Friday, March 21, 2008


There is a very good reason I am showing you old work today. I promise...well, aside from the fact that I am still working on the new stuff. I will tell you...

On Tuesday, Robert Genn talked about Emotion in Buying in his popular newsletter, Painters Keys. His posting was talking about how he observed a couple buying a painting, and they knew immediately they loved it. Once they realized that, they immediately went into the size, colors, etc. They almost did not acknowledge why they were drawn to a particular painting, they just knew they were and moved right into the facts. You can read the post and see my response here.

This, you say, is the reason you are pulling out old stuff? Well, with these, I have some emotional responses from people who do not paint. I thought it would be interesting to share the responses with you who do paint.

This painting is called, Near Violet, which I painted in response to the light I found so intriguing when we first moved to England (24 x 36 Acrylic). A friend was visiting us when we lived in England and saw this painting. He was very taken with it immediately (but couldn't get it back to his country with him). The entire time he was visiting, he kept looking at it. I asked why he liked it, but he wasn't sure. On the other hand, I have never had anyone else who connected with this painting the way he did. As a matter of fact, my son often walks by it and shakes his head wondering what in the world I am thinking not to have painted over it yet.

This is probably one of the most traditional works I have ever done...I know, I know you are laughing. These are Channel Spring 1 and 2 (18 x 18, Acrylic). My mother fell in love with these. She doesn't seem to be able to get her head around anything else I create, but these seemed to work for her. They are now framed (in very traditional oak frames made by my father) hanging above her bed. For me, they hold very little with the exception of test canvases. I was about to paint over them when she saw them, too. So once again, she saw it and boom.

This is Elizabeth's Painting (24 x 36, Acrylic). I was clearly experimenting with pouring here and had a good time doing so. When my daughter saw this painting she adored it. When my children love any paintings, they belong to matter what! My daughter is quite classic in her tastes, so what drew her to this painting? She loves wearing skirts, pearls, etc. But this painting spoke to her and is now in her little cottage in California. Here is the thing, my husband feels sorry that I have had so many problems with this painting...all of those runs have to mean I made a mistake! I have to say, my daughter's educational background is very creative and being a writer she sees things others often do not. Does that explain it?

I find it interesting to see how non-artists respond to any paintings. I am usually really jazzed when a painting speaks to them...of course I am. But when I hear statements like, "Any child could have done that can you call that painting?" I am offended (and this is not in response to my work, but in a museum or one would be that rude to say that to my face, would they). But it tells so much about people in listening to what they have to means very little to the art itself. Of course it makes us question, but what is said by these people comes from a place of not understanding expression. What do you think? Tell me about your experience with responses to your work by non-artists. I know there are some beautiful/hilarious stories out there.

And speaking of children...Fiona (you know Fiona from yesterday's post) poses an interesting question on her blog. Her question is "Why Is Art Like Childhood?" Do you have any thoughts on this? I responded to Fiona on this subject.

Everyone have a beautiful Weekend! Remember next week...early in the week, too. I will be having another conversation! This time, it is with Barbara probably know her as Babs! You are going to love getting to know this wonderful artists even more.


Unknown said...

Kim, this is so interesting*. I have something to say about how someone did not like some of my art: Today a dear German friend of mine (a man, by the way) told me that MIss Doodle didn't "speak" to him and asked what I wanted to say through her:)... I know that Miss Doodle is an illustration and not a painting but I just wanted to mention it here because some things just don't "speak" to people.
And with reference to one of my "ancestor spirit mask", a textile piece, my mother in law, who fantasizes a lot, saw it and immediately told me that it was gloomy and raising fears and that it expressed lost souls and that she didn't like it and asked if I ever had an abortion in my life...only my mother in law can ask you something in such a blunt way:)... Others found it fascinating and haunting, beautiful, ...

Everything in falling in love with a painting is about emotions, Love that about art,

Have a wonderful weekend
PS I have heard many people say: I could have done that, while looking at a Picasso painting. When I was younger, I wanted to slap them:) and tell them: so what are you waiting for, go and do it...

Andrea and Kim said...

Wow Andrea...really, just today this happened with the German man? Now how cool is that it all happens together! And I really should have said "art" as opposed to "painting" in my post!

I am sure Miss Doodle speaks to women a lot, but I can also see it speaking to some men. The thing about Miss Doodle is she is fun, yet always leaves me with something to contemplate...she is just under the surface, you know? But it is all about being spoken to, isn't it? What did you say to your friend?

LOL, I think that is a funny story about your mother-in-law...If my mother was more contemplating I can imagine her saying something like that, too. I love your spirit masks and do not see anything dark in them (but I also have a bit of Native American in me, so that may be some of it, too). With that being said, there sure is a lot of dark art out there...while it is not appealing to me, it sure can evoke emotion.

You are right, the best thing about art is how it evokes emotion.

I am really laughing about your story about the Picasso paintings. I have heard that so many times, too. My response is almost always, "But he is the one who painted it, and it is hung here in this museum. It has received great acclaim, and people have paid lots of money for his paintings. If you could have done it, why didn't you? And when you do, please allow me to see it right away." That usually makes them take another look anyway. I can be fairly blunt when it comes to these things. One doesn't have to like something to respect it.

Thanks and Have a Beautiful Weekend, Andrea!

PatrickKearney said...

I love that first painting (Near Violet) don't really know why, it's just an emotional response.

Andrea and Kim said...

Hello Patrick! Thank you for visiting and commenting! After taking a look at your wonderful work, I think I might have an idea why you like it :) Thank you...

Sometimes we have no idea is just there! I love emotions!

Thanks for visiting...I am going to explore your blog more!

~Babs said...

Oh, so interesting!
I'm laughing about your husband's comments. That is one gorgeous work,,,,and of course, I LOVE the drips! All these works in today's post are great,,,,and all will appeal differently to different folks, of course.

Sitting with my work at an exhibit,,I was fascinated by the comments about one painting in particular, It was a very abstracted girl's face,,,,and her hand projected way out in front of the face. It had only 3 large fingers,,,no reason,,it was just fun to me. I heard:
"what's with the fingers?"
"love her hair, but the hand ruins it"
"look at that stupid face,,,and those FINGERS!"
A man walked by,,,,smiled and shook his head,,,,,and bought it. He said he just loved the fingers.
So,,,,,,,go figure!

Yellow said...

I know what you mean about surprising responses from the most unexpected sources. My dad is quite a conventional bloke when it comes to art, and yet he can see the life in my more abstract art, and his comments will catch me unawares.

Andrea and Kim said...

Babs! I love, love, love your story about the abstract face/fingers painting! What a perfect story! You just never ever know, do you?

Thanks for the kind words about these paintings. My DH is a good man, but he worries so much about all kinds of perfection! LOL But you and I have had this conversation before!

Thanks Babs!

Andrea and Kim said...

Hi Yellow, thank you for visiting and commenting here. I really appreciate your insight! It sounds like your father appreciates a great deal...even what may not be personally appealing. I think he sounds like a real keeper!

I hope you will choose to visit again! Thank You!

Lynette said...

Great post Kim and you gave me lots to think about! I am so glad you didn't listen to your son about painting over 'Near Violet'. I was also taken with it at first glance because it has such a lovely softness about it, almost like lilac colored satin!

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Lynette! I have just learned today to just let things hang out a while. Some of my family was here and fell in love with some of the paintings others haven't loved at all. I might talk about it later as it was an amazing experience.

I am so happy you like 'Near Violet'...I have always loved that painting, too. Jonathan still shakes his head, though.

Thank You, Lynette!

singleton said...

I'm joing in on the parade, Near Violet grabbed me....snatched me....wooed me....coooed me....And I'd have to say if Jonathan is still shakin' his head....
it moves him, too.....
When it art talks, it speaks a different language to everyone who passes....
And response is all it asks in return.....

Andrea and Kim said...

Singleton, you just might be right about Jonathan loving it.

I am glad you like 'Near Violet'

Thank you!

fiona long said...

Another fascinating post Kim. I love getting emotional reactions to my work and it is particularly interesting from non-artists. I think there's an artist in all of us though, it's just more obvious in some people than others!

I also ADORE Near Violet. What a wonderful painting! It's ambiguous in so many ways, form, emotions, even colour (I notice you called it NEAR violet). In some ways it makes me think of tranquilty, a still life scene behind a frosted piece of glass on a sunny day, in others it could be a tale of sexual frustration (please forgive's the movement and the colour!)

I too get frustrated by people scoffing at wonderful artworks as childish and saying that they could do them. The thing is that this is all part of the illusion. It's taken me years to loosen up and un-learn what I learnt as a child and a teenager. I tried so hard to get more and more sophisticated in my technique that I lost the art, it became the practice of a technician instead. There's something very appealing that we can all identify with when we see an apparently childish work. The thing is that alot of work that appears naive is, in fact, incredibly sophisticated. I too would like to see the people who say "I could do that", actually do that! There's a reason they're standing around saying it. If they actaully could do that then they'd be in the studio, making a fortune!

Andrea and Kim said...

Thanks Fiona!

I love the way you are able to give a special voice to these postings. You can see so many things which are not seen by others. Keep telling me these things...they are so important.

I am a person very interested in tranquility and this was actually the way I was feeling when I painted this...I was in the back garden of a very special little cottage in the New Forest. It was a sunny, July day and I was overwhelmed with the gentle light there. It was a very, very tranquil place on a very tranquil day.

You are right, we can all identify with a painting which appears childish, but pure emotion is really pure, just like a child's emotions. But most not understand this even when they feel it.

Funny how so many people can offer advice on what they don't know or what they refuse to do themselves. You many choose to live on the surface of life rather than live an inner life and express that! But what works for some doesn't for others.

Thanks you Fiona for your very thoughtful, encouraging comments.