Sunday, September 23, 2012

Art Blog: Back to BASICS

"How is this working for ya?" Dr. Phil

OK. Here we go again. Obviously, something is NOT working for me. I hate to even type this, but I can't GIVE my current art away. No sales, very little response. All my efforts seem dead in the water. I am not all that concerned because I do what I do, what I do, what I do. Yet, there is still a part of me that is freaking out right now. Consequently, I have become more introspective than usual.

I have been thinking about my retrospective art life and art work. I feel like I got derailed at some point. I remember in my young, naive days, I would paint/draw/sculpt whatever I wanted. I was so free. Then, I started college. I learned things. I stopped being who I really wanted to be because I wanted to fit in and be pertinent to the times. I have to admit, whenever I strayed, I felt a little bit of heat from my colleagues and patrons. If it didn't fit my "pattern" at the time, my work was dissed, shunned, or simply ignored. I feel the same way now.

For example, I remember when I started drawing in graphite after years of using acrylic and building sculptures. These drawings went over like a lead balloon.

Years later after doing a one person show that dealt with Xerox photos with journal dialogue, I came up with this painting out to of the blue. I have never shown it in public. It is hanging in my living room. At night, I sit and look at it. There is the real "Sheree the Artist" in there somewhere.

As I continued working, my style developed into some kind of wacky, assemblage style, over colorful, painting / mixed media work. I am not saying it is bad. I did it. I like it for what it is, but there is just something missing or more likely fake about these pieces.

Yesterday I got an email from a wonderful friend. She owns a number of my works. She sent me a photo of a detail from an installation, "Relationship 915" I did in the '80s. It is quite bizarre because I have been trying to get back to my roots. I want to get back to basics. I even bought graphite and have been studying (again) how to work in the genre of realism.
Did you notice a common thread over all the years. There is something about birds as a symbol that keeps popping up regardless of my style. I know why that is. For years and years in my youth, I had a recurring dream of flying. This started when I was very young. I always wanted to be a bird. I remember waking up from those dreams and my stomach would jump the same way it does when you go on a roller coaster. I didn't want the dream to end. I am not saying I want to create bird paintings and drawings right now. However, it is time for changes.

I still do want to FLY.

Click pic for view of "Relationship 915" detail drawing.


gilda snowden said...

I have always loved seeing the birds in your work.

Sheree Rensel said...

Wow. I don't know what to say. This post isn't really about birds in my work. However, I appreciate your good thoughts.

Whisperings 13 said...

what to say- this post hits home. I have been struggling with the same. the oh-my-god-what-happened-no-sales-can't-give-it-away-where-did-i-go-wrong path of internal reflection. Same change of work to please and sell. same thoughts of going back to the root of it all. the difficult and constant question/balance of self-work-sales. but atleast now i am sure that i am not alone in this quagmire. thank you for putting it out there.
If i read one more "everything is so super fine- happy, giddy, pink glitter poof" piece, i was ready to bon fire my brushes. thanks for being brave enough to be real. and to admit it is not all fabulous all of the time and that some times, real artists do starve. :O)
(raises a glass) here's to better days!

Sheree Rensel said...

It is funny you mentioned an art brush bonfire because I imagined having an "ART BURN" ceremony. Yes, I am very honest. I too want to puke when I read all this "my world is a rainbow" stories. Even talk of "sales" is often smoke and mirrors. I see stuff like that and do a little research and find out that they sold a painting for $25. or something. One artist was jumping for joy because she made a sale online and I found out it was a $3. note card. I am not begrudging those small successes, but gosh.... Today I sat here thinking about the "old days" when people bought my art work.
I really wouldn't give a flying flip if I had a regular job right now. I don't so the pressure is amplified.
I just feel there is something really fishy going on because I have changed my art around so much lately and have tried all kinds of new styles, subject matter, and materials. STILL, nothing. NADA I mean there has to be something there somebody likes. LOL LOL LOL

Yes Yes Yes Yes Better days will be welcome.
Thanks for your input. :-)