Building A Connection

Episode 172 · April 3rd, 2021 · 31 mins 51 secs

About this Episode

Creating art is a way to share our thoughts, the ways we see the world, and experience life. This communication is vital-- even when we’re immersed in our process, thinking only of the next step ahead--our unseen, largely unknown audience is with us. Very few artists work in total isolation, with no desire to connect or communicate with viewers. Yet artists are also encouraged to follow their own vision, to not let other people’s reactions pull them off track. Today we’ll toss around some thoughts about the desire to connect with our viewers, and what this means in the studio.

The artists personal connection to the work, and in making the work is important in communicating to the viewer a sense of humanity, that their experiences and ideas connect with someone else’s, and that there is mutual validation in both artist and viewer when the connection is made.

From the artist’s perspective, the primary impetus for making art may be self-expression rather than communication with others, but as soon as the work is out in public, the viewer’s responses complete the cycle of communication. Most of us feel deep satisfaction in knowing someone appreciates and understands our work.

For the viewer, connection is vital. If no way of understanding the work is evident, even in an intuitive way, impatience and frustration often set in quickly. Ambiguity and multiple interpretations are fine but there still needs to be some basic structure or purpose sensed in the work. Without that, ambiguity is just muddle.

When an artist has clarity and purpose, the viewer senses this and can enter the work as in a conversation or in appreciation of a story. It’s the job of the artist to create this conversation and invite the viewer to participate.

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It's time for an update on the latest news from Cold Wax Academy! Rebecca and her partner Jerry Mclaughlin are now well into their second quarter of weekly Live sessions for their members, in which they explore 3 main topics in deep, interrelated, and engaging ways. This quarter, those topics are Texture, Layering, and Writing and Talking about your Work. Weekly sessions include discussion, slide presentations, videos, critiques, special guests, and the opportunty to ask questions during the session. Cold Wax Academy Members have access to all past sessions, which are recorded each week--so if you're hesitating to join mid-quarter, no worries about missing out. There is plenty for you to explore, and you can watch previous sessions on your own schedule. Jerry and Rebecca offer for a trial month at the Core level for only $29.99. Visit and
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