Artistic Voice

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I have been thinking about this for some time. Does my artistic voice match my inner voice?

In 1999 when I had my first solo show at the Wheelwright Museum, Phil Jones asked me what I thought, seeing all my work hanging together. At the time I think I had an inane answer but thought it was such a good question I have asked it to myself every time more than one of my pieces hang together in a show. When I look at my work, I realize I am a much more positive and optimistic person than I think I am, when I explore my darker sadder side in my head.

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I am angry about a lot of society’s problems especially the way women are treated and discounted in many ways. But my work, especially the works in the Womenagerie Series and the Quilted Goddesses series which address women’s issues, doesn’t seek to attack society but to empower women, to show the inherent beauty that is inside all of us. My series, “Handy Woman” explores women’s roles. This work is a
tongue in cheek look at the everyday lives of women. Again the work comes off a lot like I do in person, laugh at the bad and the ugly because that takes away its power over me.
I have a slightly wicked sense of humor that acts as an escape valve to let off the steam. My kids call me on it all the time 
But none of my work explores the really angry side.
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 In some ways my art is an attempt to deal with the anger about the brutality of the real world, to create something beautiful or funny to counteract the ugly meaness that surrounds us at times. I know now that my earlier works about nature are the same, my attempt to center myself and find the beauty in life.

When I  got to the opening and saw “Saints and Sinners and Wisecracking Women” hanging at the Brazosport Art and Science Center, once again I got to see an overview of my work. My life has had some real low points in the last few years but surprisingly my work is even lighter and more humorous than before. It was great to see that I am still resilient and optimistic about life.  sswwopen2.jpg

3 Responses to “Artistic Voice”

  1. PaMdora Says:

    This is good question Kim, and when I first read it, I thought – what’s the different. But then after reading your post I started to see what you meant. I’m getting that you mean the artistic voice is the one you make choices to show in public and the inner voice is not necessarily made public and not necessarily under your control or choice. Am I getting this right?

    I think we have many things in common. I too choose to use my art as a way to try to control things over which I have no control, and try to do it with humor. But where you say you are angry, I feel one of my most common reactions to the things in the world that I don’t like is “overwhelmed.” Because there is so much going on out there that I don’t like and I have no control.

    Although I like the internet and being informed about the world, at the same time I think a lot of us are on overload, I guess that’s what I mean.

  2. Kim Says:

    Yes, the inner voice is secret but in good art I think it informs the artistic voice.
    You are right… we are all on overload a lot of the time,life is so hectic and I think that can keep us from listening to the inner voice. I love your work because it is so funny and ironic and graphic also. It always makes me smile.

  3. Juanita Says:

    Hi Kim,
    I like this question a lot and I also like the way, in your answer, you recognize the voice that comes through your work as being as important as the one that is expressed through the darker emotions that you sometimes feel. I wonder what would happen if you let yourself explore your “really angry side” in your work. Since reading your post I have thought a lot about what my work tells me about my own inner voice. Like you I tend towards a much more positive voice in my creative work than what I sometimes feel. Thanks for your question and your answer.