...

The thing is that there are so many ways to say something. And so many things that something can say. And... and... How to know when that something's sufficiently mature and full-bodied and... and... CLEAR?

Yeah... all art comes swathed in ambiguity... but every artist has something which s/he hopes that the visitor will experience. And since all artists are control freaks (it's part of the job description... go look), then we need to dissipate some of the ambiguity... to poke some holes into it so that it will Hisssssssss away leaving shapes, forms, textures, and palettes (just about all we have to compose with) that communicate.

How do we know we've done that? How do we know that we've moved a feeling efficiently enough to move the viewer toward our feeling? Resonated it authentically? How... How... HOW???

See... see how Darkfinger morphed from that first image to this second one? And can you imagine the steps between? And the ones still to come? And if you do imagine them... is that alone what I needed to do? Cause you to wonder? For, art without wonder is... is... merely craft. Right?

1 comment:

J. L. T. said...

Hi Ted!

Thanks for your firework of sweet comments on my blog. Know how I have missed you? And now, the audience may look the other way *Kiss* :-))
Have a sweet and inspired weekend!