Writing My Artist Statement

I have an artist statement. In fact, I have multiple versions of it. I usually have one that I use on my website and one that I use for my promotional materials. And then I will write one for a specific show that I am having such as the one I’m working on for my show in January at the Black Butte Ranch Lodge in Sisters, Oregon.

My artist statements seem to be evolving and changing. It reflects my growth as an artist and I keep all the versions so I can look back on them and see where I’ve been.

This past spring, I was reading my artist statement and felt like it could be modified. I really felt like I needed to give it more thought and really understand what I wanted to convey with it. I wanted to do some self-study. I guess you could say I wanted to get in touch with my message and my art in a different way.

So I went searching online for some resources. One is on the Chicago Artists Resource site. The EBSQ website has some info. I found a Squidoo Lens about it where you can find lots of great links! I found a couple different websites that offered help with writing it. One is by Molly Gordon. She has a website on Authentic Promotion and talks about writing your artist statement with the idea of thinking about it as a nourishing stew. I like this idea because I like to think in metaphor. One’s artist statement is rich with ingredients that you share with your guests.

Another website is by Ariane Goodwin who runs the SmARTist Telesummit. She has a website and e-book titled Writing the Artist Statement. This is the one I ended up purchasing. Writing my statement from her book was a process and I really enjoyed it. So much so that I became one of her affiliates. I took a lot of notes and did a lot of writing as I went through the book. I came up with sentences like:

Painting refreshes my spirit

Painting wraps me in color and a language not heard but felt and seen

I think art can be healing, like a breath of fresh air can rejuvenate one’s soul

The process asks you questions and you answer them without caring what others will think or thinking too hard yourself about it. In looking back at my notes from Question # 8, I wrote this:

#8. Art comes to life in my studio. …It flies. It floasts with fun. The color swirls and moves. The energy is contagious. It invites you in. It beckons you to come play with it. It wants you in it’s world. It says have fun! LIVE! Be engaged. It tells me to have fun.

So as I answered the questions without caring what others might think, I found sentences and thoughts about my art that I hadn’t expressed before. Then at the end of the process I ended up taking all the thoughts and words and snippets of sentences to form a cohesive artist statement. It does take time. But I accomplished my goal. I had a revised artist statement and one that got me to think about my art and process in new ways.

You can read my current online version of my art statement here>

2 thoughts on “Writing My Artist Statement

  • December 24, 2009 at 10:40 am

    Lindy – We are so excited to have your you beautifully energized artwork populating our Gallery. It will brighten those long winter days with your amazing imagery. We are honored to share you work with those who live and play here. have a great holiday!

    Katie Williams
    Black Butte Ranch
    Gallery at the Lodge

  • December 23, 2009 at 8:52 pm

    I like the statement. I think you did very well with it. Congratulate yourself. I know and love a lot of successful artists and few of them can write worth a darn (but don’t tell them I said so). There were words I heard echoing in my head after you were finished – as prosaic as the word sounds now, “glow.” Your colors don’t stay on the page, but they don’t “radiate,” instead, they feel almost domed, and that’s the feeling of glow, as though there is a slight surface tension above the medium of the work. They breathe. And that is part of the depth for me, an almost transluscent glow above the color itself.

    But there’s more than that. It’s a sort of tactile quality – but that’s wrong. And the word, “rich,” is close, but too general – what I mean is that I feel your reds and roses and – and – all the colors in the angel panel, I kind of feel them against the palms of my hands when I look at them. When I say I want to eat the colors, it’s because they feel like strawberries in the mouth. Or grapes. How do I express this? There’s a fresh, round, juicy sort of pop in the colors.

    I got your note today. I loved it. I don’t mean to say so much about your work. It’s just that it charmed my eyes. And then when I dealt with you, you just felt like a friend. Bless etsy for giving people a whole new venue to find kindred spirits!


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