Amy Peacock responds to the challenge

You can see some of Amy’s work by cliking on the link to the right of the screen under blogroll

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

Depends greatly on the artist, I think. There are certain artists that really put a lot of themselves into their art. I am thinking right now of friends from my art group. Could I really say that I know much about them when I look at their art? Not really. I mean, what can you tell about someone who does beautiful landscapes? They love nature? They love rocks? What? What about someone who does abstracts? Is their mind a mess somehow? Are they avoiding realism for some reason?

When I look at my own art, I don’t know that someone could honestly say that they know me. Why do I do what I do? I sometimes barely know my self, so how can I expect others to know?

I will say that you can sometimes determine what an artist is interested in. If death is a common theme in their work, then you could assume that they have some kind fascination or interest in death. If you see a lot birds in their art, then you could assume that they are fascinated by birds. And then what? What about that person could you say beyond that?

Does this exercise give you some clarity or ability to see your creations differently?
Perhaps. I think a lot of it depends on whether you feel that art must include some kind of message or meaning. For my own art, I think that it might become obvious that I am intrigued by form, by color, by the way that materials react to each other, by layers and the secrets that they hold. I am by nature an impatient person. If I had to put meaning into every stroke I don’t think I would ever paint. I would much rather let my intuition take over and figure out the meaning later on. And that meaning always shows up, whether I intend it or not.

Do you know someone who’s art clearly reflects who they are?
Not really. I think this question is different that being able to say “oh that’s Amy’s art – I can tell just by looking at it.” I think being able to determine WHO someone is would take a lot of time, and the artist themselves to confirm or deny your interpretation. And how can a piece of art reflect more than a mood or even a moment in time? You might be able to say that an artist was angry when they painted a certain piece, but does that make them an angry person? Maybe, maybe not.

Is the work you did ten years ago different? have you matured artistically or just improved your skills? Is there a difference?
Oh absolutely. I have hopefully done both: matured artistically as well as improved my skills. I think in order to mature artistically, you have to improve your skill set. It helps you put down on canvas (or whatever) the stuff that is in your head. There was a time when I had a lot of ‘dark’ stuff in my art. I don’t do that so much now. Why is that? I’m not sure other that I think I have gotten over my need to shock people. It’s not that these things don’t still interest me or that I don’t use them, but more that my use of them is more subtle, my mysterious, more secretive.

Is the content or the media the same?
Yes and no. I find that I come back to materials that I have used before. The trick is not to get too dependent on a certain material because it’s familiar and thus becomes a kind of crutch. However, that said, there is a lot to be said for exploring a certain media to exhaustion – think of Monet’s haystacks -something he painted over and over, fully exploring them. I am always interested in learning about new stuff, new materials. But that doesn’t mean that the old stuff should be cast aside. If you are lucky and persistent you can make the new work with the old. And that right there, is a metaphor for the artistic life: finding out how you make you past self work with the current self and the future self.


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