Challenge entry

Original challenge here

Artist Andi Stern responds to the challenge:

I liked Cheryl’s essay style so here are my answers:

Do you find that the statement “You can tell a lot about a person by the art that they make” is true?

Sometimes. I know people like Susan Shie who literally put their life into their work through diary writing, and I also have known people who make art that looks like other people’s work instead of something from themselves. I think if you got to see what the person liked, what they collected, what they loved, you probably could see them in their art. (Nancy Crow’s original book which shows her collections and interests and then the work she was making is what came to mind when I was writing this). I also have a friend who comes across very timid in person (she is one of those people who reminds me of a turtle in the way she carries her head and upper body) and her art is also very timid, both in color and feel.

Does this exercise give you some clarity or ability to see your creations differently?

Yes, um, wow. I took a month this summer to grow my art, and I have been able to create a little more fearlessly since then. It was a self-study/play using the Corita Kent and Jan Steward book “Learning by Heart” and renting art films from Netflix (fellini, and the Charles and Ray Eames film series) and going tv “lite” (with four other people in the house I couldn’t exactly totally pull the plug) and having silence in the studio.

If I was looking at my work as someone not me I probably would think the artist had a lot of patience and worked all of the time to create the sheer body of work which is in my studio (not to mention the many pieces which have sold). I would think she liked detail because of the discrete parts that made up the whole of each piece. I probably would think she was happy and optimistic, based on the colors and the subject matter (the goofy stuffed animals and hats, the appliqued animals etc). I would be intimdated by the many different media she worked in and the quantity of work. (I’m beginning to understand why my art group holds me in such awe; um [blushes])

Do you know someone who’s art clearly reflects who they are?

Susan Shie is pretty clearly in her work.

Is the work you did ten years ago different? have you matured artistically or just improved your skills? Is there a difference?

I have improved both in my artistic vision and in my skill set. In my vision more that I am better able to articulate why I work the way I do, and also the ability to make things without thinking of the audience’s reaction (they’re still there, but it is a lot less than before; I don’t find myself having thoughts along the line of “this will be so much better than ‘x’s ‘ work” and more like “hey, it will be fun to meet the people who really love this as much as I do” ).

Is the content or the media the same?

Not the dreaded “content” word. I never could explain that in art school, but now I think I get it. I choose colors and prints based on how they make me feel, which generally has to do with emotions I associate with my early childhood home etc. I obviously am still working in art quilts and beads, but have expanded with the knitting, teaching myself after my grandmother passed away in late 2000, and have started painting again. I have started working large again, after a very long period working small due to having a small child around. It was frustrating to not see any progress on a bigger piece, so small was the default. Now I am missing a local opportunity because none of my current work fits in the 30″ in any direction guideline LOL I am also doing less goofy animals and people and more landscape and maybe even abstract work.

I was working with the water tower image when I was in gradual school back in 90-91, but my skill set has definitely grown enough for me to feel confident creating them on a larger scale.


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