Of relief as a like creative spirit answered the call to be a guest blogger for the Thistle’s Seed. She needs no introduction, but since when did that stop me. Kristin Peterson is a creative force and painter of words and image from Luverne, Minnesota. We welcome the words she offers for inspiration and mindful work.
I am an artist, but, am I a painter?
I recently took an art class the end of July and was hoping to hone my “painting” skills because I felt like I didn’t have a painting voice.
The first day we worked on collage. A lot of collage. Mixed with a little paint. And I was thinking, I am good with collage and a little paint and so when the artist teacher came around and she said, “Yeah it is ok. But, I can tell you every single thing you did to this painting.” (which at the time, seemed bad…..and still mildly does)…. I was again, questioning my painting voice being mostly happy with the current state of my pieces.
Her point was to continue to layer and make my work more interesting. That nothing can remain sacred. Nothing…..and once you layer and paint, and layer and paint- then, we can start to consider whether this piece is done.
So as the week progressed and the demos continued along with active discussion within our class, it was really the discussion about the pieces of work themselves that stuck in my mind. It was regarding the topic of using the term “mixed-media” or “collage”, versus painting; and how that somehow those words seems to degrade our work ,even if there is paint on it and we had spent equal amounts of time working on our piece. And,…. that if you are a textile artist, this is somehow regarded as a lesser form of art below even mixed-media…really?! Textile artist are almost saints in my eyes with the level of detail that their pieces require.
Out of the whole discussion, the take home point was this, our instructor said, it doesn’t matter if she uses collage in her work or not. At the end of the day, anything she creates is a “painting.” When she delivers her work to a gallery or show and someone asks, if it is mixed-media, she will simply say, “No, this is a painting.”
As I heard her words, I was thinking- maybe I am a painter…..
Or am I the only one when first getting started in art that when someone would ask, “Are you an artist?” And I would quietly answer “Yes?” under my breathe because I wasn’t quite sure. Am I really an artist?
This is how I have been feeling about being a painter before going to art class.
So yes, I am an artist; but, am I really a painter? (that is where I would hear that quiet whisper under the breathe “Yes?”)…..
But, not any longer.
I am a painter.