Why art? Why the need to express yourself - myself? I ask because at some point you get beyond the stage of technique and start to consider what you have to say, and more importantly whether other people want to hear it?
Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware of how much I need to paint, to write, and to make my voice heard. After all this isn't all about You, you know. There comes a moment however when you want to communicate to other people as well as vent yourself; and with it comes the awful thought that maybe what you have to say is more interesting in your mind than to others.
Art, of any form, is complex in this way: it tears us between the desire to express - thoughts or feelings, and to shape - to mould and control the communication and impact of that expression. Of course this is a futile attempt, as it is the reception of the art by the viewer, the listener or even critic that determines the value of the content, and even how it works for them. Yet the artist cannot work like that, they must have a desire to speak, to show, to illuminate something; and with that desire comes the hope they will be seen, heard and (gasps) even appreciated.
This has long been my fear, long been the reason I haven't fully engaged with painting for too long. I have been certain (ish) of my ability, but fearful of my relevance - especially given the medium I work in. That is why the painting must be for me - though that is not to say I don't want others to like it.
My work drifts from lyricism to absurdity in its subject matter, from dramatic landscape through imaginary narratives to moments of farcical absurdity and whimsy; all of which I'd say sums me up pretty well. Yet these are themes for the wider world - and should I care? I can see how absurdity captures much of my feelings about the world around and the landscapes my heightening my sense of the everyday; so I guess that the narratives contain more of my subconscious - my hopes and fears. But then, that is not really for me to decide.
I guess I want to understand myself and others more - and the art is a good prompt for that conversation. What do people respond to, in what ways and why?