Rod’s wife, Inci walked into his art studio. “That painting is certainly different for you, what’s it called?”
“I don’t know!”
“Well what’s it about?”
“I don’t know!”
“Why did you use those colors?”
“I don’t know!”
“You must have had an idea on what you were going to name it, didn’t anything cross your mind while you were mixing colors and brushing paint onto the canvas?”
“No and I don’t know!” This is how the conversation with Rod and Inci went for every bit of 30 minutes.
“Too many I don’t knows: I’m going to go upstairs and have some lunch, Rod, I will let you suffer with your wordless thoughts.”
“I don’t know, if that’s a good idea.”
“Which part… me having lunch, or me leaving you to think about a way to come up with coherent ideas to support your painting, it’s obvious you spent several hours working on it.”
“ I don’t know!” Rod announced for the umpteenth time.
Inci gave Rod a look that was somewhat near, or between contemptuousness and exasperation. “I give up! And you can fix your own lunch.”
“I don’t know.”
“You’re like talking to a parrot Rod. I hate it when you get this way, also my stomach is growling which is making me more than a little bit irritable!”
“You’re right. I better do some serious thinking about this piece, ‘Words Make Art Work’, and right now the muse of pontifications doesn’t seem to be anywhere near me.”
Rod thought for all of 10 minutes, and then realized that he was getting pretty hungry and needed to head to the kitchen with an apologetic demeanor. “I’m sorry sweetheart; I was not being very polite by firing off a whole bunch of I don’t knows.”
Inci, in a somewhat rarefied moment, was not showing a whole lot of understanding here, as she sat down to a delicious looking triple-decker sandwich, made on homemade whole wheat bread, stuffed with fresh cucumbers, heirloom tomatoes, three different varieties of organic lettuce, a little bit of cream cheese and one slice or two of goat cheese. She took the time to carefully slice it into quarters. She placed her ‘deli delight’, as she called it, on the table with a self satisfied beaming grin. She then introduced the table to a glass of white wine. Thinking to herself, “The wine will serve two purposes, one, it is the perfect accompaniment and digestive aid to my beautiful sandwich, and seeing how Rod doesn’t drink, he will surely be salivating at my banqueted feast.”
Rod focused in on the sandwich, then the wine, then on Inci’s coquettish, but not all the way flirtatious smirk. “I guess I’m pretty hungry too.”
“No problem, the refrigerator is over there, be my guest! Help yourself.” Rod mustered up his most wounded and let down look, and asked? “Your sandwich looks incredible could you not help me craft one?”
“I don’t know!” Inci replied gleefully.
Rod finally got something to eat and went back down to the studio. Sitting before a very wet painting. He knew it was time to go beyond the brushwork and start creating a descriptive set of words to support this painting and for that matter all paintings.
Inci, who is a very talented artist in her own right; started to give some thought to something Rod had said ‘Words Make Art Work.’ She went to her own studio and looked at some of her own paintings.
Beyond all the typical tools artists use to create, there often is one tool they overlook, and that is the dictionary in conjunction with a thesaurus. Over the last hundred years or more there have been numerous artists that never wanted anyone, especially art critics to explain their art in words. These artists felt that the painting itself should have all the power and presence needed to communicate and penetrate the mind of its viewers. It wasn’t until certain well-known art critics started to add words to paintings, this was a way of justifying what they were doing and helped many of them become extremely famous. Some of these art critics were constantly being quoted by art magazines, which at the time were relatively new to the art scene. This became a very lucrative and highly social occupation.
Today artists are damned if they don’t provide detailed explanations about the art they created. If they don’t… sure as can be, someone else will. More often than not even though they may have good intentions, they will do more harm than good to potentially great works of art. The old adage that people, buy art with their ears not with their eyes; is truer today than it has ever been. Artists must take responsibility for describing a particular work of art, so it’s not left up to others. No doubt the great master artists throughout the centuries would be greatly disappointed with the words that are being flippantly said about their creations in today’s world.
Everyone has an opinion when it comes to art, we all see things differently and read into things based on our life’s experiences. Some opinions can be valid, others can be downright silly, and of course there are plenty of opinions out there, that are simply cruel. As an artist you must consider the source, some you can respect others; well it’s best to close your ears and move on, you’ll never convince anyone of anything that they don’t know anything about, or have any appreciation for.
Rod came to the conclusion that this particular painting represented storytelling. And he would write a story to go with the work when it was posted on his website.
Inci came to the conclusion that her artworks often were more about spirituality. She had always made it her goal to create art that inspired people to think and especially to bring inner peace. The goal was not always easy to achieve, but she knew that while she was putting brush to canvas, her thoughts were always elevated, and in some ways connected to her sensitivity, and her innate ability to help others to free up their minds from the cares of the world.
There is a substantial amount of effort that goes into making art, but along the way you’ll discover that ‘Words Make Art Work.’ If nothing else they may create a roadmap for current and future generations of viewers, that are fortunate enough to stand before one of your paintings. After all, who wants to be judged by someone else’s opinion, when
‘Words Make Art Work…’ They really do!