|A Nest for One by Sea Dean|
"A painting requires a little mystery, some vagueness, some fantasy. When you always make your meaning perfectly plain you end up boring people."
I see thousands of pieces of art each month as I tour galleries, shows and studios and view newsletters and mega art platforms online. It always amazes me what a huge variety of work is being produced, and especially how the designation of what is “art” is expanding daily. I saw a TV show a couple of years ago where so called “experts” were debating whether a carefully constructed and brilliant piece of fabric collage could be considered art. I bet they would be embarrassed today if they saw a rerun. I’ve had my own battles over exhibiting and selling my completely original, non photographic but digital iPad drawings.
|GLACIER LAKE by Sea Dean|
However, I digress. A minority of professional artists have other streams of income, like pensions or supporters, but most need to make a living. So what most artists want to know is the secret to creating art that sells. After years of collecting and creating, I have to agree with Monsieur Degas, there needs to be a little mystery, something that stops people in their tracks and makes them ponder. A collector may even buy a piece of art just because the mystery compels them. There’s a reason why detective shows are so popular, because we all love a challenge.
So the next time you finish a work and step back, ask yourself if there is enough left unexplained for the viewer to explore. Perhaps you can't even figure it out. As far as I’m concerned thats another reason for ignoring some of the rules.
|BLUE WEAVE by Sea Dean|
Sometimes the mystery is just where, like in an impressive landscape, or why, as in my nest with one egg. Sometimes its in the technique or the fact that something is indistinct, as in my weave painting above. What mysteries appeal to you, or what is the best one you have created? I’d love to read your comment.