16 February 2014

get back

snapshots series by verna vogel
New series under construction, December 30, 2013

Snapshot #9:  Direction
Snapshot #9: Direction
mixed media on stitched canvas
19.25w x 36.25h inches

Snapshot #10: Priority
Snapshot #10: Priority
mixed media on stitched canvas
33w x 17.25h inches

Snapshot #11: Someone Pushed It
Snapshot #11: Someone Pushed It
mixed media on stitched canvas
33w x 17.25h inches

Snapshot #12: K4A Anonymous - by Verna Vogel
Snapshot #12: K4A Anonymous
mixed media on stitched canvas
33w x 16.75h inches

Not sure that they are all complete...  but liking them a lot at this point.  

So far I've started this year with these "Snapshot" series, then I jumped over to starting some more abstract works (see previous post), then I travelled to visit my mum for a week, and now I've jumped back to the "Snapshots"... and in between I made a couple of portraits and one plein air landscape painting.

Funny thing: when I talk with other artists they invariably tell me that they focus on one thing at a time.  This one thing could be a style of painting with various subjects, or an ongoing exploration of one subject using various styles.  

I did spend several years focussed on one thing - the "Ecosystems" paintings which were made with oil glazes on stitched canvas, and I did get very good at making them.  However, since switching to acrylics a few years ago, I have developed a habit of jumping back and forth between several ideas and painting styles simultaneously.  Lately I have been wondering whether, in doing so many things at once, I run the risk of becoming the proverbial "jack of all trades and master of none".

In the end I tell myself that this jumping between and across ideas and styles should be viewed in the context of a lifetime spent painting, and in the context of cyclical explorations (since each time I return to an idea or style it is with added information from the other things I work on in between), and then it makes more sense, the whole lifelong endeavour of my work does show a continuity of development.

And after all, I only have this one life.  May as well spend it engrossed in lifelong exploration of the visual languages.


Russell Mang said...
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Barbara Muir said...

Great artists like Diebenkorn faced this criticism, so you'd be in wonderful company. Who makes that rule, "jack of all trades and master of none."? If you visit a retrospective of the accepted greats, they followed their passions and their eyes. I love these. I just plain love your work.

XOXOXO Barbara

Russell Mang said...

I don't think you need worry about the "jack of all trades" issue - your pursuit of excellence in each area & line of inquiry make a for a uniformity of craftsmanship, etc that few mixed media artists seem to have.
I think mixed media has to be one of the most difficult of 'mediums' to pull off well...too many artists in this genre don't have a well rounded understanding of each of the mediums that go into 'the mix'. That certainly isn't an issue here in these recent works!

I really like how all the elements in these recent pieces work so well together...

Verna Vogel said...

Thank you both for your thoughts.

Barbara, I just had a look at some of Diebenkorn's images online - I was a bit familiar with his work but now more so, thank you! Did not know he was criticized for doing "too many things at once". Maybe a library book on him and his work would be in order at this point...

Russell, thank you for your take - I may not have looked at much "mixed media" work and so have not considered whether my use of various elements is on a par with others' work... I just try to have fun and make them visually coherent!