Thursday, March 4, 2010

Artist Statement and New Artwork

"Le Lieu Secret", Oil on canvas 16"x20" © 2010 Shayla Perreault Newcomb.

Doing the exercises for writing the artist's statement in the book "I'd rather be in the studio" helped me validate where I was going with my art. Before I relied on instinct alone but after the exercises I knew on a conscious level what I was doing.

It was such a positive experience that I opted to work with Alyson Stanfield directly. Our goal was to see if we could make a statement that would make connection easier for viewers. Her collaboration got me through barriers I wouldn't have been able to get through on my own.If you'd like to get help with your artist's statement, check out her resources.

Here's the results:

"My paintings are journeys through an internal landscape. The seemingly disparate elements—trees, textured surface, and abstract symbols—result in tension, but are props to guide you on your own journey, which is personal and constantly changing. 
The line of three small circles or squares symbolizes the journey itself. The first shape represents the start of the journey, the middle is the current reality, and the third is the resolution or the destination. A realistic landscape is juxtaposed against these shapes to encourage meditation on the spiritual and the physical.
Trees are symbols of the journey’s destination—whatever that may be. They offer sanctuary. Trees have a complex root system that keeps them nourished and grounded, and yet their branches extend. Trees represent growth and are a celebration of arriving at harmony.
The paintings’ surfaces are battered rather than smooth and glossy. These opposing textures are reminders that when we have arrived or are Home, we are grateful for the experience of the journey even though it was full of bumps and roadblocks." 


ArtPropelled said...

Wow Shayla your work thrills me no end. I've read your statement several times and have gained insight into your work.

picciolo said...

Hi Shayla, what an insightful statement. It was interesting to read more about the three circles/squares that you use and the reasons for the other elements of your paintings, it looks like a really beneficial collaboration
: )

Liberty said...

Wow Shayla!
This version of your artist's statement reached right out to me. Extremely accessible which I think is a great thing.
This painting also reached right out to me and made me say, "Wow." out loud many times :-)
I love your work.

Margaret Ryall said...

Great statement Shayla. You've expanded on the previous one you had posted on your site. I identify with your content and had my own feelings about your work before I ever read a statement.

There is no doubt that an extended statement written in clear language expands the viewer's experience. I am attending a workshop in two weeks that focuses on writing artist statements. No doubt it will lead to changes in my current one.

I also have the book "I'd rather be in the studio." and find it practical and clearly written. It is a great resource for the professional aspects of an artist's life.

DJ said...

Yes, your artist statement put into words what your viewers were experiencing but couldn't put their finger on it exactly. I'm drawn to your paintings for that feeling of journey with a dash of mystery thrown in...

On another note, Your living room called and told me it wants its purple painting back...said you promised...

Tracy said...

Splendid artist statement, Shayla! Your work certainly holds keys to the inner life that shine very clearly. Having a course to work on, goals to try and bring into fruition is often helped along by writing down an artist statement--a start, a preparation before heading down the path. For myself, I love when a work, a piece is completed and actually lives up to my statement! This painting of yours this time is very ambient... It reminds me of the far north here, the shimmer of the Northern Lights...this one tingles...Thank you for sharing. :o) Happy weekend, my friend. And thank you for you very kind words on my poetry. ((HUGS))

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Greetings Shayla,

I attended a workshop in which we used Alyson's book. There is much useful information that one can apply to ones situation and I am pleased she was able to guide you through the forest's darkness.

Warmest regards,

M.Kate said...

Amazing painting Shayla :) Hope you have a fab week ahead..hugs/M

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Your statement is as moving and beautiful as your work. Congratulations!

jeane said...

a really wonderful statement - so many are full of things that I totally don't understand, but this was easy to read, I understood your points of view and I finished it! I rarely finish an artist's statement :) and I really like the painting - I love your blues....

Deborah Carr said...

Shayla, I was so pleased to meet you yesterday and to see your work up close. Our conversation should affirm to you that you have created an artist's statement that precisely reflects the soul of your work. I think it is your reflection on trees and landscapes that certainly speaks to my own soul and experiences. This particular piece reminds me of magic, of northern lights...of dancing through a winter field at dusk.

I'm delighted to know the artist in person now.

Shayla said...

Robyn, you made my day! Thanks.

Jane, it was helpful. I'd never have finished an understandable version otherwise.

Liberty, great! If there was one thing I was going for, "accessible" is it. I'm thrilled this reached out to you and thanks for your kind words about the painting.

Margaret, I'm pleased you have your own conclusions about my work without a statement. Enjoy your workshop! That sounds great.

DJ, you made me laugh! What a sweetie you are. On a positive note, I've got two purple paintings on the go.

Tracy, do you see the Northern Lights where you are? We saw them once due to solar flares or something like that. They were incredible. Red like rubies, glowing. The greens and whites were there too. Amazing!

Egmont, your landscape metaphore is so appropriate :) That is a great book. How nice you have workshops in your area. We don't so much here.

M. Kate, thanks! Had a great weekend, and now it's humpday. Before long it will be the weekend again.Hugs to you!

Leslie, thank you :)

Jeane, I'm glad you made it through :D My husband also hates reading artist's statements. He wants to experience the painting on his own terms.

Deborah, thank you for sharing your impressions. The way you worded that, "magic, of northern lights...of dancing through a winter field at dusk" is beautiful. It's obvious that writing is your world. I'm happy we had a chance to meet in person.
Incidently, the fairytale "The 12 Dancing Princesses" was the inspiration...

Alyson B. Stanfield said...

Shayla: It was a pleasure working with you. I appreciated the fact that you dug deep to try to convey your message in the clearest language to your audience.

Margaret & Egmont: I am happy to hear that you have found value in my book.

Michael Singman-Aste said...

Wonderful! Until I read Cay Lang's "Taking the Leap" I mistook the artist's statement to be a description of one's work as a whole, rather than insight into a particular body of work. ( You nailed it.

Josh Lance said...

Your statement is beautiful, very poetic, interesting and not pretentious like many other statements. Makes me more curious about your art. Well done!

Shayla said...

Alyson, once again, thanks for all your help. It was a great experience and it is already paying off.

Michael, thank you for sharing that resource.

Josh, your feedback is greatly appreciated.