I’ve been reading through books on past exhibits that the gallery has had. Not much to do today, as you can see. Anyway, as I read Merion Estes’ book, I experienced a shocking realization of something that is, quite frankly, very obvious. Well, it seems obvious when I want to write it down…but its one of those obvious things that you don’t really “know” it until you figure it out for yourself. With a little help from Merion Estes.
So on to this realization that I’m sure everyone is on the edge of their seats to hear. But first some background, ha! Merion makes collages using bits of Chinese calendars, photo transfers, paint, and much more. She fuses these media in such a way that (in my personal opinion) is astonishing. Her’s is the type of work that I find myself looking at and immediately dissecting. Trying to figure out how she did it. And, I have to admit, her’s is the work that I look at and immediately become jealous of. How did she come up with that idea? The philosophy behind her work could go on for pages, but what it all boiled down to for me was this: her paintings are statements. Though they are visually stunning, they are also haunting. Beautiful landscapes have little reminders of the devastating harm man in this industrialized age is doing to our world. She’ll insert a ghost rhino walking through a tar pit, or paint extinct birds into an exotic scene from paradise. You know, artsy stuff like that.
Anyway, Merion had a purpose when she created her work. I realized, after reading the thoughts behind her work, that great art comes when you set out to express what is absolutely invading your entire being at that point in time. Colors, composition, media, and subject will follow suit to help you express that feeling you have.
I am a product of technical art classes and more often than not, I find myself completely consumed by what colors would be appealing, whether or not my composition is interesting, and whether or not it will look good on the wall. All of these things are important, yes, but I am totally focused on the finished product instead of enjoying the creative process and letting it take me where it will. I want to be able to express my ideas and those things that are invading my being right now like Merion does.
Ok. I’m done being a “deep artist” now.