Friday, 13 February 2009

This is the way it is

Someone who is a big fan of my art made the comment this week that he was very interested in the abstract style that I've used for the "Living flame" painting and was interested to see what else I might paint in this style. Great that he's so interested in my work, but it also underlined the problem that I've had all my painting career. And its this:

I paint a picture. It will be something I like or what I think someone else will like. And if its good enough, I’ll put it in a gallery, and on my website, and someone may come along and may find the gallery, and may find the website, and may find the picture in question. And they may like it. And they might go home and think about it, and they might talk to their spouse about it, and if there is enough money, they might buy it. Or they might go off the idea, and talk themselves out of the idea. Which happens an awful lot. Sometimes, people fall in love with one of my paintings, and they buy it, and they love it. And that’s great. BUT I can only paint “best guess” pictures, that I think they might want to buy. HOWEVER, if someone comes to me, and says – I like this subject matter, this style, these colours, this size, this medium, then they get EXACTLY the picture they want, and I paint EXACTLY what they are looking for. Instead of “best guess” that usually doesn’t work (because I have cupboards full of best guess work). So, if someone is interested in this abstract style, and interested in seeing other ideas – it would help greatly if they can be a bit more specific, because the idea that’s in my head may not be the idea that’s in theirs! Plus, I’m going to put it on one side if its only a best guess painting rather than a specific commission, because commissions always take priority, and I have another fanny commission on at the moment, and if I have a commission to do I’m more focused on the painting because I know I’m painting a “specific painting for a specific someone” rather than a “best guess painting for anyone, maybe at some point in the future”. Having said all that – the idea I have in my mind is quite clear, its this abstract style, these pastel colours, of an erotic couple entwined. And I’m pretty sure it will work well as a picture. If you want me to paint it, I will, but it will be my “best guess” painting of this subject matter, that I hope you will like, because you know me as a person, an artist, and you like my style, and character. Of course, there is no pressure at all on you to buy the painting. So, do you want me to go ahead with my “best guess” painting for you – and see what you think when I do it?

Well, that's basically the question! LOL

6 comments:

Loving Annie said...

An erotically intertwined couple in the abstract style COULD be something striking and excellent Jackie.

It means that (at least to me though) that the man and woman's bodies are "ideal" - he is over 6' tall, broad shouldered, narrow hipped, long-legged - and she looks equally delicious, with hair at least shoulder blade length...

Then it comes down to hair color - I prefer brunettes in both cases...

And then the pose - facing one another ? Him behind her ? It will be interesting what image seems most chemically powerful to you.

Everyone seemed to like your first pastel abstract though, so clearly thsat style worked for you as an artist in making a statement.

Jackie Adshead said...

Loving Annie - Yes, I think it could be striking and excellent - but interestingly enough, the couple for me are lying down, with their arms and legs entwined, in an obviously erotic pose! :)

And yes, it seems the first pastel coloured abstract is popular and the style certainly works as a making a statement!

Fitzy said...

Hello Jackie,

That is certainly a rather interesting post and it does indeed require a great deal of thought, well some at least!

For what it is worth, I think that all you can really do when you do not have any commissions is to simply work on a best guess basis, as people are clearly very taken with your work, so they are at least likely to be interest in something that you consider to be merely a best guess.

Although do you feel that rather than working on a best guess basis, you should perhaps paint what you would like to paint, unless that is too way out there that you run the risk of alienating people? As that way you ensure that you retain your own style and you don't feel compelled to water it down to what you feel others might like.

But yes, I hear you cry, you do need to sell your works to make a living, so that of course does make it difficult and it is where I am afraid you are on your own! I did only say I had given this some thought didn't I!!!

From my point of view, I would far sooner commission you to paint me, as given the quality of your work and the intimate and personal nature of it, I would far sooner any work purchased from you was of me, rather than of someone you had imagined, however good that painting might well be.

I don't really think this post has proved to be as helpful as I thought it might have been when I started, but there we go those are my thoughts on the matter.

Jackie Adshead said...

Fitzy - You've been very helpful, thanks!

I know I can never please all the people all the time, but I certainly do seem to please a lot of people with the art I produce, so it looks like my best guesses for what I like to paint, are on the right track. Because, if it makes me happy to paint it, it will show within the work, and that in turn should please other people who view it, and who may then buy it!

I would be delighted to paint you, and I think you know well enough by now that I would endeavour for you to be happy with the art being "you".

Fitzy said...

Pleased I could be of some help! Wonders will never cease! lol

But seriously, from looking at your site on many occasions I can clearly see why people would purchase your work that has already been drawn or painted and equally why they would commission you for that extra special something.

It must give anyone that has commissioned you to paint them such an incredible feeling and a sense of real pride when the completed work arrives. Especially that "Living Flame" painting, as that truly is a fantastic work of art. I know I felt a little something similar after a nude photo session about 5 years ago, when it left me with a real feeling of achievement and it was also a huge boost to my confidence as well, which I should imagine a painting or drawing would also give.

They must also be equally overjoyed when your work of art takes pride of place on a wall in their home somewhere.

I do indeed know that you would endeavour to ensure I was happy with any commissioned work and that does mean a lot, I would also be thrilled to simply become one of your pieces of artwork.

Sadly having recently slipped a disc, any thoughts of achieving a pose worthy of committing to history might have to wait a little longer than I would have liked. But once fit and well I really would be only too pleased to be painted by you.

Jackie Adshead said...

Fitzy - Yep, you're certainly being of help!

That's good to hear that my website illustrates my work to that strong degree, thankyou.

I hope it does give my buyers a good feeling when a painting they've commissioned arrives, that certainly seems to be the reaction so far. I've had many positive reactions regarding my work from sheer delight to sudden tears (of joy! I hasten to add!). The "Living flame" painting is certainly one of my better pieces, and I want to try more ideas in that style. I haven't had the feed-back yet regarding that particular painting, as I don't think its arrived with its buyer in the USA yet.

I agree, I think it must be very joyful and empowering for someone to hang a painting on their wall that they have commissioned, and fallen in love with, particularly if it is of a subject matter that they empathise with (and more so when it is of themselves).

I am delighted to hear that you would be thrilled to be painted by me, and that in turn thrills me - its all for a good working partnership between artist and model/buyer!

And I hope you're soon better healthwise, a slipped disc sounds very painful!