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Piranha Series

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Piranha Series

Postby MariahParris » Wed Dec 16, 2015 9:26 pm

I'm beginning to go into several Competitions, and other eyes may see what mine have missed. So don't be afraid to tell me what you really think. I would greatly appreciate it.


"Manifestations"; 38" x 38", oil on stretched canvas. (2015)
Image

"Temptation of The Shoal"; 44" x 44", oil on stretched canvas. (2015)
Image

Artist Statement: These two paintings are part of a collection that connects the intangible world with the physical. From an ethereal mist, human kind is manifested in a seemingly concrete form. Along with this form many smaller universes are created through these Manifestation’s perceptions and their temptation to mold it.
-Mariah Faith Parris
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Re: Piranha Series

Postby CarlOwen » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:08 pm

Thank you for sharing. Since you are in the fury forum I believe your are either naïve or you really want real feedback. I don't care about being naïve as it is always a temporary state of being. I do care about giving an artist honest and direct information to improve their art. I have said my piece on the Manifestations painting. The Temptation of The Shoal is a little childish to me. I doubt it is one of your later works because it lacks the sophistication demonstrated in the Manifestations painting.

Additionally, I fear you have fallen into that academia double speak to verbally present your work. It is nonsense. Looks good on paper to a professor but the potential customer who is thinking about buying the work simply because they like it and want to own it would look at you and say, "huh?", before they walk away saying to their friend, '''That person is scary. I wonder if she is on Pot."

So, moving on. I suggest you spend less time in the real world trying to explain your art while letting the right side of your brain create that art that does not need words to explain what the viewer sees and why the viewer should like it. Give your words to your professors so you can get the good grade to get the degree you are paying for. Hold your words in the real world and make your art speak to the potential buyer. The right side of your brain already knows what I am saying. You have potential. I look forward to seeing more of your work.
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Re: Piranha Series

Postby MariahParris » Wed Dec 16, 2015 10:45 pm

Haha! I love your honesty. XD I do appreciate your -real- feedback. I'm no stranger to rough critique. And any artist in the gallery/competition circuit should learn to love it. ^.^
I am actually happy that you used the world "childish" for "Temptation of the Shoal". This particular painting was meant to depict a child's state of mind and naivity. This is indeed my latest work. But I'm not taking offense to your reaction. I enjoy any and all reactions to my works.
Do you feel that simplicity equals sophistication?
And do you feel like this image is childish because of a "fairytale" feel? I would love to hear more about that. ^.^

I'm afraid that I am addicted to double speak. BUT I shall defend it! :)
While this statement is extremely vague, it does encapsulate my personal intent. (I have about 200 pages written about just those two paintings. [Haha! I am one of -those-!] So I feel it -is- kind of a slap in the face for establishments to require me to explain my collection in a couple of sentences.) But many competitions and gallery owners expect my "explaination". But in my statement's defense! It gathered enough mystisism around this tiny collection to warrant seminars and several interviews. So that's something I'll stand by.

I've never been too worried of people thinking I'm a druggie. Many people say I should probably be one to fit into the Nashville, TN art scene. (I've been accused of looking too much like a house wife. Say Whaaaaaa?!)

I definitely appreciate your view on my artist statement!! Because we aren't in person, and you can't see my demeanor, I want to make sure to tell you that I view this as a nice debate, and not an argument. And I'm enjoying it. ^.^
But, I would love to hear more about what specifically you didn't like about the contents of the paintings above. What "about" the painting compositionally made you have such a nasty taste in your mouth. It sounds like it's the "genre" that you dislike? Am I right?
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Re: Piranha Series

Postby CarlOwen » Thu Dec 17, 2015 1:26 am

Ah Mariah you are truly a delight. As to rough critique, I have been known to be harsher. Many artists are to thin skinned to understand what I am saying or how I am trying to get their attention to attend to how they present their work and the developmental issues they need to attend to while they are in the safety zone of a discussion forum instead of sitting in a tent, hot, sweaty, no potty break and clueless of why people look into your tent with blank stares and then walk by without a comment. Of course, this is after you have been accepted into the art show by some unknown jury charging a fee per painting for them to judge and you have paid your $500.00 show fee, been asked for a work of art as a donation for some kind of charity and spent another $1200.00 on meals, travel and motel costs just to be there.

Creating art is only half of the equation. The other half is the business of art and the buyer who purchases the work because they feel the need to own it for whatever their reason might be. Some would say that this is a form of prostitution by producing work to please a clientele desire. A few could say it is an avenue to educate that clientele. Lesser than that few have their own purposes for creating art and wait for the clientele to catch up. The very few, the opinionated, the arrogant, the ones who could care less if they are accepted or not are the ones who change realities and more often than not without recognition and without the need for that recognition. I claim membership in the very few class.

So, I will engage in this debate with you because, like I said, I think you have potential. Artists can go through whatever mental masturbation we need to satisfy ourselves with the reasons, techniques used, and spiritual interventions that helped us create a "masterpiece" to justify what and why we have done what we have done. But the viewer, the client, the buyer could care less and most likely will be bored with what we have to say. And when we are dead and gone, the art work remains, often without 200 pages of explanation for why it was done in the first place. I think "Winged Victory", pre-Columbian small figurines, and any cave man painting illustrates the lack of need for words.

There is something deep in us human beings that instinctively knows, appreciates and desires ownership of objects of beauty. And after all words, excuses and rationale vanish, it is the work of art that stands there or hangs on a wall all alone commanding the viewer to accept or reject it solely upon the viewer's decision. So my critiques are aimed at making that work of art own the ability to command the viewer's attention.

So moving on, if the work is a representational presentation of a figure, form or shape, make it so. The girl's face looks childish in the area of striated shadowing, and proportionally inaccurate features related to a child's face. The arms and hands are not representative of a child's body proportions. The fingers on the clutched hand are disproportionate to arm and body and simply looks stupid. The bodice of the dress tunic lacks the same three dimensionality that the fish and flowers have. The tunic shading fails to provide that dimensionality that would unite the form into the same dimensional descriptive style the other forms have. There is a failure to feature light in the center of the bodice to give the illusion of three dimensional form that the other figures possess. There is an attempt to describe and define so many forms and shapes here that the viewer, me, gets overloaded and starts seeing discord, and a lack of unity in forms, shapes and subjects causing the painting to simply fall apart the more you look at it. That is what is "childish" to me.

No, you are not right about my not liking your "genre" of art. There is a "genre" of art I do not like, this is not in that class. I dislike and see no need for an artist to produce sexually explicit or horrific and terrifying objects of art. It is what I call "Shock Art". All it says to me is a cry from the artist to look at me. Shock Art is worthless to me. Well I hope I have given you some food for thought. I await your next commentary.
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Re: Piranha Series

Postby CarlOwen » Thu Dec 17, 2015 4:51 pm

P.S. You are very welcome to say anything about the work I have posted on this site. You see, I think it is not a fair game if the critiques only go one way. Take a chance. You will learn that when you critique others works you also in the back of your mind start critiquing your own work by the same standards. It is just a human thing. Looking forward to your critiques.
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Re: Piranha Series

Postby MariahParris » Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:21 pm

I'm sorry it has taken me so long to respond, Carl!
I'm sure you know how crazy the holiday season can be for us artist folk. XD

You are definitely right! Most artists that I have come across in college (ages 17-21) have an interesting ideology.
They see a grand vision of placing works in galleries while they get high in a mansion on an abandoned island. But, as we both know, this reality is far fetched. People like you are definitely needed to ground artists who aren't "worldly" yet.

I agree that artists share a common thread with prostitutes.
In order to "sell to the masses and eat with the classes" Roxanne has to turn on that red light!

Sadly, I recently came to know a famous Nashville-based artist who has turned her back to the art world all together because of this very sense of prostitution. She has blacked out all of her websites, and recently made a press release stating that she is going to study engineering and never paint again. I can't judge her too harshly. I threw away a medical career to persue art. I suppose as long as you follow your passion, that is all that counts in the end.
Happiness within yourself is key, right?! (But money sure does help that process along.)

This pushing aside or dilution of our personal experimental nature to a more "acceptable" level (depending on the venue) is something that I think most artists struggle to get a handle on. I know I did.

When you are in art school, it seems that instructors only desire to push push push you out of the box, and label the box as "conformity, being generic, gimicky." But I think this shoots a lot of aspiring artists in the foot!

If you look at either my website http://www.mariahparris.com or my gallery in this community, there are two distinct genres. There are the products of experimentation/symbolism (which is the subject matter that I prefer) and there are subjects grounded in reality (landscapes, flowers, animals). I recently obtained a residency position with a home decor company which is pushing me to increase my reality grounded pieces. (Some of the testing designs are in my gallery. The small circular ones.)
In the beginning of my searching for a career beyond school, I held on very stubbornly to my symbolistic ways.
But I find that there is a lot of merrit in nurturing both branches of art.

I just had an experience with shows recently that DRASTICALLY impacted the importance I place on versatility.
I was at a booth for my decor company, and they wanted me to bring in all of my art to display.
At that time, I only had the pieces I had created for myself. The abstract/symbolistic stuff.
And while I had a huge mass of interest, the town hosting this event is extremely conservative. So people wanted to look at them and take pictures next to them, but no one wanted them to hang in their parlor.
While this show was happening, I quickly painted several reality grounded pieces. But then was asked to present my work simultaneously with another show. The newly created reality based peices were displayed in a larger city whose claim to fame was their rock n' roll, booze, and rebel mentality. Needless to say, they were extremely disappointed that my collection wasn't symbolic and strange.

It was a tragic comedy of misfortunate happenstance, that I still laugh out loud about.
But it definitely made me create a plan for creating work. Now I have a tentative schedule for creating each of these different genres to prepare for both kinds of marketing samples.

It taught me that it's ok to tell people "no".
If my art isn't ready/it isn't the right kind, it isn't meant to be.

Thank you so much for your saying you believe I have potential.
I am at an odd stage in my career where my proverbial rollercoaster is slowly clicking to the top of the ramp.
Every little vote of confidence is always stored away and greatly appreciated.

I agree that words aren't valuable at all at crafting shows. Like you mentioned, people there are surrounded by so much data and marketing noise that they never take the time to dig into your work.

But galleries and solo exhibitions are a completely different beast!
Personal writings and narratives add a layer that tentative collectors eat up with a spoon.
Hand written journals and sketchbooks are extremely valuable in marking error, success, and any other elaborations.
They hold backstories that are otherwise unknown to the viewer.
They are great to auction upon the end of each year, their values constantly shifting with personal reputation. (This helps me benchmark how my the value of my brand is shifting.)
While I don't go out of my way to display these journals at exhibitions, I make it accessable to those who know where to look.
Haha! I know that sounds crazy, but there is actually a method to the madness! All born in basic marketing princibles!
Every product (as you most likely know) has both tangible and intangible properties.

[Tangible: the actual painting, shipping materials, notecard, and business card.
Intangible: A money-back guarantee, the concept of the painting(born from the journal entries they can discover), a sense of membership as a Mariah Faith Parris "collector", and free lifetime touch up services.]

The right combination of the intangible and tangible marketing values generate customer loyalty.

By no means am I saying that this elaborate web of additives are neccessary.
But it greately appeals to those individuals who visit "galleries" as opposed to "art shows".
Typically gallery visitors long to invest in not only the physical product, but also the experience it generates.

There is something deep in us human beings that instinctively knows, appreciates and desires ownership of objects of beauty. And after all words, excuses and rationale vanish, it is the work of art that stands there or hangs on a wall all alone commanding the viewer to accept or reject it solely upon the viewer's decision. So my critiques are aimed at making that work of art own the ability to command the viewer's attention.


That was an extremely potent and beautiful statement. Truer words have not been said.

So moving on, if the work is a representational presentation of a figure, form or shape, make it so. The girl's face looks childish in the area of striated shadowing, and proportionally inaccurate features related to a child's face. The arms and hands are not representative of a child's body proportions. The fingers on the clutched hand are disproportionate to arm and body and simply looks stupid. The bodice of the dress tunic lacks the same three dimensionality that the fish and flowers have. The tunic shading fails to provide that dimensionality that would unite the form into the same dimensional descriptive style the other forms have. There is a failure to feature light in the center of the bodice to give the illusion of three dimensional form that the other figures possess. There is an attempt to describe and define so many forms and shapes here that the viewer, me, gets overloaded and starts seeing discord, and a lack of unity in forms, shapes and subjects causing the painting to simply fall apart the more you look at it. That is what is "childish" to me.


YASS! THIS IS WHAT I WANTED!
I have to admit that I was dissappointed when you first responded.
Your response was based on the statement rather than the piece. THIS is what I was looking for! XD
I'm glad that we were able to discuss more to get to the bare bones of the technical issues.

This painting is unlike anything I have done before. Mostly in the fact that I forced myself not to use photo references. (But, as you can see, that didn't stop me from taking a look at myself every now and then to try to navigate my way.) TRY being the operative word. The struggle was real with this painting and after laying my eyes on it for a month straight, I couldn't see how things warped.

After first reading your response, I took a day or so to not look at it.
Then I came back the next day to look at it from a blank slate.
And I agree.
I had an overall positive skew of perception for this painting because I had made a lot of risks and had a lot of personal rewards from the PROCESS of this. (finding new markmaking tools, experimenting with handmade paints, trying new handmade paint additives.) I see now, that I got lost in the "play" and left "refinement" out in the cold.

P.S.: I don't like shock art, either. I feel that there is something transcendent and masterful in captivating with subtlety. (A personal goal that I am far from.)

Thank you for your critique!
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Re: Piranha Series

Postby CarlOwen » Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:53 pm

Good evening Mariah.

Christmas season was busy for us also. We went to California to see our kids and grandkids. All are doing beautifully. What a pleasure. We are now in Demming, NM for the evening. Will be back home in Sana Fe tomorrow. Had to cut our visit a little short so we could travel between the storms. So far, the plan is working. Been in NM for 15 Years now and this is the first year I have seen snow on the ground and in the mountains in the Demming area.

I am pleased that we are continuing this discussion. By now every other artist I have been this direct with has retreated. Tis a pity about that. But, you have promise, like I said, not only for the quality of your work, but for your willingness to be objective and willingness to press on even through the mud, so to speak.

However, I am to tired tonight to continue the discussion. It appears I am only worth about 300 to 350 miles of travel a day, then it is close down time. Just responding to let you know thank you for sharing your experiences, your appreciation of my critiques and willingness to continue. Will talk/type with you another time soon after we get back home.
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Re: Piranha Series

Postby CarlOwen » Thu Jan 07, 2016 10:14 am

Good morning Mariah.

The typing is to slow and missing letters this morning. Will try again later.
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Re: Piranha Series

Postby CarlOwen » Mon Jan 18, 2016 11:12 am

Good morning. Re-read your post as I am re-working my artist's statement at my promoter's direction, insistence, demand? Anyway, all I wanted to say was that your response to my last large post is that you exhibit experience and wisdom. And, of course I learned something I will use, the information about writing a painting dialog on paintings for galleries and museums for them to be able to explain and educate the viewer about a particular painting or collection. I never thought of that as I dogmatically work my position about works of art standing alone. Thank you for introducing the ideas and reasons that challenge that. I will be checking in from time to time with you. Going back to painting now. I have so many to do and so little time left to do it.
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