My fine artist friend, Annie Strack, (http://www.anniestrackart.com/) recently made an eloquent argument in favor of NOT copying another’s work that led me to a little artistic introspection. I trust you’ll indulge me. Thanks.
Annie said, Artists don’t need to copy photos on the internet, or magazines, or books. It’s much better to paint the things that they see all the time — the things that surround them in everyday life. There’s an old adage for writers “Write about what you know.” The same sage advice applies to art.
I’m not suggesting that you should never leave your own back yard; I am 100% in favor of expanding one’s horizons, but what I got from Annie’s comment – what moved me to think and write about this, today – is that, to understand a thing, to make it a part of us, we must experience it.
We must actively live; to merely observe is not enough. It just makes sense. It makes all of the senses, actually.
When I consider my own journey as an enamelist, I see how far I have come from my student work, where I learned technique by applying it to subject matter that was useful to my education, but not particularly meaningful to me.
Now, I see my life in my work. Of course, everything I experience informs, inspires, influences, and impacts it; however my art is more than that. It is more than my physical world; it is my honest response to my world.
Thank you for informing, influencing, and inspiring me. Thank you for being part of my world. It’s a lovely place to live.