in thinking about how to write about my work, i've been reading how other artists write about theirs, especially artists that have been making long enough to have a perspective of their own making as it has evolved over time. It seems like Bridget Riley is talking to me sometimes in some of her writings about her process early on. It seems like the perfect post first year of grad school read. Its reassuring to feel as though these struggles are not my own, but something more universal to the process of making art.
"A young artist's worst problem- what to paint and how to paint it. You live everyday with the gravity of the problem, surrounded with that experience of uncertainty. There are a bewildering number of directions you can take, but if it is not right it doesn't feel right. You are much farther forward than it might seem even if it takes you all morning to decide not to do something simply because it doesn't feel right."
"An artists early work is inevitably made up of a mixture of tendencies and interests, some of which are compatible and some of which are in conflict with each other. As the artist picks her way, rejecting and accepting as she goes, certain patterns of enquiry emerge. Her failures are as valuable as her successes in that by misjudging one thing she confirms something else, even if at the time she does not know what that something else is."
"Enquiry is certainly not a question of proof or demonstrating although certain fundamental principles may emerge. Each work exists on its own terms and the relationships that make it up are also unique to each piece. The spirit of enquiry points the way. It can also develop ones powers of recognition so that one can see what one is doing more clearly- what used to be blind intuition is now conscious intuition. "
"Seeing is a very complex matter. Trying to be an artist is a serious responsibility. It is the most demanding thing there is."