Ellen Starr Lyon

commited to creating art while being a full-time working mom

Title? What title?

1 Comment

So, I’ve made it through the jury process and have a show scheduled!

This is terrific except for the amount of work I need to do in a short period of time. The gallery director kindly made a studio visit to talk about my paintings and discuss what needed to be done ahead of time. She asked for better “slides”. They are not really physical slides anymore but it gives one a better idea of what it is- I don’t throw away old-school terms. I knew I’d hear this. Frankly, I thought I may not make it through the jury process because my slides stink. Well, I’ve borrowed a better camera and am hoping for better results. The real curve ball was to hear I need to supply a title. This is not exactly a surprise but it is a daunting task. I want to convey a little of my thought process about this body of work, not sound too arty about it and yet a touch of clever is good. Perhaps I’ll put a few out there for a vote….

What’s most frustrating is preparing for a show when I’m in transition, artistically. I feel a change coming but it’s not here yet and I have to show what I applied with months ago. I want to feel “all in” and proud to have these seen but to me, it’s old hat. I hope they are enjoyed and even better- sold! I want to feel that I’m growing as an artist and putting my message out there instead of just making something pretty. Pretty used to be enough for me and still is valid but my brain wants more than that; especially when its art that I’m putting out in the world. The kiss of death was when the gallery director commented that I should include a painting I did of an onion and tomato- items I choose because of color, roundness and the shine. But she said it would be popular because it was “kitcheny”. ouch! I’d gotten a comment at an earlier art fair that my paintings were beautiful and very decorative. That person was complementing me but to me it felt like a punch to the gut.

Ellen, time to decide on your message and the best way to convey it. This new way/style may not appeal to anyone but me but I’ve got to have higher buy-in to my own stuff or its just a waste of time.


Author: Ellen Starr Lyon

I am a Paintings Conservation Technician by day, free-spirit mother-of-two painter by night!

One thought on “Title? What title?

  1. This grabbed me Ellen. I am not a painter but recognize this truth. Thanks for your honesty.

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