Wednesday, July 21, 2010


"Elise" (24 x 18 oil) is one of my favorite pieces.  She evolved from a full figure into a portrait.  There are times the paint and canvas have their own plans.  She was done a few years ago, and I no longer own her.  I liked the piece enough that I use the image as my desktop on both by personal and business computers. 

Process is most important to me, not product.  Yet, here is a product that evolved from moving, pushing, spreading, spilling and pulling the paint around.  Playing with a brush and color without a definite destination in mind is the way I work.  I let the paint and image speak to me, and listen with an open mind.  Then my hands execute instructions. 

The title came from nowhere.  I don't know anyone named Elise.  I do like the name ...

Titles are always difficult.  I no longer give titles to my work unless I feel strongly the piece would be enhanced.  Yet, how can words enhance a visual image?  People are always asking me what the title is.  Does it matter?  I like "untitled."  Or, one year I gave each painting a number ... like cattle on a large dairy farm.  One piece was "No. 32" and the lady that bought it wanted to know what it meant.  I did tell her the truth and said I was tired of thinking of titles for pieces and numbered them instead.  I did assign them random numbers, so perhaps the title did mean something.  How does  "No. 3,658" sound?  Pricing too ... why even numbers?  I like $2,345.  Or, $543.  It doesn't take that much cash to make change, and most people pay by check or credit card anyway.  If the piece is in a gallery, it's not the artist's problem. 

I've decided to put a price on the pieces I'm not attached to, and leave it at that.  There are some I keep around for several years.  Then there are some, I don't care if I ever see them again.  "Elise" was one I do wish I had kept.  I needed cash at the time and she paid a lot of bills.

"How much time will I save by not writing or typing titles, explaining them, etc.?  I think a title prejudices a viewer.  I like my work to be enjoyed, and the viewer can react and put themselves, or their own story, into the piece.  I don't want to try to define my work with words for the public.  I'd prefer to put my energy into painting.

I had my first "sunshine art" show last Saturday.  I didn't take much work and didn't sell anything.  Lots of compliments, great conversation (I like to converse with the public that likes and appreciates my work) but all of that does not put food on the table. I did enjoy the day, hot as it was.  I like seeing  the public's reactions to my art.  You're always wondering how people will react to work, especially if it is new.  I have good part-time enployment, and am grateful for that.  Unemployment is very high, and I am fortunate to have found a perfect position to supplement my artistic income. 

The title of this blog is "Visual Conversation."  And, here I sit typing away words.  I guess we can't live without words.  I do think visual communication is deeper, and natural. 


  1. Not to worry:
    Whether using art or words, I find you inspiring, Jennifer...
    Thanks for this post ~

  2. Your postings always make me think. This economy is tough all over - not just art. Stay strong.

  3. Ahhhh "Titles"...a very intriguing topic....but I agree, visual communication can cut through all the @#*$%....and go right to the heart and soul....I work in a very similar way and for me it is all about the process as well...too bad we all have to make a living, because selling work is definitely not an indicator of the intrinsic value of the piece....the value is in the "doing" and the "expression of feeling" of the artist, I think.... :o)