A basic human desire is to truly be seen. We long to be understood by other people, acknowledged, appreciated, and accepted for who we are. As an artist, you have a literal way of being seen, of communicating who you are in a visual way. The hope that people will be able to connect with you through your work is a basic motivation for making art. Today we’ll talk about the desire to be seen and understood by the people who view your work.
This desire probably goes back to childhood when we bring our drawings to our parents, saying “look what I made.”
At a young age we can either be pleased or discouraged by the response. We either feel seen and appreciated, or we realize the person we're showing our work to doesn't understand. Many children leaearly to follow certain rules for visual communication in hopes of a positive response. They start to rely on recognizable symbols like houses that are square with a triangle roof and flying birds that look like the letter V. But this sets up a disconnect between the child's original idea and how they feel they need to portray that idea.
Those of us who do continue trying to communicate in personal ways through visual art can have a relationship with those who view our work that is energizing and at times profound. Art can transcend so many of the social and geographic barriers that we have such as age, social status, and culture, and it can even communicate across time.
For your work to allow others to see you honestly, it needs to be authentic and motivated from personal meaning. As artists we have an ability to connect with other people, whether friends or strangers, in a purely visual way. On the other hand, doing work to please your audience, rather than opening honest interaction, is rarely satisfying in a deep way. The more meaningful your work is to you as an artist, the more satisfying it will feel in terms of the basic desire to be seen.
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What's new at Cold Wax Academy?
Rebecca and Jerry are now midway through their winter quarter of online sessions at Cold Wax Academy, where as always members have access to in-depth and varied content for learning and growth. Upcoming sessions include a presentation by guest author Shaun McNiff, tips on photographing your artwork, a painting clinic for works in progress, and the final critique session for this quarter with a special focus on composition. As a member, you can also access the private Facebook page and the community there of informed and supportive artists who post paintings, ask questions and initiate discussions.
It's never too late to join Cold Wax Academy! All live sessions are recorded and there are now nearly 100 previous sessions in the member library. Please visit http://www.coldwaxacademy.com for more information as well as basic information about using cold wax medium.
Please visit http://www.coldwaxacademy.com for more information.
Here is what a member named Sandy has to say about her own experience with Cold Wax Academy:
"Rebecca and Jerry have presented the most professional, authentic and structured approach to a creative activity I have ever come across. Their selfless sharing of all their knowledge and encouragement is a gift in my life unsurpassed."
Also-- please visit https://www.espacioart.org to learn about Rebecca and Jerry's newest project, Espacio, dedicated to providing beautiful living and working spaces for artists and writers. Espacio's first offering is Casa Clavel, a modern, fully equipped house opening this September in the beautiful cultural city of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. A few booking openings are still available in 2023, so please incquire if you are interested.
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