Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Impromptu Etsy art crit

I like to think that I'm original in my artwork... but then again, most fools do. Lately I've been realizing this is a fantastic thing rather than something to get bogged down by or discouraged (which has more often been the rule than the exception). The piece above is an acrylic painting of mine in which an antique photo has been manipulated (no computers) to focus more clearly on its child subject. It's one of a group entitled, "A Series of Isolated Events." Prior to my settling on a name for the series, Mr.Mr. (my husband) pointed out how distinct the central figures had become... how I had completely isolated the children subjects (no arm chair psychologists, please) by modifying the landscape so drastically. And strangely, that had never occurred to me. I was more fascinated by the idea that these individuals were existing in an environment completely devoid of distraction- they were the complete center of attention; frozen in time in a way most photographs aim to be but fall short of in delivery.
Then the other day I found this image on Etsy. Erin Tyner lives and works out of Atlanta, Georgia and has been working on a series entitled, "Half Awake" which features miniature figures. The landscapes she has crafted (very clever, really), in conjunction with the decision to focus closely on the diminutive figures creates a very dramatic effect for the viewer. And what I realized we shared in our artist's box of tricks is the dynamic use of scale to create a relationship between subject and viewer that encourages an intimate, almost protective gut-reaction. Erin's work forces me to wonder about these little people and what exactly the stories are behind their careful poses. And it's precisely this intuitive thought process that I've attempted to encourage in my own work.

I know... "blah blah, I got a degree in Fine Art." But really, it's this kind of discovery, being able to identify similarities in technique and theme in another artist's work that fosters just the kind of creative growth and camaraderie I need. So thanks, Erin. I look forward to more compelling work as we each develop the visual narratives of our respective little people.

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